NORTH CREEK - We had a unique chance to interview Stephen Tomb's Fulbright Teacher Exchange partner, Ajaykumar Nair, during an interview via Skype video on the computer in Tomb's room at JCS. We talked with him for some time over the internet and we were able to get an idea of what he is like.
Nair seems to be a very knowledgeable man with great hopes for his upcoming trip. He has a deep understanding of his own culture and history and is extremely talkative and social, having almost no trouble understanding our accent. The area he comes from in India is one of the economic centers for the country and is very urbanized, in stark contrast to what he will experience when he arrives in our small town. He also told us that his town often holds festivals, especially this time of year, and said Tomb will have a great opportunity to take advantage of these events.
His main concern, he says, is that he hopes he will make a good "cultural ambassador."
He said he has no specific fears.
"It's hard to know what it'll be like," he commented.
Nair's wife, Anigha, a professor, and his young daughter, Akshata, won't be joining him for the six-month stay here, but plan on paying a visit to North Creek during the Christmas vacation in December.
While he doesn't know what could be problematic, he does know what he's looking forward to. Nair has never seen snow before and is looking forward to it, so much so that it was actually one of the first things he mentioned when the interview began. He also said his main hope is to "experience and learn as much as I can from as many people as possible."
Nair concluded the interview by telling us, "People in India dream of going to the United States - I shouldn't count myself out."