DocTours Newsletter April 2014
This month we received lots of great feedback from our volunteers in Fiji,
This month we received lots of great feedback from our volunteers in Fiji, Cambodia and Sri Lanka and we share some of their experiences below. Our tour to Bhutan departs in just 3 weeks and another date has been scheduled for November. Enjoy the month of May!
Folklore of Bhutan
A tale of the Happiness Policy in Bhutan: Once a hungry elephant came to a tree to pluck its fruit. A monkey came running and said, ‘Stop, I have the first right to the fruit as I guarded this tree ever since it started bearing fruit.’ Just as he jumped on to the elephant’s back to pluck the fruit, a rabbit came scurrying and said, ‘Hey, you guys, I have the first right as I protected this tree ever since it was a sapling, and as the rabbit
hopped on to the monkey’s back to pluck the fruit, a bird flew down and landed on the rabbit’s shoulders and said, ‘You may have all looked after the tree in its various stages of growth, but I was the one who brought the seed here in the first place! So let’s all share
the fruit, and give some to our big friend, the elephant, on whose back we are all perched.’ That, indeed, is a food chain where all living things are considered equal. The Gross Domestic Product is measured by Happiness The next small group journey to Bhutan is scheduled for 13-22 November 2014. Register your interest now!
Register your interest now!Visit our Website!
What’s New? A Postcard from Cambodia
Isabelle is a medical student and has just arrived in Cambodia to do her 6 week stint as a volunteer at an emergency hospital. Here is a quick snapshot of her experience:
Greetings from Battambang, Cambodia! Niak sohk sabaay te? (How are you). I have been having such an amazing experience in Cambodia. My weeks consist of helping around the hospital, attending rounds and helping the volunteers here audit various useful information. There are several patients with MI on the ward, which here means ‘mine injury’ and not ‘myocardial infarction’ like it would back home. The locals here are so welcoming and hospitable, always sharing their stories, food and laughter with me. Last weekend someone took me to try the local delicacy of fried crickets and mice, to my surprise they both tasted delicious! Last week a storm hit Battambang, and I experienced my first cambodian storm. People warned me that it rains a lot here, but even words like buckets and torrential downpour fall short of explaining it. The wet season is going to be very interesting!
A postcard from Fiji
Here is a postcard from Maria, a young nurse from Denmark who spent a month volunteering in a hospital in Fiji. In her postcard to us she writes:
“Thank you for everything you have done in terms of arranging this trip for
me. Here is a greeting from Fiji where I am enjoying my time. ……”
What’s hot – Volunteering in Sri Lanka
Ceylon, the Teardrop of India and the Pearl of the Orient. As a small island these are just some of its nicknames. Sri Lanka reveals its richness and beauty, with an intensity of affection it evokes in its visitors. Cool off amidst the rolling tea plantations in its centre, to national parks home to exotic wildlife, even the occasional elephant or leopard. Explore Sri Lanka’s cultural side with a visit to the Temple of the Tooth, and ancient sites such as the imposing rock fortress at Sigiriya. This is a country that is moving on after the shock and tragedy of the tsunami, but which nonetheless offers smiling faces, and to top it all off, the people are friendly and the food is delicious.
We are based in the southern province, about one hour south of Colombo, in the area around Galle. Placement locations include a large teaching hospital, schools, orphanages and even temples.
Hospital conditions are relatively good for a developing country however there is a frequent shortage of beds. Medical students are welcome to join for their medical elective (after 2nd year) and can shadow senior doctors and observe ward rounds, OPD clinics, theatre and surgical operations. Available areas are oncology, neuro surgical and ophthalmology. Less experienced students can observe and shadow in the emergency
Other Volunteer Programs – Teaching
The demand for volunteers to help teach English in Sri Lanka is overwhelming. The majority of children speak Sinhalese and, despite English being regularly heard through music and films, Sri Lankan children have very little opportunity to practise speaking the language. Help is needed to develop their confidence, increase their fluency and practise their pronunciation. Make a difference to the lives of the children by helping them gain an education. No formal qualifications are required and we can provide some suggested activities for the classroom.
Orphanage work: Children living in local orphanages tend to come from an underprivileged background and need support and stability. Involve yourself in teaching, games, workshops or renovation work.
Construction Project: If you prefer some hard work and like to be hands-on, throw yourself into the construction program which focuses on improving and maintaining local temples and nursery schools. Teach skills to the locals such as electrics, carpentry and building.
Arrival and Orientation: On arrival at Colombo Airport you will be driven to your homestay accommodation, the ideal way for you to learn about the local culture and experience the Sri Lankan way of life. Meals are provided and will be typical of Sri Lanka’s cuisine, mainly consisting of steamed rice served with curry made with meat, fish or vegetable, and even fruit, often using coconut milk.
Sri Lanka enjoys a tropical climate and the best time to travel is December – April.
Help needed in Cambodia – May 2014
Is it your turn to volunteer? Our friends in Siem Reap need a doctor to work in the medical clinic in May as they will be particularly short staffed. The centre provides free primary health care for the local impoverished families and just two weeks will really make a difference to them. Travel to work via tuk tuk every day and explore the awesome Angkor Temples on the weekend. Please call or email for more details.
What else? Mindful in May
Mindful in May is a meditation challenge and the opportunity to create more calm, clarity and focus in your life. It is a mindful movement of people who value living
consciously and want to create a positive difference in the world – a clear mind for you and clean water for others. Read more here.
“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can
be removed by the actions of human beings.”