Saturday, January 22, 2011


Things at Kalighat have turned into quite the routine by now with this Friday marking around the week and a half mark since I’ve been volunteering there. As my days of volunteering increase, I find myself only getting more frustrated with my inability to connect with the patients on a level I’d like to and what I think they would to due to the fact that I don’t speak Bengali and none of the patients speak English. This frustration always hits a boiling point in the periods where you have some free time in between duties and you notice either a group of ladies on the left wing of the building or the guys on the right wing just sitting on their benches with a look in their eyes that is asking you for something more than the smile I can offer them or the basic necessities Kalighat provides. 

Don’t get me wrong, these people at Kalighat need to get bandaged up, fed, washed, and a bed to sleep in at night and if the Missionaries of Charity didn’t provide these basic necessities to the patients, I’m certain all of them would be worse off if not dead, but I think there is a difference between keeping people alive and making people FEEL ALIVE and I guess I feel like the mission here is more about achieving the former objective than it is the latter.  Again, it’s not that I think we aren’t doing a good thing at Kalighat, but I just think we could do more that’s all and that is something I aim to try and do while I’m here. 

In delicately expressing my CARE MORE thoughts on this with Sister Mercy Maria, I think she respected where my heart was at on this, but she told me that any idea I might have would need to get approval by the head Sister at Kalighat prior to doing anything and so I will do that in the days to come.  Given how many years Kalighat has been ran like it is today, I’m fully prepared to have many of my ideas rejected for being too “radical” like the idea of getting a ping pong table for the common area or getting a radio for the patients to listen to music and if in fact that’s the case, all I can do is respect the opinion of the Sister’s even though I might disagree with it.  It is their organization after all...not mine.  

On another note, since the 2 days I’ve only been at the Salvation Army, I’d like to say I’ve already been given somewhat of a “celebrity” status as a lot of residents are very excited to see that an “American” is staying with them and as the “cherry on top” his name just so happens to be “Tyson!”  When it’s all said and done here, I’m not sure if I would have heard more honking horns or more “Mike Tyson” comments made and since my last blog of just a day ago, I’ve already had 3 more “Mike Tyson” comments and the girl from Domino’s also made a point to say I had “a very good name” and she didn’t give Dale that satisfaction when he gave his name.  Of course, by me mentioning this fact, I’m not doing it to suggest “Dale” isn’t a fine name or that “Tyson” is better than any other name or more importantly, that what your name is is of greater importance than the person you are behind your name. All I’m saying is it feels good to be Tyson right about now...that’s all.

P.S.  It might feel good to be Tyson, but I can’t say the same about being a Zag fan, as I found out the  boys lost to Santa Clara on Thursday by 14 points on the road.  Back to the drawing board!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tyson!

    Once again your post has inspired me for my day!

    Not only are you volunteering in a very overwhelming environment,but you are not satisfied with the staus quo," keeping people alive".
    Your desire is to respect the current ways plus wanting to help "make people FEEL ALIVE!" It is truely awakwening! Sometimes I get use to my routine and in a rut... thank you for reminding me that we can always do more!

    I pray that God will give you awesome ideas to share with the Sisters! By the time you come back home, the famous Tyson will not be Big Mike, it will be YOU!

    Don't forget to give my Packers a shout out tomorrow!