Today I was exhausted! The heat last night was a little intense and I think I haven’t quite recovered from the flight over here. The heat hasn’t bothered me yet during the day (it is a dry heat, not the humid, gross heat of Ohio summers), but it never really cools down at night.
The exhaustion made it even more difficult to try to decipher what went on in the hospital today. Hindi and Marathi are SO different from English. Nothing really is easy to understand. The language barrier has been a little frustrating, but the staff has been understanding and they try to get me involved where they can. In fact, I actually was asked to assist in a surgery today! I have reverted back to hand signals to help with my language incompetence. It adds to my silly appearance, but at least I’m making people laugh!! 😀
Since my first week is almost done I wanted to share with you all some things I’ve learned about the culture and health system.
A few things about health care:
Like I read before coming, very few people are covered by health insurance, so most people pay out of pocket. I have been working in one of the many private hospitals in the city that are owned by either a signal doctor or a group of doctors. More and more physicians are collaborating to form larger group hospitals. These hospitals mainly serve the middle and upper class, while the public hospitals provide free care to the poorer community members. The government does have some regulations set in place to assure that there is a standard of care in the private hospitals.
An interesting fact about immunizations that I learned from the pediatrician is that instead of just receiving the Hep. B vaccine like newborns do in the States, the little ones in India must receive Hep. B, oral polio, and BCG (vaccine for Tuberculosis). The pediatrician stated that very few parents refuse vaccinations, which was relieving to hear!!
Cultural fun facts:
May is mango month! Right now I’m writing this under the mango tree in front of our house. There are hundreds of green mangos that I’ve been told will ripen in the heat of this month. I’m really hoping a few will be ready before I leave! They’re my favorite.
Instead of nodding your head to say yes, here you side bend your head back and forth. I probably look hilarious as I’m trying to correct myself from nodding all the time 🙂
There’s much more, but I’ll leave things here for now.
Oh but before I forget, Jenny, it’s the turmeric that makes the curry yellow 🙂
Love you all!