In service to the people of Fiji and to Sathya Sai Baba, the 7th Annual Sai Medical Camp took place with more volunteers and patients attending than ever before. The team from Australia had 42 volunteers from Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and one from New Zealand. Eight medical and dental practitioners from Fiji also joined the Sai Medical Camp. They were ably assisted by 40 medical students from the Umanand Prasad School of Medicine, Fiji University. Dr Gunu Naker (Project Manager) compiled a selection of feedback received from Volunteers and Participants in the 2013 Sai Medical Camp. This feedback is given below:
My sincere thanks to you and everyone involved for the opportunity of doing service with the team. I feel so humbled and blessed to have served with people who made me feel totally at home. Every smile and every conversation made a difference to me personally and I am sure other team members would have felt the same esp the new ones.
I am still elevated to a level within myself which can never be described but only felt. Although never did I have the opportunity to talk or touch Swami in his physical form but only feel him from within, Swami in his own way gave me what I had missed out.
Swami made me realise the statement of him residing in all beings, the smile, the touch, the interviews, the importance of him ignoring us and walking amongst us.
Every person ,incident was indeed his will … no such thing as co-incidence. Swami gave us all so much and it has given me back so much which only is felt and will stay with me forever. It makes me realise that I can do even more knowing that we all are but only an instrument in Swami’s hand and to surrender is all it takes.
Dear Sai Brothers and sisters
I had sent a thank you note to the company which loan a computer system to me for the camp. This is an extract of the letter I wrote to them
I have felt most humbled and rewarded by this amazing experience. What I gave of myself is nothing compared to what I have received.
We were a group of 45 volunteers ranging from 10 or more GP’s, dentists, dental technicians, ophthalmologist, optometrists, nurses, gynaecologists, pharmacists, nurses and IT professionals.
We also had a group on non-medical related people who were involved in logistics, education, crowd control. etc.
We were a group of young spirited happy volunteers of all ethnicities and religions varying from ages of 20 plus to 70 plus.
I was most inspired by the dedication, love and commitment from three key people who were involved in organisation, liaison with Ministries of Health, government organisations, local communities, medical schools, logistics and management of all our travels.
Our entire trip was well catered for. We stayed in hotels with perfectly adequate facilities and cleanliness. We were then blessed with the luxury of Shangrila and the Western resorts at the end of our stay albeit our free time was rather limited.
Meals were catered for by the local school community and the various Sai groups, made with love and kindness. Meals were totally organic, vegetables picked from the local area, freshly prepared each day.
We started our days with a hearty breakfast, and then piled onto a bus, bags being loaded by able bodied staff and volunteers. We then proceed to remote villages viz. Ellington, Nukuloa, Sabeto, Loma and Korovuto on the Western side of Viti Levu, Fiji. We were briefed on the bus, set up into various rooms in a school. Upon arrival to allocated location, we were welcomed by the villages and 100 plus patients who had made their way by foot, truck, bus, horse or boat to the venue for treatment.
Some of these patients had never seen a doctor or had treatment of any kind. The crows were managed by our efficient volunteers who proceeded to set the mood with song, talks on food, contraception, cooking, and a wide variety of health topics.
A mobile medical van was used for pap smears and gynaecology consultations.
Generators, autoclaves, Bunsen burners, ECG, dispensing computers, ophthalmoscopes, medication, etc were used for each day’s services.
Some were there to express their aches and pain, others with severe lacerations, amputations, infections, or just to talk to someone who cares. Health conditions are predominantly malnutrition, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac associated concerns. The lines for dental and ophthalmic services were never ending. The joy on one man’s face when he could actually see for the first time was exhilarating for all. Fortunately, the group were donated some reading glasses, sunglasses and some accessories.
The medical students were keen to prolong their allocated duty slots as they gained an exceptional insight and hands on experience into clinical practice.
I am looking forward to the next camp.
Swami works in strange ways. Since my return, i have had a njumber of people willing to offer their services or donate things when called upon to do so. Perhaps, it would be great to have a guide of items to donate list (Medical) which could probly be collected over time.
Sai Ram All
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences – so touching and gratifying – all the hard work is so very worth it then! Swami has left such a legacy behind with all his teachings – we are indeed so indebted to HIM – we offer our gratitude and love in all humility. THANK YOU SO MUCH SWAMI.
THANK YOU ALL. I’m actually quite overcome reading the articles – if these anecdotes can mellow our feelings so much, then actually experiencing the situations can and do have such immense transforming effects. Didn’t / doesn’t SWAMI know EVERYTHING!!
