Lots of sweet little updates, most of which happened yesterday!
Firstly, Happy Saraswati Puja! I am actually not sure if that is usually a well wishing but I sure did walk around saying it all day! Saraswati is the goddess of education/knowledge and yesterday it was all about her! As we started a mission yesterday, I didn't get a lot of time to learn about her in depth but the basics are that she always wore a beautiful white saree, seated on a lotus flower and holding an instrument. What this translates loosely to is that on Saraswati Puja the girls and women dress in their finest sarees and walk about town, going to schools for visits then performing puja. I remember arriving to Guwahati last year on this holiday, unaware of it being a holiday and being totally blown away by ALL of the women walking about in gorgeous dress! This year I participated as best I could. Half way through the surgery screening process I ducked out and put on the saree I bought in Jaipur then headed back to work! I have to admit, I love walking around in a saree and find it quite comfortable though different. I am not used to exposing my back and stomach but would wear shorts any given day! After screening, I went for coffee, walked to visit a friend and then walked to visit another friend! It was such a fun day!
Yesterday was Saturday so as planned we went back to the slums to check in with the family of the girl (Hasima) who needed to see a doctor. This was also an opportunity to check in on Anjuna (who by the way actually has the name Asbanu, but I'll keep referring to her as Anjuna...) to see how she is feeling after what happened Thursday. I was greeted with this:
So I think that everything is okay. Doesn't she have the warmest smile and brightest eyes? I felt so much better after hanging out with her for a bit yesterday. She walked with us to meet the family and after a good bathing, the girl and her mother went to the hospital with us. Along with the two of them, four or five other kids trailed along to hang out. I took Hasima to our pediatrician to be evaluated. He didn't feel that she warranted a hospital admission, which was reassuring. He ordered some basic labs, liver labs, an abdominal ultrasound and TB test. Unfortunately, we couldn't take them to the testing center right away so we let them go eat lunch with the promise they would come back after. They didn't come back :( I am not surprised, nor am I discouraged. Tomorrow morning I will go back, retrieve them again if they like and have them in the center until testing time. I am just happy that the mother and father trusted us enough to even be seen. Next we will take another small step forward as they are comfortable.
Meanwhile, outside the hospital the friends that trailed along were treated to a special/surprise lunch with Rosie! She took them to the bakery where they were allowed to pick out one lunch item and one sweet. They were hesitant to step in at first but became more than comfortable after stepping through the door. Rosie showed me the pictures, and I couldn't help but giggle! She said she expected them to want to take their food outside to eat but instead settled down right at the bar table along the window. They were lounging and totally enjoying themselves! What a sweet surprise for them!
Also! I made some new friends (that are actually my age) this week. On Wednesday night Kelly and I were at the market buying the supplies for the kids' meals when two soccer players from Africa started talking to us. We have all hung a out a few times and they are so fun! They are from Nigeria and travel all around India playing for a club team. It is always nice to meet people from new places!