Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Not sure what means I’ve hit the wall over here more, the fact that I’d gladly take up the offer of babysitting 8 crying toddlers over having to hear the traffic around here, me trying to find peace and quiet at a mall yesterday, or the fact that I couldn’t even escape the streets of Kolkata for 5 hrs in my sleep as I had beggars asking me for rupees in my dreams last night.  

I’m exhausted, cranky, homesick, have about 10 bites on my ankles from who knows what and I truly think how I’m feeling right now is as close as I can get to feeling what every female goes through during that “time of the month.” Of all places where I can find shelter from the chaos of Kolkata is actually in Kalighat volunteering with the “dying and destitute” and I’m actually glad I can say that because it’s a testament to how well things are going over there right now.

With me taking the day off on Monday from volunteering, I used it as an opportunity to try and round up some gadgets that I could take to Kalighat to entertain the patients with.  A squirt gun, nerf gun, magic balls I can’t seem to make “magical,” and a mind teaser game that has proven to be more of a bully than it is a “tease” later and I officially have some stuff to work with now.  On Tuesday, I decided to kind of throw a “feeler” out there with bringing something into Kalighat and I decided that the “squirt gun” would be the right toy for the job.  With every squirt of the gun, I can gladly say there was a wet face here and there and also a smile that followed and so that was nice to see.  One of the Sisters even grabbed the gun and went around squirting all the patients and I think you would have had a hard time determining who was having more fun...the patients or the Sister.  When a girl from the group discussion on Sunday told me “don’t underestimate the power of a simple touch or holding of hands,” I say don’t underestimate the power of a squirt gun and CARING MORE.

Although during orientation I expressed an interest in jumping around a bit from center to center over the next 4 months, today’s volunteering has made me reconsider this desire as I’m starting to build more of a relationship with a lot of the patients.  Today, I even got a massage from a patient....A MASSAGE...and that just shows you how big of hearts some of these patients have.  Even with the language barrier between the patients and I, I get a sense that a friendship is slowly forming between us and just as much as I think the patients could use a friend, I could too and switching centers would only leave me feeling like I left Kalighat only to see a daisy grow when more time could have produced a rose.  

Well...off to the streets to lose my mind and get some dinner!  Until next time and Go Packers! 

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