Today was our first real day here at CRHP, having mostly recovered from our long journeys and jetlag. Most of us were up at the lovely hour of 5 am, awoken by crazy bird sounds and too much sleep. After breakfast and a little down time, we had the awesome opportunity to meet with 4 of the village health workers that carry out CRHP’s model in their communities. They graciously shared their inspiring stories with us through a translator, and really opened our eyes to exactly how and why this model works.
We then met with Dr. Shoba Arole, the daughter of the CRHP founders and the current medical director, who shared more detailed information about the comprehensive integrated approach that CRHP takes. We drew some very interesting comparisons between other nations and other models of public health, and it was overall very enlightening and stimulating as we all became more and more acquainted with their organization and methods.
We had lunch, and then many of us decided to venture into Jamkhed town to see that part of the community and purchase some traditional Indian clothing. This was the first time that the language barrier really smacked us in the face, as we tried to ask questions and select fabrics with only points and nods. The fabric and clothing store where we made most of our purchases was three stories, each floor seemingly more overwhelming and laden with beautiful fabrics than the next. We finally emerged hours later and took our selections to the tailor to be measured. For what translates to merely 2 or 3 US dollars, we were able to have a whole outfit custom cut and stitched from the fabrics that we had bought.
The excitement continued with a welcome dinner on a rooftop terrace as the day faded into a lovely cool evening. We were treated to more “American” style food such as grilled veggie skewers, spaghetti, chicken nuggets, and french fries. The night finished off with a bang, as fireworks lit up the night sky in our honor. What a wonderful welcome to an amazing experience here at CRHP!