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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: India (02/12/09)

TITLE: Patalkot
By Debra Elliott


My life with Dr. Jonathan Harper has not been easy. I knew when I agreed to become his wife and
we came to Brazil my life would change forever. Jonathan is a dedicated doctor and goes where he is needed and I follow him. I've dedicated my life to serve the Lord and the indigenous peoples that need us.

Jonathan and I are leaving Brazil and headed to India. Our mission this time will take us to the Patalkot valley.

I couldn't believe that I was uprooting again. First, I left my home in America to travel to Australia to be with my parents after my fiancé died , then to Brazil with my new husband. We didn't even have a honeymoon. Now after six months in the Amazon Rain forest we're heading to India. We're headed to another unknown region.

We argued about what we wanted to do when we got to India.

“Clarissa, I'm a doctor and my only mission is to help save lives. I understand the importance of Christianity, but my first priority is establishing a medical center.”

I didn't argue with him. “Jonathan I will go where you go and I will help where I am needed.”

He kissed me and went to call the chief medical officer to let him know when we would leave for India.

I wanted to know more about Patalkot .

“Jonathan if I'm going around the world with you again then I want to know why we're going to India.”

“Clarissa, Patalkot is a home to a tribal culture skilled at using the forest plants to make effective medicines. There's increasing threats of deforestation and exploitation of the people there. “

I was enthralled with his description of this strange place.

“Tell me more.”

“The natives know secrets of the medicinal plants that grow in the Patalkot valley. Doctors Without Borders wants to help the Bharias and Gonds that live there.”

“When do we leave?”

“We fly out tomorrow. It's monsoon season in India and we need to get started as soon as possible.”

“Where will we be staying?”

He saw her concern.

“There are twelve villages in the valley and we will be staying in Gaildubba. Don't worry darling,we'll have access to everything we need.”

I wasn't worried about that, I'm worried about telling Jonathan I'm pregnant . I don't want to hide it from him, but I'm afraid if he knew he wouldn't go to India.

“Clarissa, what's really bothering you?”

I couldn't lie to him or hide anything.

“Jonathan we're going to have a baby.”

“What? Oh darling that's wonderful news.”

“It is? What about India?”

“We can still go, only if you want to.”

“I do. I want to go where the Lord leads us Jonathan. And if the Lord is leading us to go to India, then that's where we are going on our next trip of a lifetime.”

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This article has been read 595 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Glynis Becker02/19/09
Very sweet entry.
Jan Ackerson 02/20/09
What a wonderful wife she is--I don't think I could do it.

You slipped into 3rd person once, when you wrote "He sensed her concern". It made me back-pedal for a moment...but it's easily fixed.

BeckyJoie Oakes02/22/09
I, too, admire the spirit of a woman who can pick up and go--anywhere--across the world to support her husband's life calling. I wonder if this will strike others as it did me who have moved multiple times while most of the time dreading it. Perhaps the Lord is trying to prepare me for something I don't know of yet.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge02/22/09
Interesting way to present a few facts around a personal story. I also got tripped up by the change of POV. Nicely told drama.
Seema Bagai 02/23/09
I enjoyed reading this story. Just a note. Writing a sequential story over several weeks is discouraged in the challenge because a judge could recognize the characters from a previous week. This takes away from the anonymity of the challenge.

That said, I think you have a piece of a novel here. If you decide to write it, let me know. I would love to read it.
Lynn Jacky 02/27/09
Debra Hi Again - I came across your name for Inda - congratulations on 6th place -
Thank you for the story. - Lynn.