LOVE ALL SERVE ALL.
Sai Ram Dr Gunu and Team and Fiji Sai Brothers and Sisters
Its so heartening to see beautiful feedback from members on this years camps. It does really reflect “Swami in Action” with lots of love that flowed right through and still flowing.
As a representative of UPSM, University of Fiji, I would like to acknowledge all the support, effort, understanding and patience in accepting our students, teaching them, guiding them, and being mentors in so many ways than just being medical mentors. Each year, the students cannot stop talking about the camps once they are back at uni, and this year, it was the same.
I also express apologies if there were any short comings from the students or myself in any manner. Each year we endeavour to do things better.
The students are most grateful for all their learnings and experiences especially knowing they won’t be able to get all of it from textbooks. It is something they will cherish for many years of their medical career. Some of them even developed good rapport with many doctors and felt humbled at having met them, worked side by side with them.
Hearty thanks for those of you who gave gifts (medical equipment, books, etc) to the students you worked with. Also hearty thanks and acknowledgement to Dr Gunu for gifts of opthalmoscope and otoscopes, Anatomy books, etc. And many thanks to Prakash for all the BNF’s and other books. All these were given to students following a presentation made by students to the university (including the VC, registrar, HR manager, Dean) on all the things they learnt, and their experiences.
The students are already looking forward to next year’s camps.
I sincerely and heartily pray that this partnership with our university and medical school and your medical team continues to flourish and get stronger.
I would like to express my hearty gratitude to SWAMI, your team and Prakash Patel for giving me this most wonderful opportunity to be part of this team and the service work. It does really bring out in us the goodness.
THANK YOU Sai Ram to all.
I am still so energised since our return from the wonderful Sai Medical Camp. This was my first medical camp and hopefully swami will not make this my last as i cannot express how rewarding this service was.
Firstly, I would like to thank Lawrence, Dr Gunu, Dr Nadana and Anuraag for their tremendous efforts in organising the whole trip. Everything was thought and planned out so well. I am sure it’s not an easy task to plan something of this nature, especially in another country where resources may be limited. Everything was so well planned – from our travels, accommodation, transport to and fro, meals, even shopping and the beautiful cruise as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Julie in Education. I think the crowds enjoyed the lovely songs and little activities that Julie had organised. Especially the mums and the young children interacted very well. I think the activities and songs enabled the messages to be understood very well. That was the feedback I received when I spoke to some of the locals and they also indicated that the Education sessions were very good as it was explained things very well. They also indicated that they liked the way Julie had used different colours to depict different fruits and vegetables and made a song out of it. The education on Mental health was also very well accepted as I had a lot of queries/questions from a lot of the locals
I think the students did a great job in presenting their topics and also with the translations. They were also quite organised as they had made copies of different pamphlets on various topics which was distributed at the medical camp.
Satya only came in the last moment for this service activity and didn’t know what his duties would be but I can say that he also had a very fulfilling time doing the service he was asked to do.
We both would like to thank everyone involved in this great service in our Motherland Fiji and also would like to thank everyone for their great company. I would also like to thank all the local volunteers for their assistance in the Medical camp and their efforts in making our stay very comfortable.
Swami’s Divine Love and Blessings to everyone.
I thought I will share my experience at attending the Fiji Medical Fund Raising night last week organized by Monash Medical students. It was a wonderful occasion and featured several activities including stories from our Australian students who went on exchange and joined us over the last few years at the Sai Medical camps.
They highlighted the complex logistics involved and loving reach of all our clinicians to remote villagers in Fiji and more importantly the clinical exposure and teachings that the local medical students experienced on these camps. It was so beautiful to hear them relate to the love, compassion and dedication of Sai’s love through everyone involved in the camp, when most attending the night may never have heard of Swami before.
I was privileged to be invited to share some of my experiences of these camps and was able to highlight the significant lack of resources for mental health care in Fiji.
I understand that by the end of the night, the various activities managed to raise more than a $1000/- which will now be used to buy books and resources for UPSM Medical Students. The Monash exchange students also sponsor 2 UPSM students since last year to do a clinical rotation in Melb with all expenses covered.
From a personal standpoint, I greatly value the opportunity at serving at our Sai Medical Camps in Fiji and it is amazing to hear and experience the extension of other contributions also taking place simultaneously. I consider these camps part of my own spiritual sadhana as I realize many attending the camp also would. It is absolutely humbling to experience Swami’s loving grace upon us in providing us the opportunity to serve in Fiji. The spirit of these camps definitely go far beyond the week in which we serve. The team has certainly become an extension of my spiritual family.
With love to all