I’ve been having a “bit” of a rough time of it lately. The day my house closed – which at the end of the day I had very mixed feeling about – I also had to have a massively infected tooth pulled! I’d been fighting it since Delhi and had done two courses of antibiotics to no avail. Fortunately it was next to a wisdom tooth so not as visible as say a front tooth – horrors! But to add insult to injury; prior to leaving Toronto I had just finished a massive and entirely expensive dental session – which included the afore mentioned tooth! SHEESH!
The pleasant surprise was the absolutely state of the art dental clinic in Dindigul; the less pleasant surprise is the drug reaction I’m having – I’m lumpy, bumpy, itchy and swollen all over and my face is bright red!
Pause – We have spent a couple of days in the really, really rural Indian countryside, visiting a hidden valley comprised of about 1000 subsistence level farmers with a good-ish residential boys and girls school up to 12th standard. It felt very much like stepping back in time – NO cell or internet and the pace of life is considerably slower than even the other small villages we’ve visited. Unfortunately the social ills are 21st century. Although I think that they have always been there – we are just seeing them more clearly now. One of the benefits for us has been the phenomenon that as we return from the most basic, things which previously seemed barely tolerable now appear almost luxurious. Amazing how adaptable we are!
I have also been sliding down into the absurd. We arrived at the residential charity, did our children’s profiles and had lunch with the staff. I was still feeling quite sick from the drug reaction so decided to lie down in the room I was assigned. I swear I wasn’t there an hour and got a nasty spider bite on my left eye which blew up really nicely – I looked like I’d been on the loosing end of a particularly brutal prize fight! I also thought the drug reaction which had started to calm down had flared up again but we now think there may have been uninvited guests in my mattress – either way the end result was pretty spectacular! Beverley spent most of the evening cooling me down by laying wet towels all over me and changing them every two minutes as they heated and dried up.
So, I’m now back in Dindigul, groggy from massive amounts of anti-histamine, stretched out starkers on the bed and COVERED head to foot in flaky bright pink calamine lotion! Talk about a comedy of errors or perhaps maladies! I sincerely trust I am getting all my bad luck over with in one fell swoop! Anyway Beverley has been brilliant and taken such good care of me, as have Gopi who runs the Dindigul office, Saraswathi and Papathi who looked after us at our last stop and basically anyone who took a look at my face – LOL!
So today we will start wrapping up the last of our reports, have dinner at Gopi’s house to meet his family and then head out to stay at the Lakeside Guest House again before returning to Tirumangalam and Delhi. To say that I’m looking forward to the Imperial’s A/C, 1000 thread count sheets, salads, wine cellar (YES!) and spa – would be just a bit of an understatement! I really just want the lumps, bumps and itches to go away so I can have a spa day without looking like I have beriberi or leprosy or something! I certainly wouldn’t want to touch me right now….I have managed to hang onto my sense of humour but it has been a titch thin at times
Another pause – I keep writing and then finding I can’t send anything. We are back at Lakeside now – it is such a great spot to unwind. I have no intentions of budging from this spot on the veranda for the entire day. Beverley and I are the only guests, the cook just came out to consult on the days menu and I am contemplating a cold Kingfisher beef in a little while – no need to rush things after all, as we have no schedule for the next 24 hours. There is a large herd of water buffalo traversing the lake below us again; small boys are balancing on the backs of several of the largest and imperiously directing things, while an efficient black and yellow dog is actually doing all the herding work. There is gust front coming which WILL play havoc with the internet – basically anything – an errant breeze, a sneeze or a hiccup – will interrupt the connection. A short deluge to cool things down about 10 degrees – absolutely delicious! Time to go, time to do nothing but relax, time to think about all our adventures and definitely time to put all my thoughts about the work we have done here in perspective.