Saturday, March 07, 2009

Volunteer Orientation

So, we made it to the Mother House, just five minutes late for orientation. But, as it turns out, the orientation is actually down the road about a quarter mile. So, we hurried down the street (in 100 degree heat, mind you), the last of about forty people to arrive (thirty of them were in a big group).

The Missionaries of Charity have many houses in Kolkata--the Home for the Dying and Destitute, a convalescent home for old and sick, a few homes for men and women (separately) who have developmental issues or other handicaps, multiple children's homes and schools. It's quite an operation.

They are also pretty well set up for volunteering. Our leader (who has been volunteering) for about a month said that we aren't actually NEEDED, as the organization needs to be able to function without volunteers. So, we are a little wary. Since our goal is to be helpful, we are going to see if we are actually there for anyone other than us (we have another connection at a hospital, that may be a good back up). I think in some ways, once we are trained, our help will be more for providing work relief for the sisters.

So, we will see. We did get a spot at the Home for the Dying, which is the hardest to get a spot at (it's a small home and the most well known). We will be washing, cleaning, laundering, and cooking, as well as working with the people themselves--talking, singing, touching, changing wound dressings and the like. I'm kind of nervous, to be honest. But I think it will be well worth it.

Will keep you posted. We start volunteering Monday morning at 7:00.

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