This week’s blog consists of two eventful activities.

One week ago from today I woke up early in the morning feeling sick. I had no idea what the next few days would bring. In order to get proper medical attention, I found myself going to the hospital. Had I been feeling better, I would have really enjoyed the 45 minute motorcycle and auto ride to the hospital. Once there, I was admitted and my illness prognosis was Gastroenteritis. Over my three day stay I realized just how much I relied on my fellow Indian teammates to translate to Kannada or even to “Indian English” (my accent is hard for natives to understand). I needed to talk to nurses who couldn’t understand me, and they tried to talk to me although I couldn’t understand them. Just for pure laughs, here were a few language barrier situations I found myself in:

1)      Me – “Can I have cold water this time?”

Nurse – “The time is 11:30.”

2)      Me – “Do you have any toilet paper?”
Nurse – “Sorry?”
Me – “Like napkins?”
Nurse – “Oh, you want tissue.”

3)      Nurse – “What would you like for breakfast?”
Me – Blank Stare
Nurse – “We have”…and she names 5-6 South Indian dishes.
Me – “I’m not sure what any of these are.”
An hour or so later
Nurse – “What would you like for breakfast? We have plain pasta and sandwiches.”
Me – “Can I have the pasta please?”
For breakfast I received chewy pasta with pepper and some sauce.

4)      Doctor to my teammate in the hallway – “Is she mute?”
Teammate – “No. She speaks English.”
Doctor – “Really?! Because she is just staring at us blankly. We thought she might not be able to speak.”

So as you can guess, my trip to the hospital was quite amusing. I am also happy to report that I am back home and working again; well on my way to recovery.

The other event worth detailing was today, the 4th of July. This day wasn’t special because of the expected American holiday but because today is Helen Keller day at the Mathru school. The students prepared an entire program, and we were invited to attend. Watching the students perform and make speeches was an incredible sight. We were even asked to help present awards to students who won academic competitions within the school. After this, we served the students lunch as we had sponsored the meal for them: thanking them for all they have done for us.

So far the 4th of July has been a good day.


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