Slightly melodramatic thoughts about volunteering

Trip Start Apr 21, 2013
Trip End Jun 30, 2013

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Flag of Ecuador  , Pichincha,
Sunday, June 2, 2013

So I am sitting here nervously waiting to leave for the bus to start my volunteering position. I need to get across Quito on the tram system and then get a 6 hour bus to Tena.  There, I will need to either get a taxi or a bus to the next town along.  Then I will need to ask around for the clinic and hopefully find someone who knows where it is.  Once I am finally there, the real adventure will begin and I have to hope and pray that someone is expecting me and has some form of plan for me.  The worst nightmare is that everyone stares at me like I am crazy and they don't have any idea who I am or why I am there. 

I am definitely filled with nervous excitement, because I am eager to start my volunteer placement but it seems like the actual starting it is the difficult part.  Once I am in the flow of it, i'm sure that it will be fine and I will enjoy it, but at the moment I feel like I am standing on the edge, looking over the cliff.  I wish I could take someone along for the ride with me, for moral support and to help me settle in.  I'm not sure what my expectations for the next month are, or even what this center will be like.  It could be more of a tree house for all I know, but I expect they have a relatively run down building and try to make the most out of organising themselves.  I wonder how profesional it will seem and the influence of the on site doctor.  I wonder what safe guards they have in place, and what they deem as suitable for the birthing center – breech, twins, instrumental, c/s?  Where is the nearest large hospital?  I wonder how the midwives cope with the demands of the job and if they get paid enough to live on.  I also wonder about the respect from the community and if they are seen as professionals in their own right, as they have never received actual forml training and instead practice from the experience that has been passed down through the generations.  I wonder if I am going to see bad practice or bad outcomes, and how this will influence how I feel about midwifery.  I have been so sheltered from bad outcomes, (more by luck than judgment) but I wonder if that is about to change soon.  How will this all change my views on traveling and flitting through these lesser developed countries.  Will this impact upon my perception of my two main passions in life – traveling and midwifery?  I feel like everything I rely upon so far may crumble and change following this experience, it may indeed be life changing?!
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karen on

YOu can do it Gemma! Can't wait to read on...

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