"This is roughly how every day at the orphanage went, each one with little quirks and quiet achievements. I remember how amazing it felt to watch the kids learning and growing, even in such a short space of time while I was there – hearing them say my name, words I had taught them, singing songs I had sung to them or games I had taught them. I began to get to know and love the personalities of each of them, it was so gorgeous
During the second week I volunteered at the orphanage where I played with children aged from 2 to 5. The children there were happy to see you and wanted to play with you. A lot of them wanted to learn English so in order to achieve that they would point at different things and smiled when you told them what it was.
My first involvement was with a man who had scrapes on his face. I timidly wiped some of the iodine disinfectant liquid into his face. The second patient had a bad case of appendicitis. He was getting better and today he had a tube that was collecting pus removed. The next patient had cellulitis on his foot. I rubbed the foot with disinfectant and cut the dead skin away. Then, I bound his foot with gauze.
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.
Volunteering in Indonesia was more than a simple experience, it was an opportunity I had to challenge myself as I have never done before. I have met some of the most interesting and passionate people on the planet and shared with them my life, my interests, my pictures and my dreams. Together we had the unique opportunity to discover the country, its people and its amazing environment from the privileged viewpoint of a volunteer.
This first week was an introduction week which was a great way to meet new people and familiarize oneself with the surroundings that I would be living in for a month. During this week we visited the Monkey forest, had a tour around Ubud, went to some rice fields, learnt some Balinese language and cooking and went to the Holy Water temple. It was a jam packed first week but a great way to really embrace the Balinese lifestyle. We also went and watched a Balinese dance show and had a Balinese offering and painting class. All of which contributed to a great first week.
It was truly an amazing experience. The coordinators were very friendly and accommodating and I learned a lot during my stay. Even though it was crowded, overall the program was great and I would recommend it to anyone. I’ll surely miss everything about Vietnam from its rich history and culture, food, friendly students, to the patients in the hospital who kept asking me if I’m Vietnamese. I’ll especially miss the lifelong friendships I had made.
It was quite the eye opening experience to see how efficiently very little resources could be used to yield the maximum care for the patients.The best part of the volunteering was actually being able to do procedures and assist the nurses in their daily activities. I had already been trained in how to do many of the skills, so it was as simple as the nurses showed me how to do them in the Vietnamese way and off I went. The hands on experience you get through GoEco is second to none.
I was in the clinic most days (there were many holidays during my stay so sometimes the clinic was closed). In the clinic there were different stations that I was able to choose from. Some days I was in the baby weighing station, others in the wound dressing room or even in the maternity ward if a woman was in labor.
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