Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, December 28, 2009

Our last couple days <3 Ashley

I can't believe we leave Mota Fofalia in less than 2 days. The work Ami's uncles have done is incredible and the education the students are offered here is extraordinary. The kids are extremely disciplined and educated. They love playing with us and are fascinated with how us Americans look. Its pretty funny. Today we went to some of the classes and the kids in kindergarden sang rhymes in English and showed us their cursive, which is amazing that they learn at such a young age. I absolutely adore the children here, and love playing with them. As Wendy said we learned how to play field hokey with them and played kickball last night (we got into trouble for being loud), but they had a blast. Its going to be hard to say goodbye.

The hospital is pretty busy today which is exciting, we might get to ride in the ambulance (called 108 here instead of 911). Also we will shadow some doctors as we work on post=op checkups. Yesterday we got to see a circumcision and hernia removal. We did some post op work as well. Tomorrow an ENT and dermatologist are coming in and we may get to see a historectomy. Although the hospital here is not as busy at times it has been an amazing experience to view different cultural aspects of India. Yesterday it was interesting to see the difference between the way the male and female medical students were treated. The education in India is also at a much faster pace because they enter medical school right after high school. Their admission depends on how well they do on an exam in 10th grade. The doctors expected us to know much more about the surgeries so it was hard for them to understand why we didnt know certain terms. But we dealt with it :) They also explained a lot of it to us so it was a really good learning experience.

I absolutely LOVE Indian weddings! Yesterday was so exciting and the Indian dancing was beautiful. Wendy and I were pulled into the circle and we learned the simple Indian dance but we had a lot of fun. Also we got to dress up in the "choli" which is the dress most women wear to weddings along with bangles and the "bindi" (the little jewel dot placed in the middle of the forehead). At first it was awkward walking around with everyone staring but we kind of got use to it and had a blast. On Saturday we also got to experience some culture when we went to watch an Indian comedy called "3 idiots" without subtitles but we kind of understood. :)

I can't wait to see the lady tomorrow who we saw give birth and how she lives. We probably will go to an orphanage by Varodra as well. It feels like this week has past by so quickly and the people here are so nice, I'm going to miss it! But i'm excited to spend the New year with family and friends and enjoy the rest of Christmas break! See you guys soon!

LOVE Ashley <3

Best Day Ever....Love Wendy

Hey Everyone! I am doing great and getting a wonderful experience! Yesterday was hands down the best day I could ask for! There were 40 surguries scheduled for free from the local Lions Club in Vadodara. So we got up early and watched a few surgeries, there were 2 rooms ready for operation and a constant stream of people coming in. There were medical students here from India and they helped us understand what was going on. Then Ami's aunts got Ashley and Me ready for an indian wedding in the local village. We put on beautiful sari's (I think that is how you spell it) and went into the village. The parents of the bride were SO HAPPY we came. The entire wedding process is days long so we just went for the reception with the brides side before the wedding ceremony. There was a big band and they played classics indian wedding music. All the people in the village, about 1,000, were there and about 300 started dancing in a circle. They were simple steps that went along with the music and traveled around the circle. The people would not just let us sit on the side and watch, they pulled us into the circle and we learned the dance. It was so funny! The wedding photographer kept taking pictures of us and the father kept saying thank you. Then some man and wife jumped in the circle next to me and spoke english, they tried to get me to marry their son. They pointed in his direction but I did not get to meet him, they tried to plan the wedding for today. HAHA Then after the dancing we came back to the school and started a kickball tournamant with the children. Only a few knew english so we had a while explaining them the rules but once we started they had a blast. The kids here are so happy even if they have no idea what I am saying to them. I got to experience all types of cultures yesterday and it made me very happy to be here.
Today we went into the classrooms of the small children and watched their English lecture. They were learning their alphabet, like b is for ball, and writing it in cursive. We are taking a break now to write to you all and then going back to the hospital to do post operation check ups. Tomorrow (tuesday) we will only be at the compound for half a day, then heading into the large city to do some shopping and hopefully watch a show. We leave very early wednesday morning and I will be back very early on new years eve. I am going to attemp to uplead videos of the Taj Mahel and the Wedding. I am going to miss this place but can't wait to be home with my family. The people here are wonderful and I don't ever feel unsafe. Everyone looks out for everyone! It really is a beautiful culture full of love!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! Love Ashley :)

Sorry for the long overdue posts! It was hard trying to get everything to work before but we're here now :)

This trip ha already been such an amazing experience. Just driving around India has been...incredible. I expected poverty of course but the amount of people living in India and the amount of poverty is inescapable. Once we started heading out to Mota Fofalia, the town we are working in, I expected less people meaning less poverty. But everywhere we go there are tents and houses made of twigs lined up. Its hard to see the amount of pollution everywhere. The cities are filled with smoke and its definitely harder to breathe for us. But having the chance to see this all in person is really an eye opening experience.

The first day we got here was long because of the time change but for the first time ever we got to see a babies birth! The women giving birth was possibly the strongest person i've seen. She was so young and little but the whole time she didnt even make a sound. We might get to visit her in the slums on Monday or Tuesday. The presentation went so well. After some technical difficulties we were able to teach the kids about chewing tobacco and bidis which they really seemed interested in. A little girl came up to us and asked us how to get her uncle to stop chewing tobacco, she said she was trying but it was so hard. It was really heart breaking to see how much chewing tobacco is seen around the whole country. They sell it at every little stand or store we pass.

The Taj Mahal was breathtaking. It really looks exactly like pictures and was somewhat surreal to be there even after we traveled so long it was worth 2 nights in the car!

I know this is rushed but we are at a cafe and are pressed for time! So we'll probably get back on here sometime tomorrow! Merry Christmas Everyone, miss you all so much <3

Wendy From India

Hello Everyone! It is Christmas here in India but does not feel like it one bit.
We just returned from our long journey to the Taj Mahal. It was supposed to be a 12 hours drive each way but turned into a 21 hours each way. It was beautiful though, nothing like what I was expecting. A nice Christmas Eve for Ashley, Ami, and me.
We are back in Vadodara now, at an internet cafe. We have had some troubles with connecting to the internet at the school but will try to again soon.
The school and hospital are beautiful! It is like a beautiful oasis in the middle of nowhere. Our first night we were able to play with the kids, and I learned how to play field hockey. Later that night we all got to see a live birth, it was incredible. This weekend they have 40 surguries planned and we are hoping to see them all, or as many as possible. The people at the hospital and school are very welcoming and all the kids love to have their picture taken. About a third of the school children are learning English, so we have to talk slowly to them but they understand us. We did a tabacco prevention lecture to the english speaking students and it was a blast. They were all very excited to participate, especially because we gave out candy.
I kinda stick out here when we are out, and I get stared at alot. But I just like to smile and wave back. My first driving experience here was crazy, there is supposed to be lines that seperate the road but NO ONE follows them. At first I thought I was going to be hit every second but now I realize that it is in their blood, they know the exact moment to move out of the way.
Ami's family has taken us in as one of their own. They picked us all up from the airport and have taken us everywhere we have wanted to go. There is a slight language barrier but it is still possible. Well I hope to get on again soon and get pictures up.
Thank you all for your support and MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Love you MOM and DAD!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Welcome Everyone! Our Schedule

Hey Everyone! We are going to keep you updated on our amazing journey through this blog. We will try to update this at least once a day and update photos and videos whenever we can!
We leave on December 20th at 10pm from JFK and return to JFK on the 30th.
On the 26th and 27th Ashley, Ami, and Wendy are going to be traveling to the Taj Mahal with Ami's Family!