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Friday, October 29, 2010

Hi All, there hasn't been much going on at the hospital recently. It's festival season so a lot of people are on holiday or are just staying home. I have been doing pretty much the same thing I was before, just watching births and surgeries and checking blood pressures and weights, and helping with paper work. This Tuesday was a pretty exciting day though! It was a holiday called Karva Chauth. On this holiday all the women get Henna and wear alot of jewelery and bangles but they are fasting all day. At night, they have a pooja (prayer ceremony) and pray for their husbands to have a long life! Some men will also fast on this holiday for their wife. Dr. Kapoor invited a few of us to accompany her to the temple and see the traditional ceremony. They light candles and offer food and chant at the temple and then they go to the house of an elder relative of their husband to receive their blessing. As soon as the moon comes up, they are allowed to eat again and they generally will have a feast with a large amount of their family.  Right now I am planning trips to Shimla, Varanasi, Dharamshala, and Hyderabad (where I will be spending Christmas with family friends from the States). A friend and I were spending some time at the program coordinator's house today and he asked me if I would be interested in moving back to that house sometime soon and basically taking over their orphanage. There are a few volunteers there but they are leaving soon and there is a care taker for the children but she isn't very strict with them and she will need some help once the four other girls go home. They would need help getting up and ready for school in the morning and they need someone to cook for them and help them study. There are 6 orphans there now and they are looking into taking in additional children soon. I'm a little sad to be missing out on Halloween, but we do have a holiday coming up called Diwali, which is similar. The girls and I have planned a Halloween movie party this weekend and are looking forward to that! Have a great weekend everyone, Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hi All, I have so much to write about! The past few days have been lots of fun. Wednesday, Michelle and I went to work at the hospital. Later in the day the Doctor and I started talking about Temples I had been to and she suggested one that was near the hospital and Rinki, one of the nurses, offered to take us. It was close to the temple and was very beautiful. It was a Shiva Temple, so all the statues and pictures and shrines inside and outside are of  or dedicated to Lord Shiva. I did not have my camera with me that day but I will be able to borrow some from Michelle later on. When we got home the other girls in the house wanted to go to the market and the Temple near our house. While we were at the Temple, we met two girls who live in Faridabad. They took us around the Temple and we found out that it is an Ashram as well. They invited us in and we got to meet one of the men who runs the program for the students there and he also introduced us to the owner of the Temple. They continued showing us around and we were invited to attend a prayer. They were having a prayer to the Goddess of Strength. There were many people in the room and we were brought to sit in the front. They were singing, chanting, and offering fire to the Goddess. After the prayer they took us to the grave of the founder of the Temple. He is buried outside the Temple and it is under where he used to live. They changed his walls to glass and people also gather around the site to worship. Before we left, one man invited us to come back today because there would be a big celebration for the holiday Navratri. Friday, all six of us in the house decided to go to Delhi. We went to the Akshardham Temple first. It was so beautiful and the girls who have been said that it was even more impressive then the Taj Mahal. We were not allowed to bring cameras inside so I will post a picture from the internet. After the temple we went shopping in Connaught place and Sunder Nagar. Sunder Nagar was a lot of fun. Most of us had never been there before. It is another shopping center like Connaught Place, but quite a bit smaller. They have an amazing Tea House, were we all spent quite a bit of time, and a lot of interesting antique stores. This morning we woke up and got ready to go to the Temple for the celebration. There were hundreds of people from all around Faridabad. Some were worshiping in the Temple, some walked around, and some listened to a speech at a service by the Guru at the temple. We decided to do all three. After the ceremony we were brought into another part of the Temple and we sat around a fire and offered rice and oil into the fire while prayer chants were being read. After this we were brought to the Guru and were given a blessing by him. There were many reporters there and we were interviewed by one at the end. When we got back we had lunch and today is Kate's last day so she went to the market to do some last minute shopping and get a Henna Tattoo. Now we are going through pictures and plan to watch a movie later and maybe plan trips for later on in our stays. Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hi everyone! I have been pretty busy lately, but everything is going great! The hospital is still alot of fun. Not much there is new but we have gotten to see a few more births and surgeries. I spent the last two weekends in Delhi with friends. Last weekend I went alone to meet up with some friends that I met a few weeks ago. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet new people from Germany, Romania, Columbia, and Poland as well. This weekend I traveled with Allison and Joty and we went to watch the Common Wealth Games. We were planning on watching Gymnastics and Swimming but they were both sold out. We ended up getting tickets for Track and Field on Saturday, which was still fun to watch. It lasted about two hours and the events were both Mens and Womens; Hurdles, 200M, 400M, Discus, and Long Jump. After it was over we went shopping and got lunch in Connaught Place, which is the main shopping center in Delhi. When we got back today we helped Joty pack all of her things. She left today to spend a month in Punjab with her aunt and uncle that live there. We are headed to have lunch now and hopefully I will have another Hindi lesson later on. I will put pictures up soon! Have a good day!