Day 10 in Delhi, India

Today was Thanksgiving, the holiday celebrated by all Americans regardless of our religious conviction. Being in India on this holiday gave us cause to reflect on the bounties each of us has received in our lives. During breakfast we shared personal thoughts of thankfulness. Our responses typically related to some aspect of the current mission: our observations of the everyday hardships of living we witnessed, the fate endured by our patients and parents whom we grew to admire for their fortitude, and a gratitude to be able to form new friendships with our team members, the hospital staff, and our Indian Rotarian friends.

We expressed thanks for our lives and families as we drove past a typical street scene of some “families’ homes” on our way to Sarvodaya Hospital. 1-IMG_0596
We expressed gratitude for our health and our families’ well-being.
We expressed our appreciation for our newfound friendships with our team members, 1-IMG_7565
And with the hospital staff with whom we worked hand-in-hand each day, 1-IMG_7516
And with Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Delhi Vasant Valley. 1-IMG_7564
We arrived at breakfast that morning with festive table decorations brought by OR Nurse Victoria Slama. 1-IMG_7409
Later that afternoon in honor of the 75 hospital staff members who assisted us during the mission, Evelyn Abad arranged for a “thank you” celebration complete with cake and tokens of appreciation wrapped in disposable surgical gloves. 1-IMG_7532

Traditionally on every mission the hosting Rotary club invites the Rotaplast team to one of its meetings. After a day of rounds, surgeries and the afternoon follow-ups, the team retired to the hotel to dress for the special meeting and dinner. The Delhi Vasant Valley Rotarians literally put out the red carpet for us. Dignitaries present included the Rotary District Governor Vinod Bansal and Deputy Commissioner of Faridabad Balraj Singh. Congratulatory speeches, gifts of appreciation, PowerPoints of the mission participants and children served, a typical Indian dinner (but with pumpkin pie,) and dancing filled the evening.

Meeting in a private event venue, Rotary Club President Gaurav Ahuja opened the meeting proclaiming it a Thanksgiving Ceremony. 1-IMG_7671
1-IMG_7754Attendees dressed for the occasion. 1-IMG_7628

The day was a true celebration of Thanksgiving! But aside from all of the festivities, it was the children we treated today that made the difference to the Rotaplast team members, the local Rotarians, and the hospital staff.

We were thankful that we could give children smiles and change their lives and the lives of their families. 1-IMG_7585