Clinic Blog: 2012 India 2 Clinic Blog
May 1, 2012
Our first morning in Kanadestar gave us some blessings and some challenges. The bus ride lasted much less time, and the roads are much smoother than the previous route. We were supplied with bigger rooms and a bit of an easier lay out to work with. Your friends and family will, I’m sure give you details regarding the challenges we faced.
The customers differed slightly from the first village. The women wore ornate nose rings with hallowed circles. Our volunteers were very engaged leaving the core group with less to help with. Driving by the homes of the villages allows us time to think and remember why we are grateful. It puts things into perspective when we think about the convenience in our lives to simply travel within a matter of miles to the nearest optical shop and receive crystal clear lenses for the entire family.
The people we are serving travel for miles and miles, waiting for buses which they may be asked to sit on top of during transport. It is possible they would have to hitch a ride and walk quite a distance before a car will come that is able to fit another passenger.
We owe a special thanks to our sponsors. Without the local team from India what we are doing would not be possible. They work hard in each station and keep the lines moving. Singh has an incredible spirit and a bright smile that never seems to leave his caramel face. Abbi is a film maker with the Water Habitat Retreat, and helps wherever he is needed. Sunil and Gaju were volunteers from a local hospital and helped our patients with dilation drops. Without this process the doctors are unable to view the back of the eye.
It's hard to wrap my brain around the fact that our time in India, as I do not feel like the same person that departed from America.
April 28, 2012
The OneSight team for India 2012, represents the globe and different aspects of Luxottica as a whole that many are not privy to. Their are Italians, Chinese, Canadians, Asian Indians, Americans, a Finnish lady, a gentleman from Hong Kong, a Moroccan miss, an English rose, two Chilleans, and a sweet woman from Korea. The job diversity ranges from lab techs, doctors, people employed in factories, managers, accountants, human resources, insurance, brand managers, and graphic designers. Its incredible to think about what it takes to run the global force that is Luxottica.
Guest post by Kushla- Luxottica London
I was very worried about coming to India. Would I be comfortable with working in a very hot climate? Would I fit in a team whom I hardly know? Would I survive two weeks without the comfort of my home and kids? But all these thoughts vanished when I saw how happy and grateful the people of Jodpur were when they had their glasses on. From children with sunnies right up to senior citizens using their bifocals or reading glasses on. It seems like we have done the greatest miracle in their lives. It’s amazing to see how restoring sight can change their outlook on their lives, to see better. I am ever so thankful to OneSight to give me this opportunity to carry this mission and to experience this joy. I sincerely hope that OneSight will carry on expanding more missions to help the poor and need receive the blessing that comes with seeing more clearly.
Guest post by Rich Hoffman
At dispense I had a great experience with a local woman. Upon receiving her glasses she was reluctant to leave the final clinic station. Due to the language barrier, I was not able to have her exit. When a translator came over, he explained that the woman waned to give me the most blessings. So she proceeded on putting her hands on my head and thanking me. She gave him the most blessings.
Guest post by Wayne from Winnipeg
The sights, sounds and smells of India bombard your senses in this exotic land. Our bus ride to clinic at two desert villages every day has shown us the life style of the Indian people that most tourists never see. We are so fortunate for this opportunity to help restore vision where it is most needed. The word that keeps coming to mind when I think of the Indian people I’ve met here is “gracious;” to us and to each other. Our clinic days seem to pass quickly in the desert heat of forty to forty five degrees Celsius. We have a great OneSight team all of whom pull together for work during the day and for fun socializing in the evening. I will miss all of these friends when I depart for home, but will never forget the great time we had here.
One particular little six-year old boy I fitted with his first pair of glasses, couldn’t stop smiling. His vision was so poor he would never have seen the birds flying through the tree tops or someone sitting across the room from him. We had a few pairs that were close to his minus ten diopter prescription. For those not in the optical world, without spectacles this little boy could see hand motion at twenty feet away but no clarity beyond his nose. The pair he liked the best needed adjusting to fit his small face. I bent the frame at the hinge as I’ve done thousands of times and it broke. My heart sank. Fortunately, we had a back up pair and he was able to leave the clinic and enjoy a whole new world.
Wayne from Winnepeg
For the most part we are back to our normal lives and jobs. The people we were blessed to serve with and those we met to serve will last with us much longer than the two weeks we spent in Jodhpur. Thank you all for the support and following our story.
