Sorry for the delay in posting an update.
The last few weeks of been a whirl wind of activities…flying to Goa to see friendly faces from the states and help host/lead medical camps with our partners there and coming back to Bangalore with our partners from Goa so they could help us in teaching/leading some self-defense classes for the ladies we are in contact here. After two weeks of going full speed, today, I am stopping to “take a breath” and write!
It was so great to get out of the city life of Bangalore and into the more laid back beachy chilled life that is lived in Goa. It was also great to see faces of friends from the US, as members of our medical team were friends from Pensacola, you don’t realize how much you miss faces and the touch of the ones you love until they are there with in your reach. It was such a thrill to see Amy, Matt, Steven, and Annie but it was also very difficult to see them leave. I would never change the path that God has set me on. I praise him every day for the ways that I am growing, and for bringing friends from across the world to share in my journey as well as bringing new friends into my life to join that path, but when we have to say “phir milenge” (see you later) to those friends it is so hard and so sad. I know that they cannot stay with me as they have their own paths to follow.
Medical camps were the theme of the visit to Goa and were a great success as we saw 200+ patients throughout the 4 days. We saw many of our usual ailments that I am accustom to seeing here in India; ear infections, cough with cold and fever, skin infections, body aches and pains, and various others. The most difficult issues that we faced was in working with the local providers who will often times treat the surface of the problem and not the root cause. I have witnessed this on more than one case and it baffles me to no end due to the fact that in the states we have renowned physicians from this country in fields of neurosurgery, oncology, psychiatry, and many other specialty fields but as I witness diagnosing and prescribing here in their own country is grossly flawed. A patient with an ulcer in eye and rather than prescribing antibiotic only pain medicine. A patient with an infected boil on the arm, fever 101, and only fever reducer was given, no antibiotics again. Again I love India, the people here and what God has sent me over here to do but when working side by side with “some” healthcare providers, as I cannot lump everyone into the same pot, it can sometimes be very frustrating.
I was also getting my feet wet on leading teams. Of course I have had the pleasure of assisting in the leading our Christmas team back in January of this year, but God is really getting me to step outside my comfort zone and take the reins on things and really “BE” the leader. My vision when I was first planning my trip over here was to take a backseat ride when it came to the teams and other important responsibilities. Let me tell you something…don’t have visions like that because God has different plans for you! I knew when they told me I was going to Bangalore and that I would be handling the budget that this trip would not be an easy ride for me, but I also knew it was God’s plan as he has been whispering to me for some time now that I need to be leading teams to India instead of just being a part of the team.
I thought with the camps being over maybe life would slow down for a minute or two but I was wrong. From the day we returned to Bangalore we have been going non-stop. We returned with our partners from Goa so CK could do some self-defense training for the young women we are reaching out to. It is so exciting to see the women that I have been working with learn these new skills from CK and gain confidence in knowing that they do not have to be victims to strangers, family members or their husbands. Some were almost giddy to learn the next steps in how to properly protect themselves. To hear her tell them that God has made parts of their body as strong as a man’s body amazed them and they were all eager to use their bodies to try and break out of; bear hugs, same side wrist grabs, hair pulling, choking, and so many more threatening encounters. Many of the women and girls that we saw you could tell that they had experienced somethings similar to what we were showing them, as they were having tears in their eyes, they were so very eager to learn how to break away from particular moves that attackers may put on them, and when CK shared that it is not always a stranger that does these things but that it can be a family member many of the girls became very silent. It is heart wrenching to know that many of the young women that SB and I are coming in contact with daily may be struggling with someone abusing them. I pray that we will be a safe place that they can run to if they have the strength and courage.
This update is getting so long and my deep breath has lead me to the day SB and I leave for a relaxing trip abroad. It is time for us to start visa runs and focus a little on ourselves. So until the next update…..