Four more days…

February 5, 2007

I know that every week I seem to have an “it finally feels real” moment, but today’s was the kicker. This morning, I received official word of my assignment in India: I’ll be working at Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying and Destitute in Delhi. This was the placement I had hoped for, but was never guaranteed. Now that I’m sure, my mind is finally starting to rush forward and rehearse/imagine/envision. Before today, I stared blankly at everyone who has asked “Are you so excited! Are you nervous? Can you believe it? Is it all you can think about?” I’ve been so busy with trying to order my life such that this time away is possible, and that everything will be in place when I return, that I’ve barely had time to consider the reality of the thing.

Knowing where I’m going, and what I’ll be doing has my mind racing. I need to pack comfortable, lightweighthindilessons.JPG shoes for the constant motion. I should look for my foam knee pads because I remember how the sisters love to put ‘young’ volunteers to work at cleaning the facilty. I need to bring my own box of surgical gloves, as they’re often in short supply when assisting residents with HIV and/or in need of wound care. I’ll pick up a new nail care kit and extra lotion, as personal care needs are plenty. (A generous friend dropped by with a CVS gift card last night — how great and what timing!)

I need to go through my photos to find an assortment of images to bring that show “home — photos of the people, the buildings, the landscapes, the rituals that make our lives culturally unique. I want to bring along a book of meditations by Mother Teresa that I received to start my days with. I get the sense that people assume I’m catholic and my interest in this particular place reflects a fervent background. That’s not that at all. I’m just interested in profound kindness. I recently heard an episcopal priest quote the Dalai Lama as saying “Kindness is my religion.” Amen and Namaste to that. Speaking of… I’ll need to find time to devote to my Hindi language software. Of course, there are many ways to connect without a shared language, but really, nothing beats the intimacy attempting a few phrases in a language you’re struggling with, and being gently coaxed in pronunciation by a native speaker or being the source of amusement for the recipient.


One comment

  1. …you are a vision of kindness.

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