Sydney Adoli from Kenya

My experience with p&e in Germany

My stay in Germany was filled with a lot of different experiences from the food to the weather and the people as well as the medical practice itself. I had to get used to always being on the move. I arrived at Lufthansa airport at 8 in the morning with all my electronic and phone off. I could not translate any word in Deutsch and the check in process was a little bit tough and uncomfortable. You really have to have all your papers especially with the immigrants issue. I found the following words very useful on this first day :"entschuldigung, Sprechen sie englisch?" (excuse me do you speak english?).  Simon a medical practical year student in Giessen is the one who picked me from the airport. I was so excited that i asked Simon if we could walk around dragging my heavy suitcase on the hot summer tarmac that my tyres got worn out.

The most interesting thing is that trains are very effective here and very punctual. In the first few days I used to miss the Bahns when i arrive at the station 2 minutes after the scheduled departure time or even on the exact time. I had to learn to be German punctual. Prepare yourself to miss the Kenyan staple food Ugali and say hello to a variety of breads. So many such that you will not be able to taste all by the time the exchange program is over.  Learning how to ride a bike is very useful as i found it easier to navigate the city.

I appreciate that the people in Giessen were very eager to know and to interact with me. They really wanted to experience the Kenyan culture. Unlike Kenyans, Germans are very subtle and this is a point worth having in mind during your interactions. This really motivated me to learn a lot of German ways and traditions. I really enjoyed the hospital rotations in UKGM (University Hospital of Giessen and Marburg). My rotations involved Allgemeine Chirurgie, Pediatrie. I appreciate that the doctors gave me audience and an opportunity to scrub in and join their surgery procedures in OP rooms. Nicole and Philip were very helpful in orientating me at the hospital and I interacted with many other IPPNW members as well as Medinetz Members. I really met a lot of good people in the field of medicine and social work. Doctor Hans Martin Yung invited me to his private praxis In Wetzlar for my Allgemeinmedizin (Internal MED) rotation and Psychiatric Practice. I also visited the refugee camp with Dr. Rolfing and we offered free pediatric treatment and consultation to the refugee families. Apparently the refugee situation is increasing especially in Germany following the Arab spring.

Germany is a beautiful country and very green. Most of the cities are around rivers. I went to Berlin for the IPPNW Hiroshima memorial and fortunately i  also met the Kenyan Ambassador who was excited about this program and wanted to know more. We also visited some very nice sites in Berlin which bare a lot of historical knowledge. I would recommend this city. It is very international.During my final week I met with Shinichi Kusamoto, who was the exchange student from Japan and Arne his host. Together we participated in A charity marathon under Medinetz. This was to raise funds to build homes for the disabled. We finally visited other cities and their Hospitals. Such as Marburg, Wetzlar etc. Overall my time in Germany was amazing and full of learning experiences. Would love to visit again sometime. Thank you very much for this lifetime opportunity.