I wrote about the first day, but figured I would wait and sum up the week since we did basically the same thing every day.
The clinic idea was great, and the fact we were able to help people was great. We saw 72 patients Monday, 65 on Tuesday, about 27 Wednesday, somewhere in the teens on Thursday, and like 20 again on Friday. It got colder as the week went on, which probably made people not want to venture out into the weather. We were quite cold ourselves, even in layers. We had a theory, too, that the clinic wasnt very publicized so people who didnt live in the immediate area wouldnt know they could travel to it. Also contributing to the smaller numbers is the fact we only spent 3 hours every day running the clinic! This was incredibly frustrating to me. On my past 2 medical mission trip to Haiti and Peru, we were out there Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm, were busy all day, and it was so fulfilling. This past week, we were out Monday-Friday from 10am-12:30/1pm. So 15 hours of clinic, and 40 hours of free time total. I was not a happy camper. Maybe IVHQ has their reasons for the short hours. Perhaps Dr. Prabhat has to spend the rest of the day with his patients, or they know that people are busy and will only come out at those times, or maybe the translators were only available then. But to me it just seems like a waste of resources. There were 8 volunteers, some with experience, and all wanting to get out there and help run the clinic. You would think that would be taken advantage of, and there would be a bigger event while the manpower was available. Instead, we had to play cards or go to the market, or some way amuse ourselves from lunch until like 9pm when dinner was served.
Incredibly frustrating. I’m here to help doctors, not get good at card games.
Dr. Prabhat did tell me, though, that my placement will be different since I am here so long. I am hoping that means I will be somewhere where I can learn and be of help rather than simply watch. The other volunteers who are only staying a few weeks are quite disappointed with the experience they have had and feel useless and bored.
I’ll give it a chance though. Maybe it will be great.