The annual HHI visit to India is under way. I (Edmund) arrived Thursday morning, and Iain will join me tomorrow (Saturday). I was greeted at the airport by Tom and Philip, and Sebastian who is a volunteer with the Banyan Tree for a year - he is an Indian who was brought up in the USA but has gone back to his roots. A graduate in business studies, he is making a great contribution to the work of the Banyan Tree.
From there we went to see Shibu in the hospital. Shibu is now looking after some 11 patients (a normal bystander looks after just one) - all aged about 60, all brought in unconscious and without adequate identification ("unknowns"), and all victims of traffic accidents. Most are incontinent. Shibu seems to thrive on the pressure and the work. Tomorrow we are hoping to get three of them discharged and we will take them to the Bethany brothers who will nurse them back to full health. Otherwise they may be kept in hospital, in pretty awful conditions, for up to three months. It is only your generosity that makes all this possible. With such large numbers, budgets are being exceeded, which is causing problems that we will need to address.
An encouraging story is of one of these patients. He had left home 28 years ago, and had had no contact with his family, who had given him up for dead. Shibu found a name and address amongst his possessions, which turned out to be his mother. She was delighted to be reunited with her long lost son and has come to look after him.
And outside we were able to meet Muniyanda, a former patient of Shibu who was returning for a check-up. He is making a good recovery, and is very grateful for what Shibu did for him.
Today we have been visiting some of the people who we have helped over the years - Gunyamon, Sindhu, Sukumaran, Mardaran Villa, Sorbana, Gobi and Vijayam. It is great to see what a difference even a small monthly contribution can make - it allows them to buy the medicines that they need so desparately, as well as to enjoy a healthier diet. The difference was obvious from the moment that we walked through the door. Thank you all for making this possible.