Saturday, January 12, 2013


I have already mentioned, and introduced to you, Divya and her husband Paul and their friends, but I wanted to post a little more about them. Divya and Paul are a Christian couple who work as OTs at the CMC. Divya is a therapist in out-patient pediatrics, and Paul is a therapist in acute care (A2 Ward). I have been working with Paul the last two days, and will continue to work with him and Elizabeth during the next week.

Yesterday Divya invited me to a Bible study she and Paul are hosting over the next eight weeks. The study is on prayer through the life of Nehemiah. I am thrilled to be a part of their study, not only because I think it will be good for me spiritually, but also I will be able to get to know them and their friends better. Last night was a testament to that. I found the study to be encouraging and the fellowship to be refreshing.

After the study (which started at 7 pm), we went out to dinner. I am not used to their late nights, but it seems as though they often eat dinner well past 9 pm. I’m not sure if that is cultural, or just how this little posse operates. Either way it will take a little adjusting to. Of all the places they could have chosen to go for dinner, they chose Pizza Corner. That makes two dinners at Pizza Corner in one week. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Again, I decided the fellowship was more important than the food, and if all these native Indians were craving pizza, then pizza we shall have!

Getting to Pizza Corner was different this time around. We scrounged up about five motorbikes for the nine of us to travel on. I have decided that my best plan of action when presented with a motorbike for transportation is to offer up a quick prayer for safety and hold on tight! I don’t really feel unsafe while riding on a motorbike, but I’m not sure if that is because A.) I’m delusional, B.) I’m getting used to the traffic, or C.) the traffic really isn’t all that extreme.  At any rate, to Pizza Corner we headed. Nobel and I arrived first and put our name in for a table. Soon the rest arrived and we were all seated around our table peering over each other’s shoulders at the three menus we had available to us. Within ten minutes our order was in and conversations swirled around me. It is hard for me to understand them all the time with a combination of strong accents, quiet tones, loud fans (and other background noise), but I am learning to read lips and decipher the accent. Now if only they would speak louder.

What I enjoyed most about the evening was how much it reminded me of my “clan” back home. They sat around and harassed one another, shared food, and laughed a lot. It made me a little homesick for my friends, but I also felt very blessed that they have included me, for the next eleven weeks, in their “family.” Once I figure out what they are all laughing about, I’m sure it will feel much like home… in India. 
Sunil is a physical therapist who works at the Rehabilitation Institute at CMC. He lives in the apartment behind  Paul and Divya's place with Nishad and Nobel. He and Nishad are training for a marathon in Pondicherry next month. I only met him last night as he has been away visiting family, but he laughs often and smiles more. It is his Indian SIM card that I am borrowing. I have been told that Sunil is a marvelous cook, and is willing to teach me how to make some Indian dishes. I am looking forward to that.  
Donna is also a physical therapist at CMC, however I do not remember what department she is in. I also just met her last night, but she seems to have a mischievous side, and likes to make others laugh. 
Nobel has been described to me, by his friends, as the "one who spends his time praying for the rest of the group." He is quiet and somewhat serious. It was hard to get a good smile out of him, but his eyes always have a kind sort of glimmer in them. Nobel is a physical therapist at the Rehabilitation Institute; a roommate to Sunil and Nishad. He is the one that took me to and from Paul and Divya's, and also took me home last night. He seems always willing to help out wherever he can.

Mansi is a physical therapist who works at the Rehabilitation Institute at CMC. She has been dubbed the "baby" of the group. She and Paul (the oldest) are always harassing one another and it gets rather comical. She is Elizabeth's roommate; both live in the apartment above Paul and Divya.    
Elizabeth is an occupational therapist working in the A2 ward of the CMC hospital. I will be working alongside her for the next week. She is quiet and sweet, giggling often. She is often ribbed by the rest of the group for any number of things. I think they do it because her reaction to the teasing is so comical and her laugh is contagious.  
Divya is an occupational therapist who works in out-patient pediatrics at the CMC hospital. She is the tie that binds this group of friends. She often takes charge to make decisions and is "ringleader" for many of the adventures. She laughs a lot, and you can't help but smile when she does. Divya has been the one to take me under her wing and make sure I have all the things I need to make it here in this land. 
Paul is the "father" of the group. He is Divya's husband, and an occupational therapist on the A2 ward of the CMC hospital. He is often the one "ringleading" in the teasing, especially if Mansi is the target. He has been my clinical instructor for the last two days, and will continue to be for the next week. I have much to learn from him. He knows his stuff, that's for sure. 
Nishad is a physical therapist, but I can't remember what unit he is in. He is Sunil and Nobel's roommate and has been training with Sunil for the marathon. (Though, when I asked him how his training run went last night, he flashed me a crooked smile and said he didn't go, but just watched Sunil run instead.) He is very quiet, and will rarely smile on command. I sat next to him and Nobel during dinner, and they were both helpful in suggesting places to visit for some weekend traveling. 
The whole gang at dinner. 
You might notice is this last picture that every one of my new friends is using a fork and knife to eat their pizza. This was an unexpected disappointment for me. I have been very diligent about learning how to eat my food with my hands just as the locals do. It is tricky, especially when you have rice with some sort of spicy sauce on it, but I have persevered. When I found out we were going to eat pizza, I thought, "Finally, a food I can eat with my hands and not look like an idiot!" Wrong. They eat pizza with utensils. Very disappointing. However, they seemed to be about as clumsy with utensils as I am with my fingers, so it wasn't a complete downer. 

I am so thankful for this group of friends... even if they do eat pizza with utensils.


  1. Lol! You'll have to teach them the American way to eat pizza! :) pJ

  2. i am so with you on not understanding accents!! i will pray that your ear trains better than mine!? Sorry my computer won't let me make commas or capital i's. it is so great that you are experiencing life with friends of so many backgrounds. What a sport you are!!