Gonna have to be quick as we have already had two power cuts this eve and quite a few last night!! Not only that, but the water has also gone off back at the house!!
Apparently this happens a lot out here in India! As does ....... Dehli Belly!! Quite ironic that it is Claudine who is the first to be hit by the dreaded stomach bug as she practically rattled from all the preventative drugs (both Western and holistic) that she had been taking ... I felt so bad for her the last couple of days and wouldn't wish what she has suffered on my worst enemy, (well maybe a couple of ex boyfriends ... and one of my secondary school teachers!). Luckily she is on the mend, as we are off on a long train ride tomorrow to Varanasi and having shared a room with her over the last couple of days I can honestly say that there is no way that I could ever consider a vocation in nursing!!!
Today has been freezing, the sun has gone and it has seemed like an early winter day in London. Apparently all the schools close on December 15th and don't open again until March!! The reason for this, is it is so cold that as many people as possible move down to the slightly warmer climate in The Planes. So I think Claude and I have timed our leaving Darjeeling just right.
I went to say goodbye to the girls at the Orphanage this afternoon and turned up laden with cakes and biscuits for them all. (Claude opted out as she was spending most of her time saying her goodbyes to the toilet!). Obviously the kids were delighted with their treat, but it broke my heart to say goodbye; a few girls kept asking when I was coming back and that they were sad I was leaving. One little girl that I have become quite attached to has an open sore on her face, which I suspect is from an exzma patch she has scratched too much and become infected. We found out that she had in fact been taken to the doctor and he had written her out a prescription for some cream and medicine. I was shocked and disgusted to find out when I looked at the prescription, that it had been dated back from Oct 11th!!! Sharan (the trustee who invited Claude and me out here), was not impressed either and fingers crossed is going to get something sorted as soon as. Otherwise I am tempted to go out and by the medication myself!
Afterwards I went with the other volunteers for a drink, we were sitting in our booth chatting about the days events when Julia handed me a note that one of the other girls had secretly passed her and asked to give to me tomorrow. I read it ... I cried ... She thanked me for visiting and told me how much she loved me (100 times) and hoped I will come back and see her soon then signed it 'your ever loving sister'.
I have been so moved by my short experience here, I feel the need to do something positive about it and am seriously thinking of sponsoring one of the girls once I am back home. They all deserve a good education and a chance to improve their lives.
Well that is all for tonight ... I am off for our farewell meal back at the house and I know a slice of chocolate cake has been especially bought for me!!! Darjeeling is a great place to come visit, I encourage any one of you to find the time and see for yourselves ... though obviously wait for the summer!!!
Varanasi, here we come .....