Volunteer in Asia
I was able to offer my Western training to aid the dedicated nurses and doctors in treating these individuals. I was able to discuss what the best treatment options were with each medical doctor for the countless patients that came in including, hypoglycemic (malnutrition), gastritis, malaria, typhoid, TB, and emergency patients.
...the hospital staff, despite their limited English, were helpful and just as excited to learn from us as we were from them! We taught them how to use their EEG machine and defibrillator. It seems almost unthinkable that these machines could be possessed and yet not used due to lack of knowledge. This was extremely rewarding for us to be a part of.
Overall, one cannot but be impressed and humbled by the whole experience and you will come away (with difficulty and a heavy heart because of the love and lessons those children with so very little have taught you in such a short time) inspired to take back home some of those simple “rules” and customs of teaching, so often lost or forgotten in our modern obsession for league tables and political correctness.
Friday’s are a bit different because that’s test day, the children LOVE this though, as they get to see what they’ve learnt through the week and after an hour or so of tests are free to play. One Friday it was so hot we all ran through a fence at the back of the school and jumped in to a huge pond to cool off. All the kids who could swim were jumping in with us and the ones who couldn’t we were hugging and splashing.
I managed to FaceTime my cousin when I gained access to WiFi again and she asked me, 'So what did you learn from all this?' I simply responded with, 'If you don’t cut the weeds you cannot see the beautiful temple.' That statement meant to me that only when you get rid of all the impure, damaging things around you, can you reveal the beautiful temple within.
After becoming acquainted with our panda keeper and pandas, we started our first job. It was necessary to clean the cage, removing the bamboo leaves and other garbage. After that, we started to clean their enclosures... In addition, we fed the pandas twice a day with carrot and special bread (named ”panda cake”), and sometimes apples.
Feeding the pandas was an unforgettable experience. The pandas would rush to the entrance of the cage and lumber up to the front. My favorite panda, Susan, would hold a bar for support as she ate. They were so receptive and excited to get their special panda bread and carrots, relishing every bite.
The small hospital waiting room was crowded––full of patients from the surrounding villages seeking medical treatment. The doctor and medical staff hurried to and fro, despite the stifling heat, to treat the overload of patients. This was the scene in Karan Hospital, just outside of Palampur, India, every day. The doctors are heroes here, working endlessly to observe, diagnose and treat the plenitude of patients––a job of at least five doctors in a Western medicine facility. This is what medicine, the pursuit of helping people, is all about.
... my time spent in the hospital reduced the stress on the doctors in a severely understaffed hospital, and made a positive contribution to the people of Palampur. I helped perform tasks such as assisting geriatric patients in and out of their beds, taking blood pressure and vitals of post surgery patients...