Week 1 — Dehradun

This week in India has been nothing short of AMAZING! Once the jet-lag cleared, the homesickness faded (slightly), and the food finally settled, I realized India is exactly where I am supposed to be right now.

One thing I am already appreciating about India is that everything seems to get going a little slower. Not that people wake up any later, but they enjoy their mornings. They take their time and enjoy each other’s company. I just really love everything about it. I didn’t have to be at clinic in the morning till 10:30. What a blessing! ????

This week I was placed in two clinics. The first, Shanti Homoeopathic Hospital and Research Center with Dr. Seema Kaushik, was my morning rotation. Dr. Seema was nothing short of amazing! I had never previously been exposed to homeopathic medicine and this was an excellent environment to learn and observe homeopathic care in action. Dr. Seema is like the cool aunt you just want to spend time talking to (and I know that because I have some super cool aunts myself!). She always made sure to explain to me what she was doing and welcomed every question I had.

The second clinic was Vedangi Ayurveda Kendra with Dr. Sandeep. I had only heard about the basics of Ayurveda before my experience in this clinic and I have to say that after my time here, I am a believer! I got to experience so many things in this clinic! Dr. Sandeep was an amazing teacher, even though he said he wasn’t a teacher at all. He explained the history and basic theories of Ayurveda and allowed me to practice “Nadi” on his family members after I had learned about it. I even got to receive a Purva Karma cleansing after we discussed Ayurvedic treatment methods. How cool!!!

Both Dr. Seema and Dr. Sandeep taught me that loving your profession is the most important part of practicing medicine. If you respect your work, it will also respect you. I am very grateful for the time spent with each of them. At their roots, homeopathy and Ayurveda are about equipping the body to heal itself naturally. I feel very fortunate to have learned from these outstanding professionals and look forward to continuing to learn and seek out this kind of medical care when I return to the states.

My experience with my homestay family has been wonderful. God must know I am an old soul because he has placed me with two very sweet, elderly families and I have LOVED it. I also love Indian food!!! Chapati is one of my favorites! I will miss the cuisine at home but I have to say, a burger and fries also sounds very good right now :)

On Sunday, I visited the Buddha Temple and the Tapkeshwar Temple. They were both very awe-inspiring temples. I have posted many pictures on my Facebook for you all to enjoy! Sunday evening, my coordinator, Mayank, brought me with him and his brother-in-law to Hardiwar to experience a religious pilgrimage. Where the Ganges river flows through Hardiwar, it is said that a drop of nectar from the gods has fallen. Thus, it is a very special place in the Hindu religion. People take baths in the river and also sail offerings down the river to honor family members or things of that nature. I got to sail an offering and receive a blessing and let me say that it was one of the most powerful things I have been apart of.

On Tuesday at 8pm, the prime minister of India announced that, in an attempt to curb the issue in India with black money, all 500 and 1000 Rupee notes would no longer be valid. Fortunately for me, I had spent my notes the weekend before in Agra but unfortunately for me, this meant I had no money and needed to wait two whole days before I could go to get my money changed over. It has been a crazy experience being in India while this has been happening. The lines at the banks and for the ATMs stretch out the door and into the street from open to close. People have slowed down and realized what is really important to them and, thus, my clinical experiences were a tad slow as people needed to save and budget the money they knew they had. I believe this is a wonderful boost for the Indian economy and most of the people I have interacted with have told me they feel the same. I was here when history was made… how neat!!

This week I am in the city of Rishikesh, known for its yoga. I am living in an ashram and seeing a naturopath and a doctor who focuses on the bones (heck yeah!) I will post another update at the end of this week but for now I say, namaste ????????

Xoxo,

Elizabeth

P.S. Minnesota… I’m coming for you in 12 days!!!!!!! Yippee!!!!!!

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