Day 5

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!




10 thoughts on “Day 5

  1. Mere I love you posts! It is fascinating to read about the culture you are experiencing. I can’t imagine what that heat must be like. I had to chuckle to myself as I was sitting here try to do the correct ‘yes’ head nod….haha

  2. Mere, Here’s a cultural question, do cows really walk free in the streets? Also, I hope you can adjust to the night heat. Do you have a fan, or maybe listen to music on your headset as you lie down. I remember my frustration with spanish the first time i went to Mexico. love you, mom

  3. It isn’t like we understand what surgeons are saying in English either 😉 We just nod and smile, or in this case, sidebend and smile!! Haha!! Hope you still feel like you are learning!

  4. Hello Mer!!! I had difficulties posting a comment tried 2x and hast gone through…. Hopefully this one does… Anyways THANKS for sharing these experiences…. I hear you with the mango!!! Soon you will be having mango for breakfast lunch and dinner….. so good… watch out to eat them too warm…

    Remember those experiences every little second count and every interaction.. I cant imaging the affirmation being done by side bending.. hehe l

    Keep having fun.. here we are following you and keeping you in our prayers for you to have the best experience!!!

    With lots of love

  5. Hey Meredith!!
    I love reading your daily stories. You are so awesome, such an inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us! I am thinking about you and praying for you!

    Can’t wait to see you for graduation!


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