Sept 3 Ganesh festival – Elephant Goddess
Woke up probably around 4 and determined I would not get up. Next thing I know… Joan came in at 7:45 and woke me up. Ugh, I could not wake up. We had a rice spaghetti noodle for breakfast with bean chili to go on it. And the usual 3-in-1 coffee (coffee, cream, sugar). We walked to Holy Spirit Hospital to meet with a nurse from yesterday but due to a communication glitch, she was not expecting us and was working. So we will return at 3:45.
1:45 now. We had lunch at the kabob place just outside our gate. It was very good, and air conditioned! Don’t I sound like a rich American snob? I wore my sari today… tore out one line of stitching on each side of the blouse so I could breath. It is so interesting how they sew the blouse with several lines of stitching so you can adjust the fit. The cook here at S_____ House helped me get it adjusted right.
The sweat was just running down my back as we walked to the hospital. The skirts were sticking to my legs so I had to use both hands to hold it away. But the shop owner at the stationary store told me I looked so much better today. I think when I went there the other day I was dressed in American clothes. So isn’t all the sweating worth it?
I got to see an elephant goddess- Ganesh- procession today while we were eating lunch. I’d heard so much about it and I wanted to see. I took video and several pictures. There were only men around the cart with the idol so I hesitated to get too close. Other men were taking photos, but I wanted to be careful. One man asked another to move so I could get a better picture, so I guess it was OK for a white woman to take photos. He had a large splash of red color on his forehead. Several of the band members and dancers around the idol also had red powder all over their heads and shoulders.
A___ came in and joined us for lunch. He told us you can buy the elephant god/goddess and even haggle about the price of the god. Ashok calls it “God for purchase”.
This morning at breakfast he told us the biggest women’s health issue was aborting the 3rd child if it is not a male. Family size is limited so the family will insist that an ultrasound be done, at great expense. Depression in women often follows. Or it may lead to “accidental” in kitchen fires in which the woman dies. This is not a problem as much in Christian families. We saw signs in hospitals that read, “The sex of the baby is determined by the father of the baby.” Trying to educated people that it is not the woman’s fault that she cannot have a boy child.
Friday, Sept 5, our last day in Mumbai. We went to visit the S___ A___ to learn about their HIV home for children, but actually saw a home for children of prostitutes. Then we went to ACTS – Association of Cx Thoughtfulness, the ministry that G____ works with at the HIV outreach ministry at A____ FMC. We talked with the doctor, attended part of a Bible study with HIV affected men and women, bought material for another Punjabi from an HIV+ woman.
Sept 6 Sat 2008 Ahh, U___i! I’m back! Horray! Every new day your glory unfolds!
It’s so green! It looks like a different place from when I was here in February. And it’s much hotter!
We had a tour of the hospital, and it was hopping – quite a contrast to when we were last here. There were 14 inpatients and many people sitting around waiting for the outpatient clinic to open.
Sept 7, Sun early am. I awakened early and the power went off about 6 am so the fans stopped and it got warm lying in bed. As I sit here in “my rocker” on the veranda I can enjoy the peace and tranquility, although the crows are doing their best to make a racket. Roosters are crowing and several other birdcalls are heard. But the best thing is the quiet background because the loudspeakers from the temples in the village are silent. I know they don’t play all day, but it seems to be a constant droning in the background.
Thank you Lord Jesus for these moments of peace. I love you. I want to live all out for you. Show me what that means today. I need your Holy inspiration for what to share in church this morning. Do you have any message I can bring to your people here in the church in Umri?
Sun. bedtime. Well, you helped me greatly this morning… thank you, Thank You. I spoke on Ephesians 4:1-6. I need to count on your help for teaching tomorrow because I am not looking forward to it.
Today we did church, had a baptism, took photos, ate lunch, chatted, prep for women’s meeting at 4 p.m. tea, tried to call Mitch but he couldn’t call me back, prep for tomorrow. Meet with Dr. P. Supper, meet with Amirson and Esther. Washed out clothes. Ready for bed.
