Tuesday, November 14, 2006

tamil nadu

Hi from the hot and wet south of India. I arrived 10 days ago in Chennai (used to be called Madras). After meeting friends and collecting my Indian clothes I had left behind, it was on to Vellore to join the team in the palliative care unit at Christian Medical College. This famous hospital is usually known as CMC - as I will refer to it from now on. First I thought I would put in a map of India to help with orientation. Tamil Nadu is the bottom right state - with a long coastline on the Bay of Bengal. You may remember the photographs from the Tsunami as this coast was badly hit. The southernmost point of India is in Tamil Nadu; where the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal mingle. It has a tropical climate and a combination of beaches and coastal areas, hill stations and mountains, Carnatic music, ancient culture and language. Indeed, Tamil is one of the most ancient of the Indian languages and a source of fierce pride. With a population of 62 million, it is a predominantly agricultural state but it's capital, Chennai is the fourth biggest city in India. I arrived in Vellore on a rainy day, with the mist obscuring the hills, that was almost reminiscent of Scotland. More in my next post.

1 comment:

Antony said...

Hello Mhoira, you probably don't remember me but I was a student at Aberdeen University around the same time as you were there. I later trained for the Church of Scotland ministry and it was at this time that I met you most recently, not long after you'd returned to palliative care in Aberdeen. I looked you up via a google search because a really sad situation has been drawn to my attention, concerning someone known to friends of ours. A woman with a young family had gone to the local hospital in Salavan, Laos, with a lump on her face. She was sent home by the doctors and now she has advanced facial cancer. I don't know the precise details but I believe that she spends every day on her bed under a mosquito net to stop the flies from feeding off her open wounds. The sight and smell of these are awful as you can imagine and her family are repelled by her situation. I know that if she was in a country with more advanced healthcare, her suffering would be far less. We have prayed for her in church here in Vientiane but I really wish we could do more. But what exactly, I don't know. As I lay in bed tonight, thinking about her situation, I thought I might try to contact you to find out some information that I might be able to pass on to those who are in contact with the person concerned. I realise that this might seem an odd and possibly inappropriate means of contacting you, but I feel that this woman's plight is so desperately sad, that I hope you won't mind giving me some advice. Please feel free to delete this comment from your blog after you've read it. Regarding getting back to me. Our email address is simply the plural of our surname at
Best Regards,
Tony Paton.