Today was my last day on placement in Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital, Sri Lanka. Now that I am at the end I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone! I have enjoyed the experiences and opportunities I have had out here. From tropical conditions, to operation theatres, ICU’s, the various wards and the physiotherapy department itself. It has been both mentally and physically draining but also very rewarding. The language barrier has been difficult at times and teaching styles have varied.
I will miss the girls I have been living with. It has been nice to live with other healthcare professionals and share stories/ experiences and keep each other going through the placement. Things that first seemed crazy out here have become very normal: Watching stray dogs run around the streets, seeing tuktuks and mud shaks, tin shops, watching people queue in the mornings at the hospital, the way people drive, seeing a family of 4 all riding on one motor bike, the saris and traditional clothes. I will miss the curries and traditional Sri Lankan food and the dramatic weather changes from boiling hot sunshine to humidity and rain.
It has been a culture shock, with some unusual and creative ways of doing things. I have learnt a lot and appreciate the healthcare systems and resources we have back at home.
It has been a once in a lifetime experience. I will definitely remember the times I have spent here in Sri Lanka, the friends that I have made and the experiences I have had.
A massive thanks to Work The World, both the UK team and the team over here in Sri Lanka, all the people at university who helped me organise this trip. A special mention to Graeme Paul-Taylor for helping me throughout the whole process. Thanks to my boyfriend for helping me out with some technical computer issues from hundreds of miles away!
Most importantly a massive thank you to my mum and dad for whom without this trip would not have been possible!!
Now I am off to spend the week travelling around the south of Sri Lanka before heading home in time for Christmas!