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India 2017 – “What Is Your Day Like?”

You have just 1 week. That is it. You just can’t waste one second while you are on a mission. If you feel a little under the weather you take an IV and keep working. If you have a kidney stone you get up at 5am, have a medical procedure and get back in the game. (Yep that really happened today.) There is so little time and so much care to give the volunteers need to make each minute count and they do.

India 2017 (4)


I am often asked when I return from a mission – what is your day like? I thought I would share with you what a typical day is like here in India.


The day begins at 6am with yoga. When traveling on a mission trip we want to be very respectful of the culture of the country we are visiting. Our hosts are very good to us an invited our team to take part in their morning yoga session. It is a time for relaxation and reflection and soon after our volunteers will be on the move for the rest of the day. Immediately after yoga, breakfast is served by a husband and wife and we departing for the hospital by 7:30. Vans are used here to get to get us to and from the hospital and no one cares that we cram into a vehicle for the short ride. We are close to the hospital but the streets are jammed with cows, motor scooters, trucks and pedestrians. Car horns fill the air and an intersection is something to fear in India. It seems the stop lights are more of a suggestion than a law. By 8am there is a flurry of activity in the pre/post op to get patients ready for the first surgery of the day. Simultaneously, surgeons are making morning rounds side by side with the hospital staff to check on the previous days patients.


India 2017 (6)Surgery for the day is underway as close to 8am as possible. Each surgeon has a sheet on the wall displaying that days schedule and it is checked and recheck throughout the day in the hope to add a patient if the need arises. Patients move in an out of surgery throughout the day. Lunch is served in India around 2pm but the volunteers eat when they can, if they can. The patients come first. Remember there is so little time to waste.


By 6pm the conversation turns back to the schedule. Is there room to add another case? No one turns away an opportunity to take on another chance to offer care if someone needs treatment. The day will end first for the surgery team and then our post op staff but as tired as they all must be they never want to leave until everyone is done. They came together, they leave together. When everyone is comfortable that the patients are stable it is back to the guest house where dinner has been held until the team’s arrival at some time in the night. This is where it gets really tough to explain. You just don’t know when the day will end. 10 or 11pm, maybe? It ends when it ends and everyone is fine with that. We have just one week to provide care and you cannot waste a second.


You just don’t know when the day will end. It ends when it ends and everyone is fine with that. We have just one week to provide care and you cannot waste a second.


India 2017 (5)