Nashoba Students Travel to Malawi

On April 10th, six students from Nashoba got the opportunity to travel to Malawi, Africa and spend two weeks side-by-side with doctors, nurses, and local children. The trip consisted of work in orphanages,  two different hospitals, and an outreach clinic in a remote village. The idea of the outreach clinic was very similar to a minute clinic, where people go and get vaccines, diagnosis, and medication. The six students who went were, Maddie Guthrie, Heather Keane, Matt Alves, Margot Sonia, Addy Ogden, and Lela Boermeester. One great part about this program is that anyone can go. Five out of the six students are part of the EMT program. 

All Nashoba students had a host family, who  were all doctors that worked in the hospitals and most of them had kids of their own that they would spend time with. One of the hospitals they would walk to, and the other one they drove too. For the most part they would walk for example to the clinic, or the orphanage, or the fields where the children played in. 

Most of the older kids spoke some English so they would teach the volunteers  some phrases like “thank you” and “see you later.” One big thing that was a little different from their normal routine was the showering situation. They would fill a bucket/pail up with water and then would go into the shower/stall and would scoop a cup of water and wash their hair. Once the bucket was empty, they would fill it again and then continue. 

A normal day would start by  leaving the house at 7:30. They would meet up with everyone and would either walk to one of the hospitals or drive to the other. They would get split up when they got to the hospital with different doctors. The volunteers  either helped with orthopedics, emergencies, the male ward, female ward, pediatric ward, or labor and delivery. A lot of them had said that their favorite task was labor and delivery. They would then do rounds on about 10 patients and check to see how the patient’s meds were going, or if they needed anything. 

Labor and delivery had a lot of waiting and just sitting and talking to the doctors, but when the time came where it became a little chaotic, it was an unimaginable experience that they got to take all in and help a child come into the world. 

After spending the morning at the hospital, the Nashoba volunteers would go back to the host family’s house and have lunch. They had the afternoon to themselves to explore the different cultures. They would go to the orphanage and play with the kids or they would prepare for the next day, packing their bags with the medicine the children would need. After that they would go home and eat dinner. Then they would all just hang out at someone’s house and then go to bed. 

After coming home Maddie realized that “In life you really only need the bare minimum and after seeing the people of Malawi genuinely happy even though they didn’t have much, it really made me appreciate what I have.”