Karimnagar – HIV/AIDS Clinic

I am grateful to my friend Acsha who asked me to go with the ministry she works for out to a small village about two hours drive from Hyderabad. I leave my apartment about 7am and find an autoricksha that knows how to get to Lalbazaar. I wait in front of a hotel for my friend Joel to come pick me up on his motorcycle, and he takes me the rest of the way to Acsha’s place.

The team, Roger (the boss), Acsha, Joel, Anand, Sheryl, and the driver cram into two rows of a Chevy SUV, three in the front and four in back. The rear two seats are full of medicine, rice and dhal. Needless to say, a two hour trek stuffed into an SUV who’s AC doesn’t work is hard on a body. We stop for breakfast and get dosas, crepe like flatbread filled with spicy potatoes and onion. Earlier that morning my stomach had been quite uneasy so I was a bit worried that the trip in the car might make some things come up, but all went well.

In my previous trip to Hyderabad in 2007 I had not ventured outside the city; I had not seen what the countryside looked like. For the most part the land is flat, but there are huge boulders that seem to come from no where. And also out of no where single “mountains” (I don’t know what else to call them, maybe big hills?) rise up. There are some deciduous trees and a spattering of palm trees growing out of the reddish dirt which also supports much lower vegetation. It’s not exactly lush, but its far from arid.

We get to Karimnagar and the homely little white church. After waiting for some time and beginning to explore the surrounding area, patients start coming in to see the doctor. They are mostly women, but both young and old that come. The get checked on by the doctor then they gather in the small meeting room of the church. Roger gives a message in Telugu to those gathered; both Hindu and Muslim sat through it and seemed to sing with Joel and Anand as they led worship (Anand playing a sitar he found in the church).

We hand out the bags of rice and dhal and then sit down for a lunch of rice and chicken in a very spicy sauce. The color is red which means lots of chillies. My friends warn me about the spiciness, but despite the burning on my lips the spice is not unbearable. I have still yet to be out spiced here, which really surprises me. I don’t necessarily like spice in the States. Anand and Joel seem to be sweating quite a bit more than me because of it.

I enjoyed being here, outside the city. Its very peaceful. I always enjoy the people.

This kid would not smile.

The Doctor

Still No Smile

Roger giving a message.

And finally a smile. Might have been forced.

The basket was so lopsided.

On our way back we drove to the future location for a school owned by Harvest Ministries. Just off of the property are these amazing rocks that had peacocks and peahens perched majestically on them. When we got close they flew off.

An acquaintance from Bloomington, now a friend, and I went to a museum on Wednesday. It’s a very impressive personal art collection. For a personal collection it is massive. I’ve heard its the largest personal art collection in the world. There is Indian, Eastern Asian, Western and everything in between. After the museum we went to Lumbini Park, where they have this waterfall and kiddie pool. Kind of fun.

And sunset in an Auto.

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