Lots of silliness at the old work place this week! We have started recruiting patients from a few new districts which seems to be equalling many young children with unrepaired lips. Add that to the handful of volunteers that have come for the "mission week" and you have a party! The work place has been a little stressful lately, long hours, long weeks, new responsibilities. As I am doing less hands on care (giving it over to the local nurses) I have been making it a point to visit the patients through out the day. If I even feel a tiny twinge of stress I go out to the child life area and sit down to play even if just for five minutes. These three munchkins were the first cases done yesterday and all of them were just making me smile ear to ear. The first little boy (on the left) was so serious and stoic but enjoyed his coloring time! The little girl on the right walked right into the operating room then in the recovery room she insisted on feeding herself juice, arranging her blankets, fixing up her IV line and lounging around. Then there is the little lady in the middle picture. I have not met a personality quite like hers. Pre-operatively I was playing with her when out of nowhere she made the craziest face! It turned into a back and forth of face making that lasted until she walked through those operating room doors. That evening I went down to visit her and she was only funnier! She was going wild, as if she hadn't even had surgery that day. She had my hand in a death grip and told me I wasn't allowed to go! We were making silly noises, crazy eyes and she was pinching my cheeks like I was a chubby little baby! The silliness only ensued this morning and I wondered if this is what she is like here, imagine what a handful she is at home!
On the team bonding day the student team came over and cooked meals for Asha Guwahati, we went down to the tracks and the passing of the food went so smoothly! What a good team they made and I was so grateful for their help and support. After, we headed to the river for the boat cruise/dance party. As always, I danced away then had to hear about it for the next few days haha. Afterwards, we headed to Umananda Temple aka the monkey temple. It was perhaps the best experience I have ever had at a temple. My friend/coworker who is Hindu explained everything to us, and as we were blessed we weren't asked for a ridiculous donation. It is quite a problem, that you receive the tikka mark or do puja then are asked for hundreds of rupees. It makes me really uncomfortable, especially after watching many locals give a much smaller donation. This temple didn't even force the subject and I gladly gave a small donation. There were a few monkeys which I really enjoyed staring at but overall, the blessing experience was the highlight.
Last night we had a group dinner at my favorite little restaurant around the corner from where I stay. I don't know why or how but the music they were playing might as well have been taken straight from my ipod. I have a huge memory association with music and it hearing some of those songs last night really made me emotional. I think the fact that it was late and I was hungry only made the situation worse. First they played "Only if For a Night" by Florence + The Machine then 'Skinny Love' by Bon Iver and then "Hello I'm In Delaware" by City and Colour. I can not emphasize enough how out of the ordinary it is that I would be hearing this songs, this music is not popular hear and I have never heard this genre played in public. It was so unexpected that when the City and Colour song came on I got super lost in my own thoughts so much so that my friend noticed and asked me what I was thinking about. I told him the music made me think of the states and a different time in my life. He looked at me and said "We are family, I am your brother for when you are missing home." SO SWEET. I immediately welled up with tears and had excuse myself to step outside. He came out to check on me/cheer me up then brought me back inside. As I sat back down I became so thankful to have friends here. My guy friends are the sweetest men in my life. They know how to be friends and wanting nothing more than that. I find it extremely hard to find that in the states. SO thankful for Shamir and his sweetness (though as he left dinner, he made a crying face at me to tease me haha).
On a related by random note, I have been eating with my hands quite a lot. Cultural immersion at its finest.