Blogger’s note: Following is the second of three entries about my recent travels during a Palmer Clinic Abroad trip to India. It is an abridged version from my journal. Enjoy!
After a few days of sightseeing in New Delhi, we flew to Hyderabad, which is a large city located in central India. We stayed at a hotel called the Taj Krishna, which is a beautiful, old-fashioned style hotel. We got to meet our interpreters, who are all female nursing students, and give them instructions on how they can help us. Some of the interpreters had done this in the past, but mine had not. She was a sweet, but shy, girl and I hoped that she would open up to me more as the week went on.
The next day, Thursday, was our first day of clinic! We went to St. Anne’s Christian School, which is an all girls school. When we got there, students were all lined up in the courtyard: several thousand of them. They had a really nice opening ceremony for us. Some girls sang, other girls danced, their band played, and they gave us all flower leis. It made me cry! Then we got to work.
We were in a very simple classroom with an open window to the busy outside, and Clint (my husband) commented whenever he came in that the exhaust fumes were bad. I must have gotten used to it. I felt that I was moving pretty quickly that day, although I only ended up adjusting 23 girls. We didn’t have a whole lot of clinic time. We went from about 10-3 with a break for lunch.
Day two of clinic was much more efficient. I started to move faster and was able to adjust 36 girls. The fun thing about working with kids is that they don’t usually have any pain, so they are considered “wellness” patients. You pretty much just adjust what you find without having to worry about any complex conditions.
I did have one girl with ankle pain that I got a really good talus adjustment on. It went “pop!” which startled her, and she said it felt much better after. I also had a girl with low back pain, and she had a pretty bad thoraco-lumbar junction subluxation that also adjusted very easily, and she also felt improved. It was sad to pack up and leave at the end of the day. It was hard to get from the school to the bus. We were all attacked by swarms of “paparazzi”—the girls all asking for our autographs before we left!
On Saturday we had a free day, and a group of us went to Charminar, which is a large shopping bazaar in Hyderabad. We ended up spending the majority of the day there, and I purchased a tailor-made sari and kurtha (a type of women’s dress suit) for myself and my sister. We also purchased an ethnic Indian outfit for my husband. It will be fun to have those to wear to costume parties or out to Indian restaurants in the states.
I think my favorite part of this day was riding the auto rickshaw. Traffic in India is crazy! The only traffic law is to stop at a red light, and they don’t have many lights. In general they drive on the left side of the road (British style), but lane lines are just a suggestion. They basically use the rules of walking for driving. Crossing at intersections and turning were pretty interesting. They just weave in and out of cross traffic like a game of Frogger.
The rides were also a way to see more of the city. There was a barber by the side of the road, the little stands where rickshaw drivers would buy gas in plastic bottles, and water buffalo wandering by. The worst part was the exhaust and polluted air rushing into your face.
The next three days we had a clinic in a hospital called Al-Arif. Stay tuned for the third (and last) part of my tale.
9the trimester student, Davenport Campus