The service trip to Philippines has been completed. The scene were kept recalling in my brain. This event gave us a lot of experiences. For me, it wou7ld be the memory stayed in my whole life.
According to the briefing, the condition there was described to be harsh. So before I left Hong Kong, I packed everything that I could think of, including clothes, shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, umbrella. As I have expected, all these I brought I make a good use of them. But I have missed one important necessity, that is slippers!
During this trip, I found that Philippines is a tropical area. The weather is hot, there is many rainfall. Slippers is light, comfortable, But I have forgot to bring them. In Philippines, there is a habit. When you enter one’s home, you have to get off the shoes and change to a clean slippers. The first day, Travelled from Manila airport to Infanta , we spent 4 hours in transportation. It was late to arrive at Infanta. When I entered the house, I found my
What I could do is to find a pair of slippers. After a few days, they had gone, they must have returned to their owners. So after that, I have to use my bare feet to walk on the ground.
We did consultation at “our clinic” which was a big wooden pavilion. There was a large space. On the second floor, there were brick beds built at both sides displayed with around 20-30 mats, that was our consultation room. The ground floor is waiting area with lots of chairs. The roof was made by reeds. I wonder that even under heavy rain, there was no water leakage.
Every afternoon, we went to treat patients. When I entered the clinic, I had to take off the shoes, so I became the “bare-foot doctor”. In mainland China, the village doctor was called bare-foot doctor. We went upstairs and set the equipments, like the herbs, acupuncture needles and the cups. The patients were arranged one by one for treatments. Since the brick beds were half-man tall, we had to climb up whenever we did the physical examination and diagnosis. Then, we jumped off to get cotton swabs, needles and herbs. And I climbed up again to remind them after the way to take medicine and other precautions. In this way, I climbed and jumped the whole afternoon. Have you even seen a doctor worked like this? I thought no other doctors would work like that. I wondered how the doctors worked in city comment on us---a group of unprofessional Chinese medicine practitioners!
Though we are all young Chinese medicine practitioners, the results was not that bad.
A lot of patients got improved immediately after acupuncture. Some carried a crutch before acupuncture, after the treatment. He could walk without it. And he would walk back and forth for 10m himself. When we came across difficult cases, we discussed together and racked our brains to help patients. The good efficacy and our hearts attracted more than a hundred patients to come for treatments. Their trust in Chinese medicine gave effort on the good results, too. In Hong Kong, it is hard to achieve such good results. Their conditions are more complicated. They like to take over-the- counter (OTC) drug on their own. That makes their conditional even more complicated, as some real symptoms were hiding. Also, when they see our young faces, they do not have confidence in us. They leave the clinic and say, “Oh, you are too young”. Luckily, patients here do not have such prejudice. So that, barefoot doctor like us could pay all the attention on diagnosis.
Everyday, there were many patients waiting. At the morning, I took the motorbike and traveled through the alleys and streets. They served us with food after treatment as a repay. If we did not receive it, they might think we look down on them. So we received it finally. Many patients felt grateful after treatment. Actually they should thank the NGO organization here. Their staff accompanied us to the home visits and helped us for translation. They also helped to maintain the order, scoop the cotton ball and pick the needles. After treatment, they helped to tidy up the clinic. Without their help, this event could not so smooth and successful. I hope I can be a bare-foot doctor once again. But next time, I will bring a pair of slippers with me.