Our second day here was our “medical” day. It was probably the day most filled with anticipation as well as trepidation. To be in the midst of these people so afflicted and outcast from society (the “untouchables”) and to be able to reach out to them and smile at them, wash their feet, bandage their gaping ulcers was an experience that’s rough to find words to describe. So I’ll let the pictures tell most of the story. When we arrived at the colony we set up all the medical equipment. Here are some of the medications they give to help the patients: This girl in the green below is the summer medical supervisor. She is amazing. From the way she oriented us all and made us feel comfortable to how kind and sweet she was to the patients, to being able to organize the supplies and work with the medical professionals was pretty impressive (all the volunteers here are pretty darn amazing I must say). Here we are, all oriented, ready for the patients to come. That’s the doctor behind us. She was grumpy…even Dave couldn’t get her to crack a smile. Here’s our friend Brynne with the first patient, making him feel so welcome. She’s a nurse and a natural…what a great person to have help Max feel more at ease (you can tell he kind of needed it 🙂 Elle and Dave manned the blood pressure and glucose station. They way they jumped right in was pretty impressive I must say. Elle had to prick the fingers to get a blood sugar reading and man alive, I don’t know if I could have done that. Max was about the best foot-washer I could have ever imagined. Seriously, let’s just bask for a minute in that expression, making sure he’s not hurting anything. After the patients had their feet washed and oiled with medication, this nice nurse and I were in charge of the station where she cut out all the dead skin around the ulcer and I bandaged it up. The ulcers eat away at the skin and eventually cause the loss of digits and limbs. At first I thought I wasn’t going to be able to handle it. I mean, some of these ulcers are gaping and quite gruesome. But after the calm nurse took care of the first patient I was ok. I wish I had a picture of her. She is also a house mother here at Rising Star. Most of the time cutting away the skin around the ulcers doesn’t hurt…the skin is so deadened but sometimes you can see the pain in the way the patients wince. You can kind of tell from the side that this lady is in pain. She’s holding tight to the cross around her neck. Max also did eye drops. Eyesight is one of the first things to go and these drops apparently help a lot. Everyone is in love with Jake (our new neighbors’ cute son). After we packed up there were some lingering people outside the clinic. I loved that they let me take pictures of their faces. As you can tell, they don’t like to smile in pictures, but their smiles are huge when you show them the picture after you take it. My favorite part of the day was trying to get them all to smile.Is he cute or what? And when Elle went down the line and gave them all high-fives. And I loved when they waved goodbye to us…some with fingers, some with stubs. …with happy smiles on their faces and new bandages on their feet. I took pictures of some of the houses as we drove away. They made me wonder about the people who live there. I wonder how many times this poor house has been patched up after a big storm: And how they got paint for this house: It is so crazy to see satellite dishes outside some of the houses: Driving around is awesome because man alive you sure see a lot. (The colonies are a ways away from the school.) This looks like their local 7-11: And maybe this would be an equivalent to Staples: There are these little “temples” all over…see it behind those motor rickshaws? The men usually look like this: And the women are always dressed beautifully…clean and colorful in their flowing dresses: We stopped on the way home for “parota” which are these little fried bread tortilla things.They were really good. Elle, true to form, was more interested in the 7up. I loved to watch this guy serve up some great curry on banana leaves. …and I wonder what in the world that cobwebbed thing hanging from the roof is? We also stopped in the “junction” for ice cream. Taking it all in. And back “home.” Check out that address above. Crazy huh? When we got back to campus, it happened to be time for the “Star Store.” The Star Store is so awesome because it teaches ownership. The kids earn stars during the week for good behavior and then get to “spend” them on different trinkets in the Star Store for a reward. Anything that is donated to Rising Star goes to the star store so it is earned, not just given. I’m a little biased as to how great it is because my brother and his wife started it when they were here. Yeah, they are pretty smart 🙂 The kids line up like this forever to each get their turn in the store: I can’t believe I still haven’t written about Krishnamoorthy. (Who we claim as our "Indian Son” at Rising Star). We actually first saw him at church. (He is one of a very small handful of the kids who are LDS). Elle turned around at church and recognized him from his pictures right off the bat. He came right up to us after the meeting and I think I scared him half to death with how excited I was. It was great to hang with him back on the campus. Max and Elle got to know him pretty well. He is such a great kid. Here we are in the Star Store with him: I loved this quote they had up on the wall: We love free-play time in the evening. I am so in love with these sweet girls. This one was smart as a whip in math. This is Miranda, the education coordinator volunteer, with one of the boys. She just barely graduated from high school and is so mature I can hardly believe it. The kids adore her. They were so excited to show us their double and triple jump rope skills. Hopscotch: …and another dinner on the roof. I went to bed dreaming of these sweet people: …and how they changed our lives for the better because they let us into theirs for a day.