Howdy, folks! We’ve had a tumultuous week 3 since our last post and it set us back from updating our blog – but here it is!
Taking over from Maddie’s blogging duties this week is Soumya, who is assuming the charge as Maddie was mostly unfit for duty this week. Let me explain:
As was sure to be the case, this week 3 one of our crew had to make an emergency visit to the hospital down the road. Maddie was hospitalized with some mysterious stomach infection that had been plaguing her all week and finally resulted in a pit stop at Fortis Memorial Research Institute from Thursday morning. We had a heck of a time in the emergency ward, being entirely too jovial for the doctor’s taste (he had to come in and shush us) and finally, fourteen hours later, getting our own private room. Needless to say, it was worth the wait and resembled something like a classy hotel room complete with recessed lighting and a flat-screen TV (with a hospital bed, of course).
The hilarity of being cooped up in the hospital on Thursday reached a peak when I (Soumya) found myself casually gushing blood from my nosebleed while in the emergency ward. No big deal; I’ve had nosebleeds before and was taking care of it when the emergency specialists came by, sized up the situation, and immediately thrusted me into another hospital bed adjacent to Maddie’s and fabricated an overly zealous nose sling. The receptionist with whom we’d been working with to get Maddie’s insurance coverage worked out joked that he’d have to admit two instead of one patient – over my dead body!
Maddie was finally discharged on Saturday morning much to our relief! Then, we learned that in all the tumult of the hospitalization, the long-lost intern, Mackie, had arrived in India, three weeks late due to some ambiguous visa delay. Needless to say, week 3 was less than productive, work-wise: between the four of us, Zara, Maddie, Mackie and myself, we clocked an average of 12 hours of work because even Zara was out on Eid holiday for the majority of the week.
However, we’ve kicked off week 4 with a hefty to-do list, crossing and checking things off as we go as we’ve realized time’s tickin’! This week, we’ve completed our data analysis and research on government schemes, have prepared information for the creation of IEC (Information, Education, Communication) materials, and are compiling curriculum on governance and entitlements that our girls should be aware about. Hopefully, we’ll have a field visit Thursday or Friday – it’ll be good to see the girls again after nearly two weeks away!
After our hospital camp-out, it wasn’t all work and no play, though – we wedged in a day trip to Agra to visit the good ol’ Taj Mahal (or “Taj” as we like to call it) accompanied by some of our fave Sehgal interns. It was far too touristy for my taste, and the crowds were especially bad because it was Eid holiday weekend, but the sky unleashed its vengeance upon us soon enough. Almost as soon as we got there, the sky began clouding and brewing what became an utter downpour – the first monsoon-style shower we’d seen yet! It made for a fabulous time, though, getting soaked under the Taj Mahal’s eaves and playing in the rain. Pictures don’t do it justice – the grandeur of the mausoleum arrests you as soon as you step through the Royal Entry and find the white dome of the Taj framed through the arch. Construction on the Taj Mahal began in 1631 and continued for 22 years. The Shah had the craftspeople’s hands cut off after the fact to ensure that no such edifice would ever be built again – how about that as a sick reward for their efforts? I’m grateful for their contributions to world heritage – and one of our seven wonders of the world.