Renu's Week

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Report of 4 Nov 2018

Good evening!

The monsoon is here.  There are grey clouds in the sky; we had 1 day of heavy rain last week and more may come.  South Tamil Nadu has received more rain.  We need the rain; regretfully, many areas flood and the impoverished are put to tremendous hardship. 

Kovalam had some great news last week.  When I walked in, there was a taxi parked in front.  Not many people come by car, and I enquired.  Some relatives of a recently rescued patient had come to get her.  She had been homeless and on the street near one of our rented homes; our "Home again" program situates a few patients in rented houses, they run affairs in their own homes under the guidance of a staff member.  It is working very well.  Only visionary people like Vandana and Vaishnavi - the founders of the Banyan - can come up with ideas like these.  The staff member at the house near where this patient, Ms. X, was "living" had requested her to come in, and Ms. X had declined.  Persistently.  The staff member had then taken her food, and then sent a photograph of her to the social worker.  Said social worker showed up, and Ms. X agreed to accompany her to our Health Center, requesting the first staff member to accompany her.  She then revealed details of her family, contact was made through the police and 7 - yes, glorious 7 - of her relatives showed up to take her home.  Interestingly, she is related to one of our senior social workers; that came out in the quest to find her family.  We met the family, I got all choked up when thanking them.  We examined the patient, found her in good health overall except for matted hair, and sent her on her way.  This patient is older - maybe early-60's.  In the course of introductions, I was introduced to her mother and was in awe that she had come, made the 6-hour trip to reunite with her daughter; that all our patients should have such loving families, people who seek them, who are happy to find them, who would take them home.  This patient had been missing for 10 years.  When Scott heard that, he said "Wow," and I said, "We are a Wow kind of place." 

One of our clinic patients at Kovalam and I ended up discussing family, and he asked if my husband was 70 years old; I said no, that he was 57.  He then said, "You yourself must be well over 50," and I said I was 55.  Scott laughed when told this whole exchange.  I told him that I'd take a shovel to the clinic next time, that we'd put one foot each in the hole I'd dig. 

Adaikalam is also fine.  A couple of people are resigning and attempts are being made to find replacements.  Our music fan continues to bop along to old Tamil songs, to our unbridled delight. 

We now have facilities in Tiruchi and Kerala, and various state Governments have come to learn our model, to be replicated elsewhere.  The stigma surrounding mental illness must be removed; it is, after all, an illness, treated with medication and TLC.  As other illnesses are.  I got a call from our Tiruchi coordinator; she runs the show well and we went over some medical issues.

Scott and I went to see a Tamil movie called "Vada Chennai."  I like the actor, Dhanush; he has done well but the movie was jarringly violent.  Last week, we had lunch with my brother and his family at their house.  His wife is a very warm and hospitable lady, and his daughter had just returned from a school trip to NASA in Orlando, where she was part of the group that won a robot-programming contest.  I asked if her interest in science was piqued after this trip and she answered in the affirmative.  It is lovely when children can afford to go to wondrous places and learn marvellous things.  It was a splendid afternoon, with sumptuous food, lovely company and lots of chatter and laughter. 

We got to hang out with 1 boy this morning and that was nice.  I like seeing both, we take what we can get.  I also swam this week; our apartment apparently has 2 pools, the manager suggested this one as my usual one (on the 9th floor) is under renovation, and this second one (on the 2nd floor) is easily the cleanest I have seen on any side of the planet.  It was fabulous to swim and swim.  Regretfully, a woman in a swimsuit - albeit the competition kind, with shorts-like coverage - tends to attract the wrong kind of attention, so I have had to request Scott to accompany me. 

Diwali is 2 days away.  May the festival of lights bring you good health, prosperity and joy!

Unw -



Post a Comment

<< Home