Saturday, September 3, 2011
The ride over was pretty comical. We were so exhausted and we cram everyone on the buses even when there is no more seating. I usually take the ground because it’s no big deal. Today it was sweet to have the ground though because we just laid out and all fell asleep. It’s crazy but I have actually gotten to the point where I enjoy the traveling. It’s nice to have time together and the bus ride is smoothing and gives down-time for reflection. It also allows you to see the sites of India. I am known for crashing hard on the bus. I feel like a little kid again when I would zonk out hard as soon as I went horizontal.
I was worried about getting dehydrated because we are out in the heat shopping and we sweat like beasts. So I downed a huge water bottle and then when we were about there, I had to go to the bathroom EXTREMELY bad. I asked where there was a bathroom and there wasn’t one anywhere. They have yet to have them on any of our trips. It’s not like America where there are public restrooms or anything. This was one time I was grateful that shopping is more of a stressful rather than fun/relaxing thing for me. When you are relaxed, your body is in it’s parasympathetic mode which is used for “rest or digest”. That’s when your body relaxes and can sleep or go to the bathroom. But when your body is in a stress mode it goes into sympathetic mode. This is your “fight or flight” mode and your body won’t allow your body to go to the bathroom in it. Thankfully, I didn’t think about how badly I had to use the bathroom once. Greatest blessing.
I got some great stuff and some of the things were stone carvings. There was this man who was so nice and we all went to him for our carvings. He was amazing and carved all of the stuff from hand himself. I was in absolute shock of him. Kim asked him if he had any eyes that she could buy. He replied that he didn’t but that he could make her one. She gave him some vague instructions and it turned out awesome! I was blown away and we absolutely loved him. This is a picture of Kim and the man and his son.
We ended up loving it. The boat was super wabbly and sketch and just screamed India. There were 3 boys to man it – one to stand with us, one to hardcore hold the motor, and one to sit in the front.
On the way home, we stopped off at a little shop and ate paroti. The supervisors, Kim and Derek, were so excited because they love this stuff. Its almost like a mix between a tortilla and a croissant but doughier. They serve it with an egg full of onions and some dipping sauce. I didn’t love the dipping sauce but thought the paroit was pretyy delicious.
We were all struggling with the hardness of the floor and the extra weight of the kdis. It was pretty difficult to get comfortable. I ended up going and sitting in the back so I could stretch my legs out and hang out with whoever was back there and needed some more attention. The kids kind of bounced around and I spent time with a lot of them. This cute little boy marimarion, who is about 6, cuddled up with me for a few minutes and it was very sweet.
It was a very great but exhausting day. The drive to Mamallapuram was the usual 2 hours each way. And then shopping in the sun and heat and being at the beach really took its toll. I crashed when I got home but had a great day. Movie night was awesome.
Friday, August 26, 2011
I thought vaccines would be a not so fun experience because I never like poking kids in the hospital. You know you are helping them in the long run, but in the moment you are just hurting them . They learn to hate you and are very scared of you. I had some young kids in the hospital in the US that would start screaming bloody murder the second the door handle even moved because they were so scared it was a nurse. But this was the exact opposite --it was so hilarious and fun!
Sadly, there were a few kids that were legitimately scared. We had to hold them down to keep them still. Some kids were so terrified that it took 3 of us to hold them down. That part is never fun.
There is this one boy, Basha, that I have mentioned before. He just baffles me with how full of love he is. I gave him his shot and then I usually high five them after and say “we are all finished, super!”. (everyone says super and finish) Instead of giving me a high five, he jumped up and gave me the biggest hug. He is probably the sweetest boy I know here even though he is like 10.
We did have 2 things happen that were a bummer. One of my favorite kids, Yebenezzar, was about to get a shot. I specifically picked him out to give him his shot because I love him so much. I let my emotional part come to the front instead of my technique because I was have so much fun with him. I had him roll up his sleeve, but I didn’t even realize that he had barely rolled it up. I ended up giving him his shot in the middle of his upper arm instead of at the top of it. And I gave it to him at a bad angle. I ended up poking him and then having the needle poke out of his skin at another spot and have a few drops of the vaccine fluid come out onto the floor. He grimaced and my heart sank.
One of the reasons the injections were so funny is because we threw everything that we have every been taught about pediatric nursing out the window. You always try and give the kids choices to make them feel like they’re in control, you don’t rush giving them shots if they are beyond terrified, and you avoid holding them down like the plague and try to coax them instead. Lastly, if a kid ever asks for a band-aid, even if they don’t need one, you ALWAYS give the child one. None of that happened here. In fact, it was beyond the exact opposite. Band-aids are a resource here and they are the equivalent of having candy. We only gave the kids who were bleeding a band-aid. This makes it sound really harsh but I promise it wasn’t -- the kids were happy and they still love us.
I peed on my foot again this morning. I know it’s hard to believe but I thought it was kind of cool. When I first got there and I peed on my foot, I was disgusted and horrified. Now I was like “eh, nothing a little water can’t fix”.
The Indian work ethic is insane. These people are probably the hardest working people I have ever known. And the woman do it so beautifully while they are wearing saris and lots of jewelry. Every time we ever offer to help, people always say no and laugh at us. I think they feel like “it’s my work, so it’s my duty and I’m capable.” Sometimes I wonder if they think it’s condescending that we offer. Like we are implying that they need help. I don’t think this is the case though because they always smile at us when we offer.
At family time tonight, the girls were enjoying playing with my hair. I took it out of its bun and asked “does anyone want to brade my hair” Immediately, like 5 girls jumped up. Always so many volunteers for anything—its actually quite cute. Anyway, I let Theresa braid my hair.
They only do a trim on the ends every once in a while. I asked if it was religious or beauty and she said “to be pretty”. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
The most tender thing about family time was when I walked in on them about to pray. Some of them are Christian and others are Hindu. V-Davy led a prayer of like 6 girls. They filled up this little cup with water and then all put their hands on it. They invited me to join in and then say the prayer. It was very special.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Every morning we go to the laundry room and pick out our chudidars (top and bottom). You find ones that are more comfy, breathe easier than others, and just fit well. I found an outfit that I love and have worn it twice.
When we were working in the clinic, there were some quotes pretty neat quotes on the whiteboard. They said “We treat, God heals”, “success= tons of discipline, hard work and prayer”, and “Humility and service are accurate measures of true greatness”.
I broke out of my shoe-wearing shell and just wore flip flops today. It was like heaven on earth! I swear I was at least 8 degrees cooler and it just made me feel more chillax. Now that I have started sandals, I am most definitely staying with them. It’s like that saying “once you go black, you never go back.” Kiss the shoes goodbye baby.
Family time was pretty fun tonight. I have started talking to the girls individually and getting to know them. My professor, Cheryl, made a really good point the other day. She said that we can walk around and do all of our service and everything, but the way you really get to know India and make a difference, is by talking to the people. That hit me really hard. I am here giving it 100% but until I take the time to really know the people, I am just observing India, rather than taking part. I talked to a few of the girls and really bonded with them while getting to know them.