Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bird Flu Exit Plan

It's here, it's making everyone into vegetarians (who don't even eat eggs), and it is starting to scare me too.

Here is what the BBC reports.

Here is what India eNews is saying.

They are not saying the same thing, and that freaks me more than anything. Also the fact that Prem Dan, the center I work in, is surrounded by semi-wild poultry and ducks frightens me. Everyday I walk through feces of innumerable animals/humans. Fun fun.

I'm pretty 'India-ed' out at the moment and as I have already seen most of my other volunteer friends leave I have decided evacuation now is a good idea. I don't want to be here alone, sad, and then get bird sick too!

I throw in the towel.

India 1 / Havilah 0.

Jeebs has invited me to come back to Paris with him and I have accepted. The flight cost me $535 which is just about half of all of my personal money. I have already talked with Sister Karina and she has told me that the Missionaries of Charity in Paris are working just as hard. In Paris they work with the homeless from Eastern Europe, and the Africans who come ilegally and have nothing.

So, while in Paris I will continue working with the MC sisters and will update my blog more regularly with accounts of what I am doing.

Please don't be mad at me for giving up after only 3 months. I will come back!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Photos From our trip to Rajastan

Pictures from Varanasi

Jaisalmer ( 50 km from Pakistan border) and the camel safari

A quick note:
We've been travelling, mostly in Rajastan but we stopped in Agra on the way, and Varanasi on teh way back, for 2 weeks and just arrived home today. I thought Rajastan was wonderful, kindest people and most beautiful things to see. (JB paid for everything, I only paid for the food, so it cost about the same for me as if I had stayed in Kolkata the whole time.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Photo of Monica

My very good friend from Australia took this photo of Monica on her last day.
I am grateful.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Ring and some Pictures from Agra

It was cold waiting for the sun to rise on the Taj Mahal!
My Fella

Monday, January 14, 2008


When I was still a newbie, on my second day of working with the sisters at Prem Dan, I carried a plate of food into the ward and fed a woman I would learn was named, Monica. She died this morning and I want to say a few things about her.
Monica had blue eyes and silver grey hair cut short to keep lice away.
Though she still had lice, she did not have many of her teeth.
Monica was, in estimation, 65 years old and weighed about the same in pounds.
Though she ate everything I gave her she weighed less every time I saw her.
Monica was Catholic.
Though I never saw her praying one, she wore a yellow, plastic beaded, Rosary around her neck.
Monica spoke in Bengali.
Though she still new how to say "Thank you" in English.
Monica intelligent and bossy.
Though she loved to give kisses and hugs.
Monica smiled the biggest when she saw me.
Though sometimes she would be frustrated with me if I didn't understand.
Monica prefered that I feed her,
though other volunteers tried when I was there.
Monica kissed my hand the last time I saw her alive,
though I was in a hurry to leave for the day.
Monica was always grateful.
Thank you God for Monica.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A few photos from Puri

JB and I and a small group of other volunteers have been in Puri for the last week.
It is a village town not a city like Kolkata. I suppose it is most known for its beaches and the Sun Temple which is pretty close by in Konark. I liked our stay the most because there was fresh air and lots of little farms and rice paddies around it.