Saturday, November 24, 2007

I was not naked!

I'm sorry everyone for the long silence I have been sick since Wednesday afternoon, and have stayed in my bed for most of the time since then. All Thursday I was week and my head hurt and then in the evening I thought I felt a little better so I went with a few Frenchies and got some food. Which proceeded to exit my body in all directions and ways that were unpleasant throughout that evening. My throat being very sore from so much vomit I was unable to drink even water for about 15 hours. Not that I was even able to hold water when I forced myself to drink for fear of dehydration. Nope, it was amazing how it just went right through me. It was like pouring it down a drain! Sickest feeling I ever felt. I sucked salt off of some nuts and forced a banana into my stomach on Friday and haven't vomited since, though the other exit was still a problem till I took some Imodium. I felt much better this morning and so I wobbled myself to the Internet to call home and Fella, and update emails and blog. Which is where you find me now!

Now, where did I leave off... Ah, yes my perfect day!


On Monday I woke as usual at about 5:25, dressed and walked to Mother House for Mass. Mass was beautiful as it always is, and afterwards I again spent a little time with Mary and my Rosary and Green scapular intentions as I had the day before, then proceeded down to Chai and bread. It was while I was eating my bread that Sr. Karina came to me and asked if I would like to do something "special" that day. She wanted only 3 volunteers to help with a distribution project the Sisters were doing in a suburb. She asked if my fellow teacher, who was sitting next to me would mind if I went with the Sisters for the day and not to my class, and of course it was ok with her. So, I got to join 2 other volunteers and 2 sisters and 2 novice's in a MC ambulance filled with several 200 lbs bags of rice, sugar, and dal, boxes filled with large jugs of oil, boxes with bars of soap, bags filled with new clean towels, and off we went to the sisters in the suburb! It was about 8:30am when we reached our destination a serene little convent type place surrounded by walls and housing dozens of mentally disabled women who were most all abandoned by their husbands and thus went mad. (This is what I was told and so I believe it, though I suspect that many of the women were probably already a bit mad before their husbands left them.)

When we arrived we started to all work together to tug at and drag the large bags of food into the pavilion and through the garage doors. (Think LARGE shed, or medium airplane hanger, type building) We unloaded the ambulance and then set to work dividing all the grain and other things into nice little bags and then into nice plastic buckets. Pretty buckets! All bright red, blue and green I estimate holding about 2.5 gallons. As the morning progressed we sang songs and talked about histories and events that were of interest. At about 11:30/12 when the last sugar was divided, and the lids placed as best as could be onto the buckets, the Sr. Incharge (whom I love!) told us that the people would be coming that afternoon at about 3 and that we could wait or we could go back to the city and continue with our days as normal. The other 2 volunteers left, but I stayed. O! the joy, I had the sisters all to myself! We ate a few biscuits and then we walked to the chapel where I joined the sisters in adoration and Holy hour until it was time for lunch with the other sisters who ran the villa/convent at which time the sisters I was with went to eat with 'native' sisters and I was shown a small room and table set with a beautiful lunch just prepared for me. I felt sad and special at the same time. I had wanted to eat with the sisters and the fact that I wasn't allowed made me sad. However, when I realized that I wasn't allowed to eat with them I also realized that one of 'my' sisters must have spoken with the 'native' sisters and asked them to prepare me a meal all for my own. It was very nice, I suspect that the sisters had a meaner meal than I had. After lunch I wandered in and out of the chapel a few times and back to the pavilion where I read a bit of the book I had brought, The Abolition of Man, until Sr. Incharge came and told me that the people would be arriving soon and that I was to keep them in order as best I could. She related a story about how last time the people came they climbed the trees and stole the sisters coconuts and that I was to stop them from doing that again! After a time there were about 100 people in the square Fr. A came and stole them all for a catechism lesson. During which time I sat with one of the Novice's outside and talked about her history and how she came to her enter the MC's. About her family living in Nepal and how none of them were/are Christian and the trouble she had when she told them she was and that she would become a sister in India. How her family ostracized her and she was cast out from them. She talked about how it was very hard to learn humility and about other girls who had come from far off places hoping that they were meant to be MC's but were too weak to handle the life.

They are so strong and humble these women!

She told me about how I could ask to do a ''come and see" and thus live, eat, pray and work side by side with the sisters for a month while I prayed and they prayed about my vocation and whether God wanted me to join them. I know that I can't do that until after Fella is gone and that when I do it, it will just be to confirm without a doubt that I am meant for married life and not for a habit and order. Which I feel very certain of, but this I want to do as a "just in case" scenario. So that I know without a doubt that I have offered myself to Him and that He doesn't want me to be His bride. Just in case...
after Fr. finished with them the sisters and I passed out buckets to the masses and then cleaned the shed, had tea, walked to the main road, and took 2 taxis back to Mother House while saying the Chaplet of Mercy.
Nothing of interest happened after that.

Now to Tuesday and my naked woman!

As usual on Tuesday I woke, dressed, and walked to 6am Mass at Mother House, only difference was that that morning I walked alone. My roommate had already left and I chose to walk a different way than we usually take. It was then that I saw the naked woman and broke. she had nothing. Absolutely nothing. No one can imagine the truth of this NOTHING that she had. I gave her my skirt and would have forgotten Mass but for another Frenchie friend of mine who was walking to Mass who pulled me from her and said that I should pray for her during Mass and ask sister if I could bring her to one of the MC's homes afterwards.

I did, I went to Mass, I prayed and cried, I couldn't sit with Mary I couldn't think of anything else, I went down stairs and couldn't find sister.. Internally I was freaking out. I had to go I had to help her I had to I had to do it NOW! I talked with my roommate who had left before me and she told me how she had seen the woman, had thought of giving her scarf, but had given nothing, and felt like death during Mass. We talked with another long term volunteer and ascertained that we were indeed allowed to bring the woman to Kalighat but that whether the sister would take her or not was unknown.

My roommate and I took her in a taxi. She was taken to the bathes where a Massi washed her and shaved her head, she was fed and examined for injury of body and when none were found we were told that after work was finished we were to take her back with us and leave her exactly where we had found her. The Sisters had no room for her, she wasn't about to die. I am not mad now, though at the time I felt betrayed. They clothed her well and we brought her back to where we had found her. I kissed her goodbye and walked away.

As an afternote to family who snickered at the mental image of me without a skirt you will all be happy to know that I was NOT naked after I gave my skirt to the woman on the street. I happen to have the weirdest sense of style which enables me to wear, quite happily I might add, layers of not matching clothing. Think Gypsy. So, when I gave my skirt I still had an entire outfit on.

A salwar kameez in fact.
(Long shirt as good as a dress with open slits on the side starting at the hips, and a pair of baggy pants underneath.)

Not as fancy as the one in the picture below, but you get the idea now.
Thus was I attired on last Tuesday: in a dark blue Salwar Kameez which I had layered with a warm French scarf and my long red and multi patterned skirt over the baggy pants but under the long shirt. I think it looked quite nice!

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