Monday, August 24, 2009

Hafta Teen (Week 3)

This week Sandy, Anita, Hope and I did our rotation in a very small and rural village called Than Gaon. It is 45 minutes outside of Dehradun up in the mountains within the jungle. We spent our time in clinic and hiking to nearby villages under the guildance of Dr. Paul. Tuesday and Thursday we hiked 2 hours out of the 'Nature Quest' facility to get to the neighboring villages to provide them primary care. The closest markets were 30 minutes away and were only basic convenient stores. We really enjoyed the fresh cool air and working with the rural community.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday, August 15th

We went to Chandigarh this weekend and went to see the beautiful Nek Chad Rock Garden. It was a 6 hour bus ride that was relatively smooth despite some irritating males that were trying to talk to us and the incident of hitting a water buffalo.

Me, Emma, Verni, and Sandy in Chandigarh


Sukhna Lake with the Swans

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hafta Teen (Week 3)

This week our rotation is in Dehradun and we are staying with our host mom, Mrs. Sethi. Our days are considerably busier and there is less time for me to blog, therefore I’ll be mainly posting pictures from this week. Our schedules are pretty much the same day-to-day:

9am breakfast

11-1pm Homeopathic lesson with Dr. Nanda

1:30pm lunch

4-5:15pm Reiki and Acupuncture lesson with Dr. Prem Nath

5:45-8pm Obstetrics and Gynecology with Dr. Nisha Gera

Sandy, Emma and I are mainly travelling by Vickrums and Auto Rickshaws around the city. It has been quite a hectic and busy week, but we have learnt a lot and are enjoying ourselves. This weekend we will travel to Chandigarh to see the beautiful city. It is only 6 hours away from Dehradun.

Elaborate designs on the gates of homes in Dehradun
More beautiful gates
Local children at the Ganesh Temple
Mmmmm... Chicken Tikka pizza at Pizza Hut
Mrs. Sethi's special lunch at Pizza Hut... her choice
Lord Krishna's birthday celebration
Produce aisle
Dr. Nanda's office
Dr. Nisha Gera's office
Sandy having her Chakra's dowsed by Dr. Prem Nath... he's 97 years old!
Mrs. Sethi and me
Our experience at an Indian McDonalds. Not quite the same menu choices.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hafta Dos (Week 2)

Sunday, August 9th

We finally made it to the waterfall this morning! It was nothing like we expected and when we were dropped off at the site we had no idea where it was or if we were at the right place. Luckily there was a vendor standing nearby and he pointed to a sign in full Hindi with a small path behind the sign. Sandy and I had no idea that that was where we were supposed to hike. But, it was more than worth it! The large waterfall was secluded and incredible. Words can’t describe how excited and amazed I was by its beauty. We stayed at the falls for a while, taking pictures and trying to capture its incredible nature. We then hitched a ride back with a really nice group of men and got back to our apartment to pack our bags to go to Dehradun. What a fantastic day. We were dropped off at our homestay site with Mrs. Sethi and she immediately welcomed us warmly and called us her children. We would be staying with another intern, Emma and would follow a slightly different schedule than her because she is in the Medical rotation and not the Traditional Medicine.

The sign for the Big Waterfall. Who knew? We should have clued in with the markered in 'BIG WF'
At the waterfall
There were some amazing and scary looking caves all around
The nice gentlemen who drove us back down the hill
Sandy and I with one of the women who work at the Ashram

Saturday, August 8th

Sandy and I had made plans to see the ‘Big Waterfall’ today but our lack of appropriate directions made today an impossible and exhausting task. All I need to say is that we hiked up a hill for 5.5 hours, hitch-hiked with a really nice family to a temple, hiked another 2 hours to be sadly disappointed and then taxied back home, without seeing the waterfall! All that and I my stomach was a bit upset and I was completely exhausted. Luckily, we had company for a bit of the hike with other tourists and 2 stray dogs who scared away any ‘Red-faced’ monkeys and protected us for more than an hour of our hike. We thought that the nice family was driving us to the waterfall, but realized that they were going to a temple. The temple was high up on the mountain and was nothing too spectacular, hence our disappointment. We met up with a nice couple from Austria and walked with them up to the temple. We also shared a taxi back down the hill to the main market area. Sandy and I were exhausted and starving after only having protein bars and water throughout the day. We went to the closest restaurant and ordered something so typical of the asian tourist… ‘Chow Mein’! But boy was it delicious. We had a great sleep that night and decided to try to go to the waterfall again the next day before going back to Dehradun. (the pictures are in reverse order)