Sept 9 Having trouble keeping track of the days. I am especially foggy this morning. Tomorrow I am bringing devotions for the hospital staff. Lord, give me words to speak. You were faithful to me on Sunday. I will keep my faith in you to give me your word for the staff and the nursing school.
I feel a cool breeze, must be raining nearby. Lord, send more rain. My Indian bro and sisters need more rain. Yeah, it is raining.
Sept 11 Thurs.
Waiting for the car to be secured for transport to Yavatmal. We’ve been ready for an hour but after they piled all the suitcases on the vehicle, they had to come up with a tarp as it looks like rain, and then a rope to secure it. Praise God we had lots of rain last night. I just went for a walk out to the front of the hospital compound and took pics of the water buff mowing the lawn.
September 12 Yot…mal My what a full day. We had great discussion after breakfast about our trip – starting to wrap up. Then the retreat from 10 – 4, the Dean of the Medical College attended along with head of the Pediatrics, and microbiology. 2 matrons (head nurses) from the Medical college also.
Our seminar was followed by a tour of a hospital. Wow! Overflow patients on the floor, 30 – 60 patients for 1 nurse. No nursing assistants or MPS – multipurpose workers, which they have in the rural areas. Spit staining every wall in the hallways from the hip down. ICU with one patient and spouse, but no nurse!
Then a tour of a private hospital and what a dramatic contrast. Only 6 patients/room. Many semiprivate rooms and deluxe and even super deluxe (private room with air conditioning I think). We met with the hosp administrator and received flowers. They were taking photos of us non-stop. It was something. The nurse that took us on the tour was attending our retreat and was so proficient. She seemed well respected.
September 13 Sat
Another day of seminar. Helene’s on today with “What do you value about nursing”. Kalpana just gave us all a necklace! The Bombay lady gave me bangles, yesterday Kavita gave me the necklace off her neck… how embarrassing! It is beautiful but I learned my lesson… do not directly complement on anything! I knew that…
Praise the lord, once again the rain followed tea time so we could take tea out in the courtyard.
These were the responses were to my presentation yesterday.
What do you do in your church that promotes health?
Grow in faith, build ourselves up spiritually, pray for each other
Lift spirits with songs and worship
Reach out to children without parents at hostels and orphanages
Helping out in disaster areas
Caring for the needs of the poor, beggars
Check blood pressures, blood sugars, in homes of church people
The sound of the band outside was so loud it drownded out the person speaking on the microphone. When we were here in Feb is was also festival time with the loud speakers in the street playing constantly. How does India get anything done with all the festivals?
Joan and I both remarked that our hands feel dirty all the time.
Sunday September 14
Surprise at church this morning… Danny, our interpreter from Umri was the preacher. He was full of it. I probably could have heard him from my bed in our house down the street. The service was not in English, but the children’s skit was. We brought greetings, of course. We were brought up front and introduced and presented with flowers. Helene preached a sermon and I spoke about Parish Nursing. I now see how I should have taken more opportunities to mention Parish Nursing…. Give me your mind, O Lord.
I tried to learn some Maranthi. They sang Savior like a Shepard and I picked up some of the chorus, Blessed Jesus…Mayo Jesu, donya Jesu; bi-ti ya ee- wy___ ___.
I asked Jos about the program the govt has to protect female births. If a mother has one girl child and gets a tubal, the govt deposits Rs. 4000 (about $100) for the girl’s education which she receives when she reaches 18. If a woman delivers a second girl child and has a tubal, each girl receives Rs. 2000 deposit. If a boy child is born, nothing is granted. This policy has been in effect about 10 years.
Monday we flew to New Delhi to see another face of India. We drove past the place where some of the bombing took place last Saturday.
Tuesday we took a 4 hour car ride to the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. It was spectacular.
Then I came home…