1. The 8-hour long travel from Zamboanga City to Mahayag
To be able to reach the destination of our assigned community, we must ride a bus (either Rural Transit or Rural Tours). If you are a person who easily gets motion sickness, it is advisable to take Bonamine 30 minutes before your scheduled travel time. The best feeling is reaching your destination and getting off the bus.
2. Preparing the things you need for 1 month in the community
This is very challenging especially if it’s your first exposure because you don’t know what to bring. Two things can happen, either you have brought too much stuff with things that you don’t even need or you lack some stuff that you really need in the community. From my own experience, I expected the community to be muddy which made me thought that bringing rubber shoes is a no no and so I confidently decided to bring a durable and thick rubber slippers. The days of survey came by and it made me realize that I needed shoes for hiking the mountains and for the long walks we needed to exert.
3. Incapable of speaking and understanding the Visayan language
For people who aren’t native speakers of this dialect, they will surely face this problem. You will be really grateful to have a Visayan-speaking groupmate. Communication is very important to understand your patient or the residents of the community that’s why learning their dialect is a must. You get to practice your Visaya-speaking skills during survey, with daily repetition of these questions, you get to learn how to speak at least some few lines and later on after the 4-year exposure you might become a fluent speaker of the dialect.
In Barangay Kaangayan, stem borers and black bugs are abundant due to the ricefields which is vastly present. Stem borers cause itchiness and rashes on the skin and people from the community advice to put baby oil. Another pest is the black bug. These tiny yet plenty insects emit an unpleasant odor and prefer to crowd in moist or watery areas. These bugs eventually die due to heat from the sun. The good thing is that there are no dengue and malaria mosquitoes.
Habal-habal, tricycle and public utility jeep are the types of transportation you can ride in the barangay. The problem is that, when you want to go to the town center, you need to wait along the road for several minutes before you can ride transportation.
Yes indeed, reading this will make you think twice of throwing yourself into this type of medical curriculum but tons of lessons will be learned which will mold you to become a strong and humane doctor for everybody. “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” – Albert Einstein.
by: Benkassar Abdurajak