Last week we had the opportunity to spend time in Udaipur, one of the most beautiful places in India, also known as the city of lakes. We spent a lot of time exploring the city, meeting the locals and shopping! It was kind of our ‘mini spring break’! We stayed in a beautiful hotel sitting over the lake. I was one of the lucky people in the group to have my own room within our suites. My room was a nook looking over the lakes and palaces. Every night before sunset, we would find a good restaurant and watch the sunset while chatting about life. It was the perfect end to our day! These were the times where I would reflect on how good God has treated me. I realized that I am blessed to be here in India and all these beautiful views and incredible knowledge I am gaining are all because of God.
I also visited a gorgeous palace and temple. The palace was huge with amazing views. The temple was intricately designed. The temple caretaker explained to us that the designs showed life. At the top were gods and goddesses, the second level were people, the third level were the animals and the lowest level were the devils. This temple prayed to Shiva.
Mobile Medical Unit
The mobile medical unit seemed like a sustainable idea that connected communities with health workers. The mobile unit travels everyday to 20 villages per month, a village a day. Many people miss out on seeing doctors and nurses because of how far the nearest health center is. Each medical mobile unit ideally has two medical officers (one male and one female), one lab technician, one x-ray technician, one social worker, one pharmacist, one GNM, and one nurse.
We were able to see a Balwadi which takes care of children from about 60 families within the mountain villages. The idea behind preschool childhood centers is great because it gives a chance for mothers to work and generate income and/or fulfill their household duties. Also it gives children a chance to interact with other kids their age. Programs like this show that even in the mountains that children and women still have a chance to overcome determinants like distance from others. Also I ate a ton of chickpeas, I could not stop.
My absolute favorite part of the excursion was visiting the Mother Milk Bank and Malnutrition Center. It is great that families have a place to drop their unwanted infants instead of abandoning them in the streets or simply killing them. The great part about this drop off location, the person’s identity is unknown and their child is safe. The mother milk bank is also known for asking mothers to donate their extra breast milk and giving it to mothers that are unable to lactate. The Malnutrition Center was located in a tertiary hospital and I had the chance to meet this seven month infant that had the body of a one month old but he was the happiest baby of all despite his shortcomings.
I would definitely recommend Udaipur as a place to visit to other people. We all ended up wanting to stay longer.
Next week I am off again to another part of India, more south. I am going to Jahmkhed, in the state of Maharashtra which will be a 20 hour train ride and a two hour drive to our destination. Wish me luck!
HAPPY HOLI EVERYONE!