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Arlette.Marenco

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Child Family Health International
November 30, 2011

I participated in CFHI's Introduction to Traditional Medicine, India program in July 2011. This was my first experience abroad and, as would be expected, I was quite nervous before I left. Upon arrival in Delhi I, along with the other participants, were guided through every step of our journey to Dehradun. The program staff were nothing short of amazing, and it was quite evident that they were truly passionate about their jobs.

This is a program geared toward medical and pre-med students. I, however am neither; as an anthropology student I went into the program knowing little to nothing about medicine or the healthcare system. I never felt behind or out of place, and if anything I felt that the other participants and staff saw my alternate viewpoint as useful in a fuller understanding of different situations.

As I am in no way medical, as an ethical decision, I made it a point to not have physical encounters with patients. The medical/pre-med students did, however, take full advantage of such opportunities when they presented themselves.

I had a wonderful experience shadowing doctors in Dehradun for two weeks, learning about Homeopathy, Reiki, Ayurveda, Accupressure, and how western-style medicine functions in the context of India. A third week was spent in the enchanting town of Rishikesh, nestled in between the edge of the foothills of the Himalayas and the holy Ganges river. In Rishikesh we stayed in an Ashram, having daily yoga lessons and lectures on the various therapies of Naturopathy. The fourth week was spent in the rural village of Patti, secluded, deep in the foothills, from the hustle and bustle of the heavily trafficked urban center. Here we had early morning yoga with views of the sleepy sunrise against the misty valley that could your breath away. We had a more hands on approach to learning about Ayurveda and went on nature walks to find naturally growing medicinal plants.

This experience was one that I will remember always. The staff was so warm and inviting that I am still in contact with many of them to this day. I also loved it so much that I am doing the program again this June.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

This experience has opened my eyes to some of the realities that the rest of the world faces. I have been able to see the differences in our healthcare systems, and have been able to see the pros and cons of both. I have also been exposed to various alternative medicines that are not very well known in the United States.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I learned lots about alternatives to western medicine. I also learned how to use a blood pressure cuff :) I made a number of friends while there, most of whom I still keep in touch with on a regular basis.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

awesome. and sad to come home!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I observed doctors as they performed their various methods of traditional medicine.