Incredible India! I just returned from my second trip to the incredible country of India – only this time, it was hard work instead of a true vacation! India is certainly not for everyone – or for the faint of heart! I’ve loved both of my trips visiting that country even though they were very different experiences.
My first trip was pleasure-travel, seeing and experiencing all the highlights of this wonderful country. I visited Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi, Darjeeling, Cochin and the backwaters of Kerala. On my first trip to India, after being there for three days I thought to myself “This isn’t so bad. I can do this!” There are so many stereotypes of India that are overwhelming and scary and true. But there are also things that are so much better than those stereotypes and even more overwhelming in a good way! It really is Incredible India!
When I left India that first time, I was certainly anxious to get home again – back to all my creature comforts – but something inside me knew that I’d visit again someday.
About a year ago, I had an opportunity to apply for a position as a non-medical team member for a medical mission project to Nagamangala, India. I immediately applied and hoped and hoped to be selected. Lucky me – I was! This most recent trip was focused on a service project with some of my fellow Rotary Club members. I just returned to work today after being in India for the past two weeks working with some of my fellow members of the Rotary Club of Terra Linda on a medical mission with Rotaplast International. (Click here to learn more about Rotaplast www.rotaplast.org.) Here is the link to the official Rotaplast blog of our trip: http://rotaplast.typepad.com/missions/. Internet connections were tricky while we were working in India – so more blog entries will continue to post over the next week or so.
We lived/worked at a local medical school and hospital (rustic at best!) in a region called Nagamangala which is about 2 hours outside of Bangalore, India. The first day, we screened more than 150 potential patients for cleft lip, cleft palate, or burn scar revision surgeries. When all was said and done, we served 109 patients with more than 120+ surgical procedures. A job well done by our entire team!
Our team was made up of 16 medical team members (one from the RC of Terra Linda) and 11 non- medical team members (nine were from the RC of Terra Linda). The experience was quite difficult on many levels – and extremely rewarding on other levels. I guess that is a sign of a good project – challenging and rewarding at the same time! A very special thank you to my teammates here at PRANDI who helped cover for me while I was away. It’s never easy when one of us is away from the office for a while – and I appreciate everyone’s support. –Christine