I found the perfect spot. After walking up some stairs, past the long open hallway, there was a door. It opened up to an open hall that connected the last building to another. It overlooked the cafeteria courtyard on the right side and to an open abandoned field to the left. On a beautiful sunny day, I took a break from the daily grind and later my dupatta (which has many many uses) on the ground so I could sit and lay down. Despite the fact that it was more than a 100 degrees, I reveled in the sun! I loved how it felt beating down my face. There was a slight breeze that flew over me a couple of times to cool my body down. It was a special place. It felt like heaven.
Although I enjoy the air conditioned rooms in the offices, I found that I prefered working outside. It gave me the solace I needed and the much needed attention I wanted from the sun. The Philadelphia winter must have had its toll on me because I found myself craving to stand, sit or lay out in the sun more and more often. It’s so relaxing and free.
As I was laying down enjoying the weather, an older day passed me by holding a Coke in her hand. Although there was a huge language barrier, she still managed to communicate with me telling me that it would be better to move to some shade. I just smiled and my best to use hand signals and the little vocabulary I picked up from others around me to explain to her that I actually enjoyed basking in the sun. She then proceeded to smile and walk away. A few minutes later, she walked back with the bottle and a small cup in her hand. She point at the bottle and then at the cup, asking me if I wanted some. My first reaction was to refuse, but then I looked at her smiling kind face, and decided to accept. She poured the Coke in the cup and proceeded to give me most of the bottle. Immediately, I tried communicating to her that it was too much. She continued smiling, waiting for me to finish the bottle. I quickly swallowed the refreshing drink and thanked her profusely. She said something in Hindi, and said her goodbyes while I resumed laying down.
It was truly an Eden for me. A small piece of paradise where one can snatch a bit of relaxation and kindness from strangers after a hectic day of work. I am excited for more escapes.

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About Faty Kane

Wharton Class of 2019 Intern at Leap Academy Summer 2016