Catherine's India Blog
We are running around like crazy, getting the last "bits" done that include finishing up my vaccinations. These include typhus, hepatitis, polio booster and a series of three rabies shots. One in seven dogs has rabies, and a high percentage of the monkeys do also. I visited India for a short time prior to this trip and all of these aren't necessary but since I will be living there for four months these are recommended.
Many folks have made gifts of computers for us to take and a few of these we have had to clean off and get ready for fresh use. We are assembling medical supplies as well. The hospital can use everything, but they have specifically asked for latex gloves (which they sterilize and reuse), intravenous set ups, syringes and needles, Foley catheter trays, and special TB masks made in the U.S. for infectious disease.
We are also getting our house ready. A friend (who is also a handyman) and his family will be staying in our house, so I want to get it ready for them.
Dharamsala is in north India (at the base of the Himalayas) so it will be cool in Sept and October, turning colder in November and December. Many cafes and restaurants are there, as it is center internationally known by climbers as well as seekers and wanderers. It is the official “Tibetan Government -in -Exile" Center/Headquarters known as Gangchen Kyishong. Namgyal Monastery is the residence of the Dalai Lama. His Holiness the Dalai Lama travels quite extensively, but will be in Dharamsala in October and December and he will give several public lectures while we are there.
We will be living in two rooms at the hospital, with use of a bathroom and a shower down the hall. They told us to bring sleeping bags because it is cold there. We can have our meals there (and they are vegetarian) at the hospital.
If anyone is interested in volunteering, I will obtain information while I am there and post it here. For example, I know there are schools for learning English and they are always looking for volunteers. Have you been to that part of the world already? If so, please let me hear of your experiences there and any helpful hints! If you have any questions, please write them to me.
Tom and I leave Thursday at midnight for China. We will visit our son there for five days and then fly to Delhi and make our way to Dharamsala. We arrive there September 22nd.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Tashi delek (a phrase used in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan & Sikkim) "May many good things come your way.”
photo by Jonathan Berger for Friends of the Tibetan Delek Hospital