Today my roomie/co-worker Rosie took me on a ride through Guwahati on the scootie! First we stopped by the hospital to visit one of our favorite patients and so I could check on the discharges (I have already learned that a day off isn't a day off, you always find yourself here somehow. Projecting 60-70 hour weeks) Then we rode along the river front down into a quieter part of the city. It was much calmer and the breeze felt good on the back of the scootie. I may need to take the plunge and buy one so I have a bit of independence as opposed to relying on a driver. For the rest of the day I alternated lounging around with exploring the area immediately around my flat. So far the food has been great and the people even greater! Then I took a nap as I had to work a night shift! I woke up and was invited out to dinner before I had to head to the hospital and of course I obliged. I can't remember its name but it was traditional Indian food and just what I needed before a long night.
As I was sitting in the ward reading while our only 2 patients slept, a patient from the ward we share came over to me. He handed me packets of medicine and asked which was the one for pain (many times here the patients are responsible for going out and buying medicine for themselves while in the hospital). I looked it over and recognized 2 of the medications but the third I wasn't familiar with. The local nurse said this was pain medicine. As he walked away he handed me this note:
Because it is hard to read here is what it says:
"My Hope. 8/5/11
Sister. I go to your country with family. Please give me a job from your country. I'm a good worker. My jobs name, pilot, painter, bricks worker, and polish and copy. ____ worker. I'm a Indian my resident is west bengal Alipurduar, newsoraganj, district Jalpaiguri. My age 36. My name is Samkar Sarkar. I love my country and others country. Sister please help me."
Guh, I think my hear just broke in a thousand pieces. He doesn't ask for money or food, he asks for a job. He laid on his bed at 230am and hand wrote a resume in damn good English too. This is place fills me up in so many ways but breaks me down in many others. The people are so beautiful, kind and genuine but the poverty and desperation is deep. I came here to help change he lives of these children, to give them a better chance a a normal Indian life but I still feel so limited. I love the work I am doing but I worry that it is not enough :/
After my shift was over I headed home on a tuk tuk and ate a yummy omelette! I am trying to will myself to sleep but I'm still hungry!!