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Friday, March 10, 2006

Pool Party

Another busy, hot day at LCECU as the clock winds down. In the morning we had our test, and it was evident that the nurses had memorized our labor flow record and taken it to heart. Well, the nurses who shoed up had. Kiruba pointed out to me that it was the younger ones who were thee and answering. Many of the older, more resistant nurses hadn't shown. Oh, well, we'll see how it goes in the labor room.

Sara and I discussed religious syncretism and a few other interesting topics, and I worked on future presentations to the doctors. (Syncretism, we decided, occurs mostly in dominant religions; minority ones tend to become even more orthodox. In India, Jesus has become a god in the Hindu pantheon. In Latin America, many of the local gods have become unofficial saints of the Catholic church.) I also learned a bit more about Tamil/Hindu culture. One of the reasons that there are few births during the hottest months (April and May) is that women are obligated to go visit their mothers, leaving husbands at home, during the two months or so when they might conceive babies that would deliver then. Quite clever!

We had a staff meeting in the afternoon––the monthly statistics were given, and a few decisions made. Then the doctors met with me, and we discussed labor, the new scanner, and our plans for elimination of the elective episiotomy (as per WHO recommendations) and the painful repair (more local anesthesia and better infiltration). I have realized I will have to return next year to see how all of these initiatives are doing.

In the evening, we went to the gorgeous pool in Bagayam to have dinner with Prasad's department. The "chaps" (mostly women) of Medicine 3 are a lively and friendly bunch. We played games,

ate lovely food,

(chef making a batur) and had a generally good time. Two members of the team, Ige and Sowmya, are rotating to another unit, and they were honored and had a chance to speak.

Avinash had a great time playing "TT" (table tennis)

and frolicking in the pool.

We had to leave a bit early to drop him, in full school uniform, at the Katpadi train station. His fifth form class was going to the Blue Mountains to a water park for their "senior trip."

There were twenty faculty there for the forty students; they would be on the road all night, at the park all day, and then return tomorrow night via the 8 PM train back. This being India, the the "Blue Mountain Express" was half an hour late. Everyone was put safely aboard,

jealous siblings and apprehensive parents said their goodbyes, and they chugged off into the night.

We got home quite late, and fell gratefully into our beds. As I drifted off to sleep, into my Lariam dreams, I felt sorry for those few non-school passengers on that particular railroad car.


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