April 22, 2012
Our first site consisted of four days in the blistering heat of Nagana, a small village in India. By the fourth day of clinic, we had perfected our system. We saw a total of 2,134 patients and each one was dispensed either a pair of recycled donated spectacles fitting their prescription, precut circular lenses fit to a slender metal frame, reading glasses or sun ware. The people of this land are beaming with kind smiles and warm hearts. Our core team had a handful of native speakers able to bridge the gap in communication between us and our valued patients. A large number of indigenous volunteers further assisted to instruct those going through each station and verify clarity of vision through newly fitted eyeglasses. A kind donation of Ray Ban sunglasses treated our guests to hip style and needed protection from the bright dessert light of day.
Staggering results of vision research in India found that 80% of the country’s blindness is correctable. Of that percentage 20% is caused by refractive error, which is easily restored with spectacles. The other 60% falls to cataracts. After this research, OneSight felt there may be a way to make even more of an impact within the region we are visiting. Two of our doctors split off to work with local hospitals after finding the government will pay to have cataract surgery performed for the citizens of the country. OneSight is able to assist in awareness of the available government program. Hospitals can than work directly with the referred patients to schedule and correct even more vision in the years to come.
We said goodbye to four lovely team members unable to stay for the full duration of the trip. To rest our minds and take a break from working days, we visited the Mehrangarh Fort that overlook what is known as the “Blue City.” Local legend relays that the stone washed buildings were termite ridden. To solve the infestation and prevent future munching, citizens used chemicals that turned houses to a vibrant blue tint. Many debunk the theory and state the painting of blue houses is an environmentally safe way to cool residents and repel mosquitoes.
Come Monday we will welcome a new comer and start in new location, Kanadesar about half the distance from the first. More than half our time is behind us. The words you’re reading and the pictures you are seeing are a meager attempt to share and will never fully capture what we’ve been experiencing. Your beloved friends and family will come back as changed people. Thank you for following and sharing in the comments section. It is wonderful to get a taste of home while we are so far away.
April 19, 2012
I am always so excited when the clinic lists are published in December , in hopes that I have been lucky enough to be selected for a clinic. Well here I am in India. I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be, surrounded by some incredible people from all over the world. Almost every continent in the world is represented here at this clinic. We have just completed our second day, and we have seen close to 900 people. I have been on clinics before, but the fluidity that this team has come to together with is incredible. There is always a new cast of characters or team members as they are properly known on each clinic. This particular clinic has Blade (Naheed) and Cobra(Richard). They both with their outstanding personalities have made for entertaining 2 hour bus rides to the clinic.
Our clinic is set in the desert outside of a 1000 year old temple that is under an 8 year restoration process. There are marble columns that are being carved on site. The marble itself is taken from the same quarry that a little known structure called the Taj Mahal was built from. It is truly amazing.
Many of the people that we have had the privilege of serving have not had the opportunity to get what we consider to be a basic need, the gift of sight. Many are elderly and have never seen clearly before. What an honor to be able to witness the change that can result from a pair of glasses. Each day I wake up with anticipation of what new challenge can be met that day. Well tomorrow is going to be another exciting day, I know it.
Doug Macfadden, IMS Leader Jodhpur India 2012
April 18, 2012
Where else do you have the opportunity to see an elephant transporting passengers down a busy highway? Maybe nowhere, but we all saw this on our way to Jodpur. Traveling gave plenty of cause for complaint and worry. It wouldn’t be a bit surprising to see a defeated group and hear the whimpering that often accompanies hurtles and the unexpected. What we encountered instead are a team of people willing to overcome challenges and word like “How can I help and get us even closer to the mission that brought us all together. As Miguel offered during our first debriefing, “We were all chosen for a reason, and it shows.” Leaders showed their true colors by staying behind and making sure everyone made it together to our destination. People were more than willing to grab a bag and take the load off another weary traveler.
Miguel walked us through what is expected of all of us. There is no doubt we are engaged and ready to exceed each hand every one. People were getting choked up as they introduced themselves telling the rest of their team the excitement to be here. Together we are racing on the OneSight Amazing race, not to a finish line or a million dollar prize. Our reward is in the journey and the experience of a lifetime.
April 11, 2012
We are preparing for the journey of a lifetime. I don't know about you, but I can not think about anything else. Every person I've encountered in the last two weeks knows that I am excited for the trip. There is much to do in preparation and little time left to do so. I wanted to post a little something prior to departure to give you opportunity to share the link with friends and family.
About the Clinic
2012 India 2 Clinic Blog Clinic
A team of OneSight volunteers and doctors will provide free vision care and eyewear to those in need.