Yesterday was a big day!
The Director of Medical Services for the entire State of Chattisgaar, along with other officials, visited the hospital and granted us permission to give vaccines. Today we are acquiring a refrigerator to store the vaccines and within a few days the vaccines will begin. This is good news for the 800 babies born at this hospital each year as they will now depart for their homes inoculated. Gayatri, a new senior staff member of the hospital, set this as a goal one year ago and now we are all celebrating.
It was also a big day at the school. About 2000 people gathered in their finest clothing for a three hour program of dance and drama. Students from age 3 through grade 12 performed on an outdoor staged in front of a packed house under a beautiful tent constructed for the occasion. Nancy Lear, who was introduced to the crowds as “her excellency, the chief guest” gave a beautiful speech. For some reason she now wants us all to address her as “your excellency.”
We concluded the day by traveling to town with our “guardian angel” nurses who led us to the best fabric shops. The angels hold the hands of their American guests and guide us through the dusty streets so that we don’t step in cow poop, slip into the gutter, or get hit by a speeding motorcycle. Then we sit down for a multi course dinner of noodles, spring rolls, naan, and stir fried chick peas at Paneet. It gives us plenty of time to bond with these beautiful nurses. (Dinner for 18, including tip, was $62.50)
We all slept well, knowing that grace is no abstract concept, but a living reality in Mungeli, India.