Friday, 13 February 2015

Reflections On My Time In Chitwan

PROJECT: Medical Placement (Radiotherapy & Paramedicine)

Reflecting on the experiences I have had during my placement in Chitwan, I believe I have developed in the following aspects of my life:

Coming into this trip, I had already made a few personal goals to achieve. In the 3 weeks here, I feel like I have met these goals, all the while becoming more self-aware of my own personal strengths and weaknesses. I have learnt that I do have the capacity to become more patient, and with this, learnt how to compromise with others, when to agree and when not to, and how to do this in an amiable manner.

I have learnt how to better incorporate my personal lifestyle into the way I view myself with colleagues, in the workplace and with my superiors. To expand on this, I find that I am able to readily distinguish what type of appropriate behaviour to follow while still enjoying my time. Even when faced with topics that are closer to the controversial side of the spectrum, I have improved my ability to diffuse tension by showing more understanding and empathy on the subject matter, and to opinions of others.

Who runs the world? Sadly, it is not girls, as Beyoncé sings about in her song "Runs the world (Girls)". Rather it happens to be the dollar bills. Nepal is such a country that lacks vastly in wealth, and as such, it is no wonder that the people living here place certain things we normally don't in high priority. Living in a neighbourhood that faces these challenges, coupled with a culture where an individual's appearance is everything, was an immense challenge for myself and for many others on this trip. While we would have complaints about pimples, and knotty or greasy hair, they would have it about items of clothing, food, and of course the intense desire to become white. I think many of us have realised what little they have, and as cliché as it would be to say, we have learnt not to take anything for granted, that is entirely and of the utmost truth.

We have learnt to feel more compassion towards the Nepalese. They have the saying that they treat their guests as if they were gods, and this sentiment could not be more true. I, and so many others in the group, was taken aback on many occasions by the wonderful hospitality that these people have showed us. Although we had met only a few times, many of my colleagues invited me to their house for dinner and to meet with their family.

Having been very interested in different faiths and beliefs, I was so excited to learn more about what the major faith in Nepal was, and if there was any particular system that it followed. I have stayed with a traditional Hindu family for the past few weeks, and I have been able to learn so much about their traditions and the beliefs that lie behind them. There is just something extremely fascinating about understanding and being exposed to such a beautifully sacred practice that on normal occasions one would not get the chance to learn about first-hand.

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