Hodge-podge up-date of sorts
As I lie awake in bed at 2:00am as though it were 6:00am I figured it would be the best use of my time to catch everyone up on the happenings in our lives lately...
First of - many of you have asked if my friends, the lice Wallas, still remain. The answer is yes, they are still taking up residence on my white, dandruff ridden scalp. Upon discovery of these nasty things there were so many eggs, weekly maintenance seems to be a requirement in order for their population to be kept at bay. I think I have come to grips with the fact that during my time here, it's inevitable that they will continue and multiply (also it's probably because I often forget to take showers and I give them too long a period of time to hatch, lay eggs, etc.)... Jake thinks I'm just not taking hard-care action against them because I like him combing through and playing with my hair every few days. I think I may be beginning to agree with him. And no, I haven't yet stopped kissing kids.
I have this all over my left palm and wrist. At first we thought it was a fungus, now we just know I perspire strangely. What to do?
As many of you know, a hope of Jake and mine is to someday have a farm where we (and whomever is living with us) can live primarily off of what we plant, grow and harvest. These two trees seem like a great start... Tree 1, meet Tree 2, your future neighbor.
Speaking of trees... There is a fairly new obsession around here and I'm riding it's wave with the patients at my side. This delightful long, deep red berry is one of the most tasty treats to be found this side of the equator. It's so deliciously delightful that often you can find kids and adults alike hiding and climbing, trying to grasp the deepest, most luscious red berries. I wish I could share the name of this berry/tree with you, but as of right now - I have no clue...
Over the past weeks both Erin and I have begun implementing an exercise program for the guys here, primarily our TB patients. 6:00am breathing and stretching, 9:30am walk, 5:00pm weight lifting and 6:00pm cardio exercises... it's been a most delightful change in daily routines and disciplines.
Yesterday for the first time I went and spent time with the Sisters of the Destitute. So often women are brought to the Ashram because they are found laying in their own feces, face down on the side of the road. Although they are destitute, I don't believe that the Ashram is the best place for a woman to recover and find rest. I'm not quite sure I have figured it all out yet, but I think women need a different kind of healing than men. Since the Ashram primarily cares for men, we have made it a practice to take our women to The Sisters of the Destitute. Upon arrival we were greeted with stern but loving smiles and hugs from the sisters as well as silly and passionate greetings from the women who live there. Joyti is one whom lived with us approx. two weeks before moving there. Since I have last seen her, the 8 inch wound on her back (from laying for long on her back through wet nights in deplorable conditions) has healed almost completely, her smile comes independent without prompting and she's now speaking. We believe, due to her physical condition upon arrival that she was most likely beaten and raped numerous times and as a result now lives within the depths of spiritual pain and confusion. My prayer is that she will, in time, feel the touch of the Sisters and her community members as the touch of Jesus. For within His touch is where I believe she will be found.
Have I yet introduced you to Tony? Brought here at the plea of government hospital nurses, Tony, abandoned, burned, broken and HIV positive, was brought to the Ashram just over two months ago for continued treatment and care after an extended period of time in the hospital. Now walking independently he is speaking more often, mimicking sounds of nature and sounds from man, enchanted with birds and fan, he now is living full-time at Kids House where he has begun school and presents to be thriving through the never-ending circle of energy produced by the kids whom live there. Beautiful.
Wait - I remember now that you do know Tony, Pramod's closest friend during his time here. Which brings me to another most beautiful series of events here, patients walking out of the Ashram on their own two feet. After a healed broken leg Pramod left to go back to work (and hopefully not the streets) and Kundanlal and his son Vijay have begun their journey back to Punjab. Kundanlal and his son showed up outside of the meeting circle on a chilly Sunday morning just over two months ago. With four days of traveling on their back, and a rejection from a government hospital to receive care, Kundanlal third degree burns covering his chest, neck, hands, face and arms were bound to his shirts and jacket with puss and blood. Miraculously, he has been healed. People say they have never seen anything like it, skin which was charred is now pink and healthy, reviving itself once again. This past week they went home.
Did I ever mention that on our few days holiday last month we went paddle boating. 30 mins. paddling down a man-made, over-sized ease trough through the middle of Delhi - all for .50 cents. I know, I agree - how could we not have gone?
Life is quite a dichotomy isn't it. Creation that is. The creation of life's quirks and sick jokes such as lice and dyshidrotic. Creation of berries which inspire child-like tree climbing, hiding and hoarding. The creation of renewed hope and communities that exist solely to inspire and nurture it. And creation through life and in healing.