Orphanage – Dayspring Home

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 @ 2:08 pm | Uncategorized

Fortunately I was far away from the terrorist attacks which recently hit Mumbai, and there were no safety issues for me in Madurai. There was some progress to report in the this week; I finally got my PCR product for making my In Situ Hybridization probe. Its good news as it means we can begin experiments that brought me to Aravind! Hopefully we can have some data collected by late December or early January… It would be nice to have something to talk about at the upcoming Asia ARVO conference.

The most interesting thing that happened this weekend was my visit the Dayspring Home, a one and a half hour journey from Madurai. I learned about this orphanage for children whose parents are infected with HIV through a friend that I met on my Pondicherry trip, Zoe. She is working to establish a trust and increase grant funding of the facility as well as spending quality time with the children. There are 24 children staying at Dayspring Home now (fourteen boys and ten girls).

On the way we faced some obstacles, such at the bus breaking down and having to wait on the side of the road for another one… things in India do seem to work out in the end. It was great to spend a day with the children there. We bought books (coloring, English lessons, etc.) and fruits to give the children, and played games with them. My favorite was cricket, which we played with a coconut tree branch and crate. Each time I managed to hit the ball I dropped the bat and ran, much to the amusement of the children!

Knowing that I’m a medical student, Zoe had me look at some of the children who were injured or sick. One boy had a case of impetigo and one of the girls had a sprained wrist. Fortunately we had the topical Mupirocin the boy needed for treatment of his rash… I wonder how often children like this go without any treatment at all. Anyway, I was happy to lend some medical knowledge, although I obviously still have a lot to learn! Zoe commented that it was great for the boys to have a male around for once, and a group of us in the lab are planning to visit again soon.



  • Advice for Future India Fulbrighters
  • Farwell India
  • Meenakshi Temple – Kumbabishekam
  • Spending time in Madurai – In Situ Hybridization
  • Fulbright Conference – Kolkata, Varanasi, and Kathmandu
  • Indian Wedding in Madurai and trip to Bangalore
  • Indian Pilgrimage – Thekkady, Munnar, Mahabalipuram
  • Asia ARVO – Hyderabad
  • Fulbrighters come to Madurai, friends and I visit Dayspring Home
  • Birthday and New Year in Tamil Nadu

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