Renu's Week

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Report of 18 Feb '09

Hello from our living room -

Navin's math tutor is due any minute, and I have to rush. Naren's exams have started - practicals alone, theory is next month.

We are well and in the freneticism of exams. It's not clear to me where the hours go, perhaps in feeding and eating and studying and ferrying. This seems excessive to many of you, but is de rigeur for here and education is highly valued.

I stopped and had a coconut the other day. The coconut lady had her friend lying next to her, and I nearly left after eating the coconut, but the prone lady looked unwell and I asked. She had had fever, and had gone to the doctor; the doc had prescribed strong antibiotics and something for cold and cough, and the lady had an upset stomach after these meds. I explained the need to eat something before meds, a challenge in the impoverished who might not have said food, and told her to drink plenty of fluids, including the tender coconut water her friend was dispensing. A couple of days later, I swung by there again and the coconut lady said her friend had gone out of town (to her "native place") to recover, as she had not felt well yet. Malaria, dengue and chikungunya are on the rise here.

A Banyan patient and an employee, also recovered from mental illness, are tying the knot tomorrow. This is great news for us and we plan to attend. When one of our residents wants to marry, the social workers do a fine job of telling the fiance and his family all about mental illness and the couple's responsibilities; at no time is the option of marrying precluded, and this is wonderful.

Vandana and her husband, Senthil, came for dinner on Sunday and it was a lovely evening. Vandana is charismatic and funny, making for a great combination in a dinner guest or in a founder of a non-governmental organisation serving the destitute. The boys enjoyed interacting with her, too, and with Senthil.

I could not tutor my young student last week as I was unwell. I am impressed with her, for wanting to learn and for letting nothing stop her, including poverty.

Unw -



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