It was time to go to the Indians.
I can never get over the friendliness of the people who inhabit the middle of this country and the reception they give me, each and everytime, considering that they see at least once a month consistently, except perhaps the month of February when only the brave souls venture out here to visit the Natives.
While it was not snowing or raining or windy, the temperatures were in the single digits (minus C).
I had braced my self for it. The employees at Sleep Inn where I spend the night of my arrival and at AVIS where I rent my car, are so overtly welcoming. I thought it not incongruous that the car they offered me had plates that said TSH, very appropriate for an Endocrinologist.
The rituals continue, and the next stop was Trader Joe's to stock up for the stay, as the village of my destination has nothing in the way of supermarket or cafe. At Trader Joe I was greeted very warmly by the same faces and I was happy to hear that the lady with two children was getting married and hoping for good weather at the end of April for her outdoor ceremony.
The drive north through the sparsely populated countryside makes you appreciate our earth, barren under the snow, blindingly white snow.
at the end of the drive, passing through small town such as Hermann, Blair, Tekemah, Decatur, Macy, one reaches Walthill, a town within the Omaha Indian Reservation.
The sight of the Blue House is always welcome!
The house is warm and very clean (thanks to a patient of mine) and I get about settling down for the next ten days. Enough Food and some nice sauvignon blanc from New Zealand..
I have surrounded my self in this refuge with symbols of my cultural identity and affiliation.
Cuba is present everywhere in this house. I even have Coffee and Sugar from Cuba. Chocolates are from Belgium, Sardines from Quiberon in Brittany.
Brown sugar from the eastern part of Cuba, the bottle is the cuban brand of water.
Once I am here, my mind switches off the rest of the world, I am fully conscious where I am, with the Indians, to be with them, I have travelled from other continents, and I am content. No attachment to my other "lives" but concentrate on the goal at hand and enjoy the people I have come to serve.
And there are always unexpected pleasures. Students come to the Clinic and they spend the day with me, during which time I regale them with stories about Indians, philosophy of Life and travels. I enjoy their curiosity and the innocence with which they look at the world. This time I was lucky in that the two who spent time at the clinic with me were a cut above.
Very curious, interested in the welfare of the patients she would serve in the future, not only interested in self but mostly in others, knowledgeable in her field and very helpful to me during the day to an extent that I trusted her medical judgement, I wish her well in her career. She made me realize that some students look for jobs and some look for a career, she belongs to the latter.
I have the luxury of long interactions with patients as I request a light schedule (one hour per patient whether I know them or not), and it is such a pleasure when traditional Indians come in. It is incredible that even after 300 or so years of contact, many Indians think just like their ancestors did and have such unpolluted minds. It is a pleasure to take care of them, physically, emotionally and occasionally spiritually, and be a part of their world.
The days pass swiftly and each day I wonder how the hours passed so swiftly!
The weekends are a bit difficult, especially during the winter. Indians are busy with their lives and unless there are ceremonies that I want to attend, the weekend (I am very seldom here for more than one) is a solitary one, completely immersed in books and article, reading and writing and as such very productive. I think about the pure loves in my life and innocent interactions that I had enjoyed in the days prior. I enjoy the solitude, as in my next destination, Cuba, being alone is almost impossible!
On Friday night, while the night outside is cold and biting, it is so good to light Shabbat Candles and wish friends and mischpochah Shabbat Shalom...