Monday, July 23, 2012

Snake Wrangler

Day 11 - 23Jul2012

First off, I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to those of you who are reading my blog.  It is nice to see so many followers :)  I haven't been physically writing anything down while I've been here so this really is my journal.  I'll try to be funnier or more...inspiring maybe to keep you entertained and wanting more.  I'm sorry that some of them are so long, but so much happens in a day!  Also, the internet has been really slow here so I haven't been able to upload pictures to my blog. Please check facebook for pictures.  Thanks :)

Today is Monday and I got the fine privilege of being on medical rotation (my favorite!).  I kept having dreams of lice last night so I didn't sleep very well.  I had a lice check as soon as I woke up and I'm lice-free :)  I had a delicious breakfast.  Did you know that I love Nutella?  I had never tried it before coming here, but I brought my own tub of it.  D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S.  Can't get enough of it.  I had it on toast with bananas this morning.  So good.

We headed out for the colony around 9:00AM and we had the spectacular privilege of having Anan as our driver (more on his shenanigans later).  The colony was fairly small, maybe 10 houses on each side of the street.  We arrived about 10 minutes before the medical team van.  We had the opportunity to walk the full colony.  At the end of the street, a woman with a five day old baby boy came out to greet us.  She invited us in.  We met another woman with an eight month old baby in the house.  We spent a few minutes doting over the cute infants.  The woman holding the younger baby asked me for "prayer."  I wasn't really sure what she meant so I looked at her questioningly.  She demonstrated that she wanted me to touch her child's head.  Umm...ok...I did and thanked her and told her the baby was beautiful.  She nodded and thanked me.  The people here really like it when white people hold and touch their children.  I don't fully understand why.

Once the medical van arrived, we walked back to the other end of the colony.  An old woman hurried to greet us.  She did not have any fingers or toes and she wore sunglasses.  She went around hugging each of us individually.  She was so happy and grateful to see us.  It is an amazing feeling to be loved by a stranger you have never met just because of the work you are doing.  We set up our mobile clinic and the patients started trickling in.  I was on the eye-drop station for most of today, but I did wash one patient's foot.  As I was sitting on my stool waiting for a patient, a patient was already sitting at another volunteer's station.  When Emily started to wash her foot, she pointed at the cross that hung on the wall to let us know she was Christian and performed the sign of the cross.  She then closed her eyes and began to pray.  She brought her fingerless hands together and raised them as she spoke very softly in Tamil.  She then pointed at each us (myself included) as she spoke.  She did not open her eyes.  The rest of the room was silent as we watched her.  I didn't need to speak Tamil to know what she was saying.  She was offering a prayer of gratitude.  She was asking God to bless us.  Even now, as I write this, I am overcome with emotion.  This was the most sincere offering of gratitude I have ever witnessed.  I was in tears by the time she finished her prayer.  I think we all were.  Why are we not more openly grateful?  Why do I not show my gratitude as often or as much as I should?  Am I not more blessed than she?

We provided medical services to about 10 or 12 patients today.  Some caught the disease early and have not be ravaged by it's effects.  Others are missing fingers and toes or both.  All were grateful.

On the way back to Rising Star, Anan had a little surprise for us.  Shenanigans!  He took us to Pizza Hut!  Or IPan in India ;)  It was the same though and so amazing!  A personal pan cheese pizza for me! I also experienced using an ATM today.  I felt rich withdrawing 6000 rupees (about $100).  After that, Anan took us to a different temple.  Shoes had to come off as always!  I have no idea which god this temple was dedicated to, but I was blessed nonetheless.  After the temple...well, let's just say that I have coconut cookies.  That story has to be told in person ;) Anan sang "Who Let the Dogs Out" for us again.  He is such a funny man.

Jayanthi trying to teach me Tamil
Play time was fun.  Jayanthi and Mymonisha stole my camera away from me for a while and took a lot of candid videos and pictures.  They get good photos...sometimes.  Jayanthi tried to teach me Tamil...again.  I don't think I'm a very good student.  The kids made fun of me for still having my bindi on from the temple.  They told me I shouldn't have one because I'm Christian.  Such smarty pants!  I tried to explain why I had one to them, but I couldn't.  Near the end of play time, I participated in a little group work out in the dining hall.  Pretty funny experience.  I work out at home (CrossFit Sandy!), but this humid heat literally kills me.  It was interesting to say the least.  Family time was also fun.  The coordinators reminded us that we need to be mellowing the children out so I tried reading with them.  They lost interest pretty quickly and decided to color instead.  I've heard Ranjit can speak in an American accent, but I haven't been able to get him to do it in front of me.  

When family time was over, it was time for a shower.  I headed into the girls bathroom with Amy.  She walked into her shower stall to find...a snake!  She screamed and then I screamed.  It was just a tiny green snake.  It wasn't any longer than two feet, but we were terrified of it.  Cassie tried leading it outside with a hanger, but it hissed and striked at her.  I decided to take on the snake.  I stared that thing reared it's head and tried to strike me...but it was tiny and was I was a lofty opponent.  He wasn't even close!  I used the hanger to wrangle the snake into one of our buckets.  Success!  I took the bucket to a coordinator.  She freed the little demon just outside our compound.  The others wanted to know what the screaming was all about.  And then I became known as...the snake wrangler!

Good day!

Day 11 - Complete

Firsts/Realizations: Pinch kiss!

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