Preparing for Palampur
My uni career started late, requiring me to put many other aspects of my life on hold, so my philosophy since day one has been to say yes to every opportunity. This has served me well to date, and when the opportunity to complete a placement in India came up, I wasn’t going to shy away from putting my name down.
It has been months leading up to this trip and for a long time, our focus was on fundraising. We have held a shared lunch down in the Flinders Medical Centre and a quiz night at Alere, both of which were exceptionally successful and exceeded our expectations.
Now the time has finally arrived and I am busy packing my bags and organising my things, trying to prepare myself for every possible scenario with no real idea of what [to] expect. I know that this placement is going to challenge me in a multitude of ways and I am excited to see what I can accomplish with limited tools and resources and without even reliable Internet to get by.
Arriving in India
After 10 hours of winding roads and minimal sleep the sun peered over the horizon. Uncomfortable in my seat I was wishing away the final minutes of the drive. Staring out the window, groggy from travel, I looked at the passing scenery. Then, camouflaged in clouds they appeared before me, the Himalayas. I was awestruck by the sheer size of them, towering over us even at a distance. I watched as my peers woke up, one by one, sitting quietly to watch the same gob smacked expression cross their faces, giggling quietly with each other with the knowledge that we had reacted the same way only minutes apart.
Landing in Palampur was the first moment where the magnitude of what we were doing truly hit. We had been scooped up from little Adelaide and dropped in the middle of nowhere with no phones or Internet to help navigate us and only ourselves to rely on. Within minutes our cars arrived to collect us and we were transported to our accommodation. Within minutes we had reached our little haven, Dr. Bobby’s Farmhouse, at the bottom of a valley with a perfect view of the Himalayas.
Jessica Black, a Bachelor of Speech Pathology student, Speech Therapy Placement in India, September-October 2016
- Read Jessica’s next post here