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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Camping and cooking - not quite as I'm used to!

This week in the hospital was another good one. I saw lots more interesting surgeries including a huge laparotomy done by Sir on Friday where the guy was cut from his neck right down to his lower abdomen. Friday was my last day of that rotation so tomorrow I am heading to the Labour Ward for my last 5 days on my placement (I know, where has time gone?!)

Yesterday we had the medical camp, where all the medical volunteers go to a rural village where they can't access healthcare and set up a clinic for the locals. We got lots of hands on experience, taking over 150 patients blood pressures, pulses and blood sugars. They then saw the doctor we had brought to get a prescription and a few of us helped our lovely supervisor Roshini, a qualified pharmacist, to dish out all manner of medications into little white envelopes, using a plastic spoon! The locals even "rustled up" a giant, delicious breakfast spread for us including a slab of milk rice (Kiri Bath-one of my favourites) big enough to cover a whole table! It was great fun and I learnt a huge deal, particularly about the uses of all the different drugs. Mostly though, it felt amazing to be helping these sweet, lovely people to get the healthcare they desperately needed and wouldn't get otherwise. The entire thing, including all the medications we gave out, was funded by Projects Abroad as these villagers simply wouldn't have been able to afford anything close to what we were giving. Just to know that something so simple we did and enjoyed will make a big difference to them all is very rewarding.

After the camp, Jeanie and I headed down to Unawatuna, a small beach town near Galle. After our bus breaking down en route and having to find and pay for a new one, we arrived and found our guesthouse. Whilst relatively touristy, Una is small and quaint and lovely. We spent the evening sitting in beach bars, wandering the street and shops, strolling down the beach and taking a moonlit swim (a very surreal but incredibly enjoyable experience, particularly as the water is so warm). This morning we got up early and are quickly topping up the tans on the beach before heading down the road for a Sri Lankan cookery course that includes a trip to the veg and spice market in Galle, cooking, a meal afterwards and more! We are VERY excited and hopefully we will whip up some nice concoctions and get some good skills to bring home!

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