Closest thing to Ketchup chips... I couldn't resist
Chow Mein...mmmm
The disappointing temple
Now that's a dirty leg

The beautiful landscape
One of the friendly dogs who followed us on our 5.5 hour endless hike... I named him Uncle
Climbing trees...It's not as high as it looks, but still pretty cool
Beautiful local artwork sold in the Rishikesh market

Friday, August 7th
Today is my brother, Geoffrey’s, birthday! Although, because we are 10.5 hours ahead of them it’s technically not his birthday till 9:30am. Today was a sad day because we had to say goodbye to Allison and Kiana. We went to yoga at 7:30am and then had to pack some of our things to walk across the bridge to where the car was waiting. Sandy and I wanted to make our trip on Sunday more comfortable by only having to carry 1 bag and a nap-sac instead of 2 big luggage bags. We walked around a bit on the other side of the bridge after dropping off the girls and saying our goodbyes. My stomach was feeling unsettled and so we stopped to have some hot honey, ginger and lemon drinks. We walked back slowly hoping to get back in time for lunch, but I wasn’t really hungry. We did some reading and laundry before taking a walk to see the building that the Beatles went to for meditation on their ‘White Album’. It wasn’t too exciting, but we did meet up with a girl who was traveling on her own and I thought she was very brave. We got drenched from head to toe on our way home and had to change before our Meditation class.

Sandy on the bridge with a random Indian family that wanted to take her picture with them. This is a frequent occurance.
Soaking wet walking back to our apartment
The Ashram where the beatles worked on their White Album
The friendly black faced monkeys

Thursday, August 6th
Today we took a trip to the other side of Rishikesh to look at the market there and to spend some time at the Buddha Café reading. I was able to finish my book, Twilight, and I loved it. I can’t wait to go home and read the next sequel. After getting back to the apartment, we spent some time packing one suitcase to take over the bridge the next day to be taken back to Dehra Dun by Allison and Kiana. They are finished the CFHI program and are heading to different areas to continue their travels.
The delicious 'jumbo chocolate ball'
Wednesday, August 5th
Today was a very overcast day and we didn't feel like doing much. We had Yoga in the morning, read some of my book, had class, read some more, had lunch, and went into the market. We got some blogging done but some of the girls weren't feeling very well and they stayed in their rooms. After meditation, we went down to watch the nightly Shiva Ceremony and it was spectacular with singing and a huge statue of Shiva lite up. We had dinner and I stayed in while the other girls went to the Buddha Cafe.

Shiva lite up in the afternoon

Tuesday, August 4th
After our brilliant yoga class and breakfast this morning we went for an adventurous hike up and down into a valley and then rock-climbed our way back out. We were all dripping sweat as we emerged from the forested area. We came back just in time for our Naturopathic lesson and had scheduled a massage with the local practitioners at the Ashram. It was great and very thorough in the sense that they did your back and your front! I’ve been spending a lot of my time reading and exploring the local areas and have been having a very relaxing time. I find the yoga and meditation to be really excellent and I hope to video tape part of a session to let other people experience it as well. Wait for the video. After dinner, we went to a brilliant little café called, ‘The Buddha Café’ and sat for a while reading our books. It was a nice comfortable tourist spot about 30 minutes away from the Ashram which was unfortunately a bit too far to go to everyday.

Left to Right: Me, Sandy, Allison, Kiana
At the Buddha Cafe
The view from our apartment complex
The many cows that line the streets all day and night. You have to watch out for their poop.

Monday, August 3rd
We began our day with a yoga lesson at 7:30am. Our days in Rishikesh will be structured in the same way for the entire week that we will be here. I’ve heard it is the most relaxed rotation out of all the weeks and it gives Sandy and I a lot of time to reflect and tour around the area. Our days consist of yoga at 7:30, breakfast at 9am, Naturopathic lessons at 11am, lunch at 1pm, meditation at 5pm, and supper at 7pm. There is a lot of extra time to explore the lush green hills and the local markets. Today, we took a short hike to one of the near by temples which was wonderful to see. The food here is excellent and really healthy. No oil and only vegetarian meals with lots of spices and sauce. Delicious! The ladies who cook the meals are really friendly as well and always give us way too much to eat.
We have had a bit of a scare with the local ‘Red-faced monkeys’ who are really aggressive and will attack anybody who appears threatening. Our rooms are located on the 2nd floor of an apartment building and we were unable to get down to the main floor because there were monkeys on the balcony. We had to yell for help to local people on the street so that they would come and rescue us… lol.

A beautiful gate with a view of the Temple behind it

A sacred cow statue
At the top of the Temple