Rangoon, Burma was home to a community of Goan families before WWII.
That included my father Leo Rodrigues and his cousin Aloysius D’Souza. They were born in Rangoon and were age six when the Japanese attacked the city a few weeks after they bombed Pearl Harbour.
Leo and Aloysius and their families had to flee Rangoon by rail, sea, and land. Our families arrived safely in Calcutta port and trickled back to Goa via Delhi and Bombay.
Two years ago I flew to Goa, India to work on my own book based on my Girl Gone Goa blog. I felt compelled to put it on pause because I wanted to edit a memoir that Aloysius had drafted. I couldn’t help but get caught up in his stories of community, music, food, farm life, and war.
Today I received word that Uncle will celebrate both the publishing of his book and his 83rd birthday in Goa this week.
I’m in Australia now and I feel like just one small ocean separates me from him. But a travel agent tells me a return flight from Adelaide would cost $1900.00 AUS and a visa would be impossible to obtain.
But I feel sad I can’t be there with my talented, story-teller uncle.