Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hello again,

There is no excuse for why I haven't been using the internet and why I haven't been on the computer. Except, a very slow internet. I miss VT internet.

Let me recap:

Since I have last spoken to you I have been to Pondicherry for 4 days. It was brilliant.It was nice to get away from madurai for a few days. I love Madurai. Actually, not love-like. India and I have a love/hate relationship. More like Love/Not like. One thing I can't stand is getting ripped off. As in the rickshaw drivers charge an unfair price. Sometimes there is yelling, the rickshaw driver will curse in tamil and of course I don't know what they are saying. This is all not all rickshaw drivers.

Another thing that bothers me is the driving. Or more the roads. There are speed bumps.

Okay, for a more positive note.

We (a swedish girl) named Hannah and I went to Pondicherry which is still in the Indian state Tamil Nadu. Last thursday we took an overnight bus to Pondicherry. It was a bumpy ride. But, I was able to make small talk with a man on the bunk below mine. The bus's bed was comfortable but the ride not. We'd go over bumps and well sleeping like that is hard.

Upon arrival we got a rickshaw to find a hotel. I had purposefully booked rooms in two hotels to make sure that the beds were sleepable (is that a word?) So, we first turned up at the Ganga Guest house to see it. There were not lights on so we knocked and waited a minute or so. A man came out looking very sleepy and we asked to see our room. It was nice except the beds were hard. So, we headed to the next place to see that room. The Santhi Inn. Upon arriving there and walking in Hannah and I both frowned at the smell. People were able to smoke in the hotel. When we got to our room it was okay. Not to bad. You have to be willing to pay more money for the hotels out of the guidebook. We payed r's 1000 for each night.

We then took a rest. Going without a night of sleep in India is harder then it seems. So, we slept then went to a cafe called Le Cafe. It was a sweet french cafe. A very good continental breakfast was served to us with eggs, toast, fruit salad, and tea/coffee. It made me miss western food.

After a full stomach...

We took a autorickshaw to Auroville.
Auroville is an interesting place. A bit cult like. I don't want to sound judgemental. But, it is. We looked around a bit. Spent an hour trying on clothes. Hannah, made a couple purchases and later I purchased a shirt. It is blue. Indian style.

There are many different things that I have witnessed in India:

1) I have met some of the friendliest people. Some of the sisters (nurses) are incredible people. Although, some of the medical habits aren't there best they care about me.

2) Some Indians have a different perception about white people then we do. Many rickshaw drivers will think I am rich, overcharge me.

So, sometimes you just have to get cheated (which sucks) and go on with life. Today I stood arguing with a rickshaw driver for 10 minutes about a price. I wish there was a better perception of white people.

4)Saturday morning was interesting. I called the doctor. She said rush to the hospital and see a birth happening. So, I got ready fast. Turned up the hospital she then turned up when the head was almost coming out. India is different. I held the mothers hand for what seemed like 1-2 hours. The mother delivering her third child kept saying "I can't do it". I had to remind her that she had done it before and that if she lived once through giving birth, she could do it again. Today the mother told me "Thank you for life" I felt incredibly good and like I had done something amazing. Although my part was minor I was there the whole time during the birth. I Was there to support her when her husband wasn't.

Husbands aren't allowed in the delivery room. They aren't there. When she was in labor her mother was there.

It seems like sometimes a women's job is to only be a mother. I feel so fortunate to be able to go to college, have a voice, and be equal with men. Here women aren't equal. I asked someone if women would ever be equal. She said "never." In a way it was sad to hear. But, yet again we in America are a little farther along when it come to sexes having equal rights.

5) India is all about tradition. The Sari has been around for well I believe hundreds of years. It is worn on the left side in the south of India. It is also worn on the right in the north part of India. A sari is a peice of clothe worn with an under skirt and blouse. The Sari seems to be a big peice of womanhood in India.

When a women comes wanting more children, there is still hope for more children. This is a country that underwent a Tsunami. My doctor is well educated and can help women of 45 concieve children. She helped a women of 45 have a baby, the baby is now 1 year and the women age 46.This shows that women do not give up hope to have children at a later age and that in a developing country a miracle baby can happen. So, there should not be any judgement on India's fertility research and gynecologists skills. Although there are some practices I don't personally agree with and may not be the cleanest, the doctors are still very knowledagable. They have a brilliant knowledge here.

India is an incredibly hospitable country. There is one frustration I always have and that is the language barrier. Not many Indians know english. It seems as thought the ones that have learned english in primary school or have been taught in english know english now.

Yesterday 3/9 I visited the Argulam HIV Hospice. It was an incredible place helping HIV positive children (20 of them) still have a life and get free treatment. There were 10 girls and 10 boys. The children have a very positive surrounding. They are not so secluded from the rest of the world. They still attend regular school with children that aren't HIV positive and aren't frowned upon.

They enjoyed the attention that we gave them. One girl came up to me and said "Aunty sing a song to me." I responded "Aunty?" She then replied "Sister, please sing a song". So, I sang twinkle twinkle and she shortly joined in. Her hands were in mine and there was a thought in my head: "We should all be equal. It doesn't matter whether if we have HIV or not every human being should be equal." I think it'd be nice if the world came to an understanding of what HIV people are going through. It's not these childrens fault that they have HIV.

I also learned that there are 30 million people suffering with HIV in India. I'm blown away by this statistic.

I'm still figuring out what my next plans are. Either I will be in Kenya or Ghana. Just waiting on the word. I was supposed to go to Ghana for the whole time, I then contacted my mother's friend and she said that maybe I will be working at a school there.

I am going to Kenya

That's all for now. Greetings of peace from India,