First Weekend in Madurai/ A&E in MMHRC

This weekend Esther, Celine, Jenna and I stayed in Madurai to see some of the sights. On Saturday morning we went to the Ghandi Museum which was a very impressive building.

The museum houses the cloth garment Ghandi was wearing when he was assassinated and copies of the letters that he wrote to many world leaders. There is even a copy of the letter that Ghandi had wrote to Hitler which reads,

“It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to the savage state. Must you pay that price for an object however worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success?”

There was a school trip in the museum and all of the kids were very friendly and wanted us to take their picture. Next to the Ghandi Museum is a ‘Government Museum of Natural History’.  The outside of the building was the funniest thing I have seen so far in India… as you’ll see from the picture, there were a load beautiful carved stone gods next to a HUGE plastic dinosaur.

In the afternoon, we went to the cinema to see a Tamil film called Raavanan.  There were no subtitles but the plot was extremely easy to follow and you could pretty much guess what the characters were saying. Films here are around three hours long but there’s an interval half way through which is nice. However, the films are so incredibly loud that we watched the entire film with ear plugs. Even with the ear plugs in, the volume was MASSIVELY louder than it is at home. Not only did the ear plugs protect our ears, they also prevented extreme annoyance due to mobile phones. People in Madurai seem to answer their phones whenever, even in the operating theatre or the cinema!!

On Sunday, Jenna and I stayed at home and had a nice relaxing day. It was far too hot to do anything else! I’m planning to go to the Meenakshi Temple one day after work this week, probably Thursday. The city is built around the temple so I’ve already seen the East gate whenever we visit our tailor :p

Today in MMHRC I went to A&E. The consultant there is fantastic and volunteers a lot of information. In many wards, the staff are happy to answer questions but will volunteer nothing. A&E was really busy due to quite a few traffic collisions. Today was less hands on but that suited me fine; the hygiene procedures are not great and needle safety is pretty shocking. I’m still really struggling to accept the lack of pain relief… one elderly gentleman was suffering from renal failure and  septic shock and was also having severe chest pains. He was screaming in agony and only after 3 hours of writhing in pain was he given paracetamol. I did get to take vital signs and learn how to apply a cast or slab to a fractured arm and digit.

The last patient I saw today was a 15 year old boy who looked about 9. I have never seen anyone so thin or ill in my entire life. It was absolutely heartbreaking. He was brought in to the department in a wheelchair, a nurse holding his head because his neck was too weak to do the job. He must have weighed less than 4 stones. He was too dehydrated to talk and didn’t respond to any of the doctors’ reflex tests. It was really upsetting because his parents were not ill or malnourished and they didn’t seem to be very concerned for their son’s welfare. The consultant explained that this is common in cases such as this where the child suffers from developmental problems.

This weekend we’re planning on taking a trip outside Madurai. We’re not entirely sure where but we’re hoping not to travel for more than four hours each way. Its Celine’s last weekend so she’s really keen to see some more of India before she leaves. The weekend after that, we’re going to Ooty with some other Projects Abroad volunteers and the weekend after that is my last! I can’t believe how fast the time is flying. The days can sometomes drag what with the heat but the week seems to fly by before you know it. Tomorrow Christina, Annais, Marie and I have a 5 a.m. start to head to the leprosy hospital. I’m there Tuesday and Wednesday and then back in to MMHRC on Thursday.

So yeah, that’s all that’s been happening here the past few days.. I’ll try and post something about the leprosy hospital before we head off at the weekend but if not will try and post Monday =] xxx


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mum
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 10:46:34

    Hi sweetie glad that you are still enjoying your experience. It must be so difficult to see people in pain and neglected but keep seeing past the symptom and see the person – it´s what makes you the compasionate person you are – carry each of these moments with you and use them to inform your practice and mould your ambition to make a difference to the lives of those who need you. Love you squillions – stay safe xxx


  2. UP
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 21:42:59

    Really enjoyed reading about your adventures and experiences on our return from France today. We’re very proud of you!
    All our love,
    Uncle P and Auntie C xx


  3. Auntie Carly, Auntie Frances and Grandpa
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 21:49:18

    I have read your blog and it looks and sounds wonderful….don’t work too hard and enjoy the rest of your experience. Lots of love, Grandpa xxx

    Well done, Steph ! You are getting great experience there and seeing another side of life. Love, Francesxx

    Really enjoyed reading about the smile train – well done for making a difference, Stephie…every little helps. Miss you lots but proud to read all your exciting news. Love you muchly, Auntie Cxx


  4. myindianadventure2010
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 13:51:02

    Hello everyone! Glad you’re enjoying reading about my adventures. Thanks for all the lovely comments, they mean a lot. Love to all xXx


  5. louisesummer
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 14:38:33

    Stephie!!! I have just got on to a computer for more than 3 minutes for the first time today and read all of you amazing experiences!!! I know you will be enjoying the hospital and helping everyone.I miss you so so so much and hope to speak to you soon. Stay strong , Lots and lots of love lou xxxxxx


  6. Gaynor
    Jul 22, 2010 @ 10:58:20

    This all sounds amazing. You must feel like you’re learning so much. How are all the other girls? The hospital experience sounds quite daunting, don’t think I could cope with it.
    While you’re struggling with the heat, we’re coping with rain and wind. Typical British summer!
    Looking forward to you next installments. Take care and have fun,
    Lots of love,
    Gaynor xxx


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