featured posts

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD On my way out of Cuba, from La Habana, on COPA airlines flight to Panama, I w...

dimanche 7 avril 2013

A DAY IN THE INDIAN COUNTRY: A PHYSICIAN ANTHROPOLOGIST AMONG THE OMAHA


A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ENDOCRINOLOGIST
Starting the day off with readings from Yoga Sutra, commentary by Yogendra from Yoga Institute in Santa Cruz.
What is the congruity here with the American Indian thinking? In talking about Kleishas, Yoga Sutra lays out IGNORANCE that which enhances the KLEISHAS or structural defects in ourselves/our ways of thinking. The one that we have to watch for is the EGO which when fired will lead us to wrong paths. HUMILITY is the natural antidote for cooling down of your ego; think about it, Ego or I-ness cannot flourish in face of Humility.
I am a Doctor to the Indians, and I think of ways to help them deal with illnesses and I have noticed that HUMILITY is what pays off when you are dealing with ancient population.
(Michele, a fantastic colleague to work with. I wish every patient with Diabetes had an Educator the calibre of Michele)
A tall 6 foot 5 inches full blooded Indian who is 47 years old comes into see me today and after a talk that touched on the history of his people, his ancestors remembered and counselling him about the optimism regarding the health, he gets up and hugs me. That meant so much, makes the daylong journeys to get to the Indians worthwhile.
"For me, the essence of a medicine man's life is to be humble, to have great patience, to be close to the Earth, to live as simply as possible, and to never stop learning."
-- Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA

It was not even 11 am in the morning, a nice get together over lunch with Indian colleagues and very light hearted conversation carried on.

Once you feel this humility, you begin to think of those who are close to your heart and life and begin to look at them with grateful eyes for being present in your life.
It is so good to be with the Indians and they are such good teachers.
I thought of the very large circle of my family and friends, in the Indian way related to me.
And felt enormous love for them and respect for my friends in Beijing and Reading for their struggles.
I felt closer to two friends from Asia, MC from KL and PJ from Bogor.
The day had cooled down a bit when we left the clinic and I was informed of a sweat lodge ceremony where some of my Indian family would be. At 6 30 pm, the western skies donning their usual beautiful colours I drove up to the next village.

Was good to see my friends but as if it was pre ordained, an extraordinary man of knowledge was there, visiting them. I was so excited about meeting him. Chatted about two hours with him about the history of the tribe. We agreed on many things, such as:
We are not clever enough to understand everything the Indians can teach us
And that,
We need them much more than they need us, whatever little help and counsel we offer.
As I was about to leave, an older Indian lady came in and greeted me; she talked about her grandfather who had taught her a whole lot about the ancient ways of her people.
By this time, my heart was brimming with emotions that I had not experienced in a while: humility as the base, love and affection for all those who have crossed paths with me in my life and those who are still present.
The lady continued: I live in a farmhouse outside the village and I am raising four grandchildren. I wanted to connect a washer and drier to the water pipes but I cannot get any one to come and help me without charging me an arm and a leg.
Suddenly I thought of my friend Joe from Bogor, it is as if he was standing next to me and saying: hey Doc, act on this!
May I have your address? I have a patient who is a handyman and I could ask him to come by your house and check it for you.
I had already made up my mind, my patient/friend will come and see me tomorrow at the clinic and I will ask him to go by and check out the situation and I will pay for the work to be done connecting the water pipes etc. including the material to be bought.
I felt grateful to Pak Joe in Bogor because he would have done the same thing.

I could only agree with the incredible genealogist/historian whom I met today:
I need these ancient peoples much more than they need me.
Paul Brill, the Incredible Genealogist who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Omaha Kinship. He has mapped at least 8 generations of Omaha! The other person in the photo is my Omaha Brother