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A snapshot of life in Khati (continued)....

INDIA | Tuesday, 5 April 2011 | Views [562]

Scott assessing Leila's arm wound

Scott assessing Leila's arm wound

19th February

Later in the day

Scott has had a couple of children in today with ear infections & and a dressing change on a wound. A quiet day. Sometimes the government doctor (who was last here in December) doesn't come back for a few months, but he suprised everybody by making an appearence and staying for a week. The standard of 'doctoring' is low and inappropriate drugs (usually antibiotics - enough to last for two days) are handed out for minor ailments - like a cold. The nurse failed to come back after Khunti's death.

The kids had a ball in class today, engaging in a combination of educational ABC games, painting and a session with peg boards and other toys. The sun was shortlived and by 1pm the sky turned grey, 3pm hail gave the fields a tinge of white and by 3.30pm a thunderstorm unleashed it's fury that gave way to sun shafts lighting up the verdant green barley khets (fields) further down the valley. Many women came back wet from their daily chores having been caught out by the rain. A four degree maximum and a storm has now seen fires lit early with cups of tea being brewed all round.

Bhalu Bhoob has just come back home in the rain looking rather damp and bedraggled but as usual he yells out hello in his cheery way as he heads back down through town. He is reportedly the oldest male resident in town and is close to 80 years old - though speculation on his 'real age' is rife (some will claim he is over 100!!). In the 'old world tradition' of men, he still works hard climbing trees for fodder, collecting wood, taking his cattle out to pasture and bringing them in every day and for part of the year tending his kitchen garden full of vegetables. His daughter had a failed marriage many years ago (more speculation: some say three mrriages!!) and came back home to live and to this day she still looks after him.

There are a few women in town who left marrriages many years ago (usually due to domestic violence) to come back. The plight of a widow or a 'marriage returnee' (especially without children) is varied but a life of hard work for her family remains. Remarriage is not the norm, but we do hear of a rare case in the region now and again.

The incessant rain is giving way to snow, soon we will head out for dinner. And warmed by the family hearth we will sit cross legged on a hand made woollen rug on the floor, chat about the day, play games with the kids, practice our language skills and leave with a full belly and a feeling of contentment. 



Tags: government doctor, khati, medical, mountain life, remarriage



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