Tuesday, 26 October 2010

We've grown a hospital in the garden!

Well this is really it ... I'm leaving for India ... to open the hospital that we've built in the garden!! It's taken two years; there have been moments when I wondered why I've done it; days when I wish I'd stuck to the seeds and plants that I know back home; but after two years of hard work, we're ready to open our doors to patients in rural Rajasthan.
And as a passionate gardener, I can say it's been a bit like making a garden from scratch. We started with nothing except a plot of land (above) and a lot of determination. We planted the seeds and waited anxiously for them to grow. We watched nervously while we endured terrible weather conditions - days when the temperature went well over 100F and torrential rain that rendered working on site impossible; but the seeds survived. After a few months they began to grow into very small plants and slowly the building began to rise from the ground. Construction work started a year ago in November 2009 and although progress seemed slow at times, we had the basic building in place by April of this year (below).
Over the two-year period, I've been to India six times, often in difficult conditions and leaving my family at times when I should have stayed home. I've encountered illness, unhappiness and even a sense of desolation when we've run into problems that you just wouldn't find here in the UK or the US. But I'm not complaining, because it's been an enormous challenge and we're now ready to open our doors. I've travelled many miles since this project began and met many wonderful people in rural India (below).
Now is the time for me to thank everybody who's helped along the way. None of this would have been possible without Dr Deepak Babel (below), the man who looked after my husband when he became so sick in India two years ago. It was because of his care, compassion and courage that my husband got better; and it was because we met that this project began. I'm not going to go into all the history here, because if you're interested you can read about it on our Raven Foundation blog.
And thanks will never be sufficient for all those who've helped along the way - our families, our friends, our benefactors and readers - all of whom have encouraged us, supported us and helped us achieve our goal - Disha Hospital (latest picture below) - which will be inaugurated this coming Sunday. (You'll all be asleep in the UK and the US when it happens, but do spare us a thought when you wake up!)
It's spring in Rajasthan, so I'm hoping to get out into some of the glorious gardens there once we've opened Disha, so more from there .... and thanks again for all your support in the last year.

22 comments:

  1. Congratulations
    I hope you the best in your new adventure.
    Is so great to see the fruit of your work come true, I am sure everything will work nicely in India.
    Best luck!

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  2. What an accomplishment. It seems like only yesterday that you broke ground, now you're having it's opening on Sunday. Have a good trip.

    FlowerLady

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  3. Congratulations! Hard work always pays off and I am sure this will / has enriched your life in so many ways. Wish you all the best!

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  4. BRAVA!! BRAVA!! Have a safe and memorable trip. Of course it will be. I so admire you dear Charlotte! ;>)

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  5. Charlotte, what a wonderful building it's turned out to be. Now you'll fill it with life and helping hands, and I wish you and the others all the best. It's a true life's work.

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  6. What a wonderful endeavor you have undertaken. Blessings to you for your goodness!

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  7. Thank you all for your wonderful wishes and comments ... watch this space and I'll be posting about the inauguration ceremony on Sunday. Charlotte

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  8. This is an astonishing project that you have undertaken and now call completed. A remarkable gift to the community it will serve. Congratulations.

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  9. Congratulations! That is truly a wonderful accomplishment...and I hope you enjoy Rajasthan now that the heat is dying down.

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  10. Congratulations, Charlotte! How wonderful to see all this hard work come to fruition. -Jean

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  11. I would like to add my Congratulations. May your Disha Hospital bring top quality health care to many who would otherwise not have access.

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  12. I've only just come across your blog and am astounded by what you have achieved. 24 years ago we spent several months in Rajasthan when we were driving round Asia. We spent longest there as it was our favourite place! I got treated with anti-rabies innoculations after being bitten by a dog there too.
    I sincerly hope your wonderful hospital is a huge success in providing medical care for the local population. Good luck :)

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  13. Congratulations on seeing your seeds grow to fruition! I will pray for the continued success of your project.

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  14. Wow, what a beautiful thing to do! I can only try to imagine all the problems you must have run into on the way... And I won't complain again over those "little things" I've had problem with this fall opening my own store "lol" I really admire what you've done and wish you all luck with the hospital in the future - Congratulations!

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  15. It's a great accomplishment. Congratulations! Have a safe and enjoyable trip!

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  16. Congratulations !!!
    Have a great time in India.

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  17. Charlotte, it's so wonderful that this project has come to fruition at last! You should be so proud! Congratulations! I'm looking forward to an update on the festivities after Sunday's opening ceremony!

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  18. Awesome achievement. It sounds like there will be even more stories to come from this epic adventure. Would love to hear how it's made a difference in the lives of India's people as it opens it doors.

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  19. And again, thank you for all your wishes! Just three days to go now!
    Charlotte

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  20. What a wonderful gift you are giving - it sounds as thought it has had a high cost (I'm new to Blotanical, so don't know the whole story). God bless as you begin a new phase of the adventure.

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  21. An amazing journey! Many hearts are with you.

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  22. FANTASTIC!!! Well done!
    All good wishes for your project, must it grow deep roots. :)

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