Anyone who’s been to India, knows how Indian clinics usually look. Very plain, very basic. That’s how the clinic we sponsor in Sonada is. Everything is minimal. And I am sorry to say unclean. In addition there is a lot of dampness in the building. This week we have been working with the surroundings. Nurse Ambika, Tibetan healthworker Dolma and I went shopping for newness and beauty. We bought linen and blankets for the rest room beds. We all agreed on bright green curtains, instead of “hospital green”. They are now being sewed by the tailor. We bought first aid medicines and dressings for the children who live in the hostel . Hygiene is a major issue. So hot water is a must. One day we drove down to Siliguri to buy a water heater. It is a 2-3 hours drive (only 67 km, but the road is very bad), a steep climb down the beautiful hills through the tea plantations, reaching the planes and the heat, and the extreme buzzle of a big Indian city. A lot of traffic, and cows in the streets. Here we found the geyser, as they call it here, the hot water tank. In the shop the electricity had failed (as it often does in India), and we had to look at everything in candle light. If I hadn’t been with friends, I would have been afraid of getting scammed on the deal. In India you have to keep your eyes open doing business.
I realized why they call it geyser, of course it comes from the Icelandic geyser - hot water sprouting from the earth.