This is PINCC's first week of training at the Sumitra Cancer Society and 8 of us have survived the 24 hour + travel to reach a remote part of Northeastern India. We look at one another, exhausted, but enthused to be here "We Made It!" was exclaimed. After 2 months of roadblocks getting our newly required employment VISAs for volunteer work in India, I think we were all in a state of disbelief that we were really here. "T-I-I," our courageous and dedicated leader Rhoda Nussbam, MD reminds us, "This Is India."
Our first day was an auspicious one, arriving in time for Diwali, the country's well-known festival of lights, celebration, family, and FIREWORKS! The hotel had a delightful celebration that we were included in, a festive way to kick off the first week of training at this new site.
Today was our first day of official meetings and we were impressed by the preparedness of our Sumitra Counterparts- photocopies have been made, supplies gathered, trainees prepared, and the clinic organized for the camp- so far things are going smoothly. The Sumitra Office is a buzz of activity today as introductions are made, to-do lists are reviewed, and chai is served in small Dixie cups. We all start to relax a bit more as we gain confidence in the Sumitra organization's ability to meet our expectations for the camp.
This trip has special implications for PINCC India, in that the husband and wife team leaders who initiated PINCC's work in India about 5 years ago, Rhoda Nussbaum and John Adams, are passing the baton to a new group who will be taking over the India programs from here on out. John and Rhoda successfully developed two Cervical Cancer screening programs during their tenure and women's lives continue to be saved thanks to their dedication and expertise in medicine, organizational development, and persistence to work through the ever present challenges of working in India- "T-I-I!"
~Lauren Sokolik, MSN, FNP, Training for Administrative Role for PINCC India
Nov 4, 2013