Sunday, March 3, 2013

Curry Fever: Half way?!!

There's something magical about living in the hidden corners of the the developing world. I've officially passed my half way mark and I'm already starting to feel nostalgic. I'm so attached to these children and patients! I mean, how could you not get attached?

For my two month mark I decided I would start eating with my hands for every meal but I started that a few weeks ago. So my new resolution was to wear a Sari every Sunday until I leave. I thought I would want to wear a sari all of the time while I was here but I wore one once and I hated it. 7 yards of fabric in 90+ degrees is miserable. Also, trying to walk is just comical. Anyway, I started today and let me tell you, if you need a confidence boost in India, wear a sari. I got a compliment like every 10 minutes at church, school, and even the local grocery store. They all told me I looked like an Indian girl. One new missionary came up to me after sacrament and asked if I was from Delhi and he's from Delhi. I'm not entirely sure if I actually looked Indian but it was nice nonetheless. All of the little boys at the school just stared at me and kept telling me how beautiful I looked. I just laughed because I didn't do anything different besides change my clothes. Even the troll house warden told me that I walk like an Indian girl because I don't trip on the fabric. She must have only been watching me for 3 minutes because I was definitely tripping on it all day. So, more saris for me.

Also, I'm not sure if I've just been in India too long but the men are starting to look more attractive. Some people use the term jungle fever for those missionaries who come home from Africa and only want to marry dark girls. I think India gives you Curry Fever.  I'm not sitting outside staring at all of the men thinking about this all of the time, I promise. I was watching one of the horrible Tamil movies the other night with the kids and I shocked myself because I thought the main character was actually attractive. They're fat, dorky men with nasty mustaches. Who am I? Seriously though, look up on Google images Tamil Movie Heroes.

I think something more meaningful that I have realized here is that you can spend so much time with people and not really know them at all. There's a patient at one of the colonies I visit who I adore. I'm currently helping out with patient profiles so we can have a basic biography for everyone and it's a tough job. You have to hear these sad stories all day long- it wears you down. Subramani has the saddest story of all and I never would have known it. I sit and flirt with this 75 year-old man once every two weeks as we give him treatment. He has this big toothless smile and is always laughing at me but he spends a lot of time alone.

He noticed the first signs of leprosy when he was 5 but no one realized it- his family thought he had sensitive skin. His parents died not long after that and he moved in with his single grandmother and helped her on the farm. At age 18 his grandmother passed away. Fortunately, she had taught him to weave mats and he was able to live alone until he was 20. He then moved into a government home for leprosy patients which was awful. It was overcrowded and seething with disease. He married a young woman when he turned 22 in the government home but 5 months later she died of an unidentifiable illness. He never remarried. Hindus and Indians in general are very sentimental people when it comes to love and relationships. I wasn't even able to ask anymore questions about his wife because it was too hard for him to talk about. After his wife died he spent a few more years in the home until a man from an NGO told him about Barathapuram, the colony we now work at. Subramani moved here in 1965 and hasn't left since.

 I then asked him about his life and what he thought about it. He's just numb. His best friend just died and he said he's just waiting to die. Risingstar Outreach volunteers are his family now because they take care of his needs. He is severely crippled due to the leprosy. He has no fingers, a few toes, and has to use a crutch.  I was so impressed with him and how he has handled everything. He worked until he had no more fingers and he still loves all of those who were in his life. The saddest part of our conversation was when we talked about the afterlife. He said that he prays every day that the Gods don't make him a human again because he couldn't handle it.

I sat with him the other day at the art school after this conversation and just saw him in a whole new light. Everyone has struggles in their life even though they don't talk about them but they just move on. He's also one of those people that make you realize that you have such a wonderful life! I mean, I didn't even know leprosy still existed until I came here let alone the persecution associated with it. This guy has had a tough life but he's one of the sweetest patients we have. Here are some photos for you to enjoy! Also, I've had some of you ask about the organization I work with. If you want to donate, sponsor a child's education, or anything along those lines here's a link.

Also, here's the blog I sometimes appear in/write for.


Goutham, He could use a sponsor. :) Kindergarten (UKG)

Gokul: Kindergarten (UKG)

Seriously though, if you want to sponsor a kid let me know and I can help you pick one out. It's $30 a month and you get to write letters back and forth and send treats if you want. They LOVE their sponsors. The kid I sponsor keeps my letters in his pocket until it's a folded moosh. He has every letter memorized. You can also donate money to the organization for stuff for the colonies such as medical supplies and food, etc. Take a peak at the website.


  1. 1. Your Curry Fever made me laugh! I had to make a movie poster for my graphic design class yesterday and it featured a beautiful Indian couple, because it was on my mind after reading this.

    2. The sari looks so good on you. It's very flattering, especially with your tan! Any cute Mormon Indian boys for you to marry?

    3. The 75-year-old's biography snippet you described made me cry. And I'm not just saying that.. I was seriously SO sad even just half way through it. :'(

    1. I like all of these comments. I want to see the Indian couple you chose! I have an idea of which one if you chose a pretty couple. And Saris are pretty awesome, I wish it was acceptable for me to wear them in the states. AND everyone's life is so sad yet I'm laughing all of the time. This place makes you feel various emotions at once and all of them all of the time. It's healthy... I think.

  2. Anita, Tell me how to sponsor a child. I would love to have you find one for me! I just found your blog and have so enjoyed reading it! It is great that you have been able to have this experience! I can see that it will be totally life changing for you! I would also like to send you a package while you are there. Tell me some things to put into it that you can give to your patients that they have never seen. Something for the children to make them smile. Of course, chocolate for you. Share with me any ideas you may have of things that would be either useful or just fun that might bring some joy. Message me on Facebook with some ideas so I can put a box together. :) Love you girl!