Clinic Blog: 2011 India 3 Clinic Blog
October 29, 2011
This will be the last entry for India 3 Onesight Clinic. I want to take this time to personally thank everyone who read our Clinic's blog, especially those who commented on it. We, the team, loved hearing from you.
As the title of the blog states, we really did become a family in Goa. We were very lucky to have quite a few alumni who helped the first-timers become experts in a short time. We had a fabulous Leadership team: Melissa, Natasha, Steven, Doug, Dave, and Lee. They made plans, changed plans, remade plans and pointed us all in the right direction every time. Our doctors did a fabulous job: Doug, Lee, Carla, Cindy, Frank, Nima, Mita, Cameron and Molly. They saw thousands of people without any complaints as wave upon wave of patient came to them.
We had Clinic members from all over the world, USA, Canada, Italy, Sweden, and the UK. Stephanie, from Canada was an outstanding optician who handled the neutralization at visual accuity and then dispensing with ease.Stephanie was also our resident personal shopper. Her bargaining skills were unbeatable. Marsha, also from Canada handled our Fundraising and Silent Auction making it fun.Sheila, originally from Canada and now in the USA was our resident comedianne and songwriter. Our Italian group, Paolo, Valentina, Michele, Luisa, Carlo, Florida and Roberto jumped in and made every task look easy and fun. Mikaela, from Sweden was an outstanding dispenser and worked hard in IMS making sure everyone got just the right pair of glasses. We also had Shantanu Misra and Anjali Rai, from India who came in to help and were great additions to our team. Our team came from all across the Luxottica brand lines, Lenscrafters, Pearle, Target, Sears, CSC, Eyemed and Lux Europe. We all learned alot about how our company operates on so many levels. It was quite educational.
Once again, I want to thank everyone on our team, their families and friends for making our Clinic the best. We couldn't do it without you. But, it doesn't stop here. Our Clinic Donation page is still up and running at www.onesight.org. Please visit the donation page for India3 while you are on the page reading this blog. Thank you again.
October 27, 2011
Our last clinic day in Goa was like all of our others: busy, fun, and very emotional. Not only were we seeing patients, but saying goodbye to our volunteers and packing up the clinic for it's next destination. But first, we started our day, as always, with a team cheer. Today's cheer was written by Sheila, and "sung" by Sheila, Dr. Molly, Jody, Bridget, Kathy and Amy. It was so good, I've added the words here.
"Di-A-lation" (sung to the tune of 'Celebration')
Di-a-lation time, COME ON!
There's a clinic going on right here
A Onesight clinic they run throughout the year
So bring your old frames, and wear comfy shoes
Cuz we're gonna check your vision then di-a-late you!
Come on now, Dialation
Let's all dialate and have a great time!
It's time to work together, 1or 2, which is better?
Everyone's from around the world- ONESIGHT!
We challenge the upcoming Global Missions to add verses to our cheer!
Orinally, we scheduled 600 people, but an additional 1,000 showed up. Our total for the day was over 1500 and for the entire 8 days over 8,500 people were given the gift of sight. After clinic we honored our volunteers who spent the 2 weeks with us, translating, picking inventory and making sure we and our patients communicated well. We provided gifts brought from home and elsewhere to show our appreciation for their dedication and hard work. The tears flowed from both Clinic Members and volunteers. Following the volunteer presentations, came the grueling work of breaking down the clinic for shipment to it's next destination. Each piece of equipment had to be cleaned, sorted, tagged and placed into their proper places. It was a difficult job, but we finally completed it. After everything was placed on the truck we went from the clinic site to a Diwali party given in our honor hosted by the Goan Minister of Heath at his home. We were treated like royalty and enjoyed a tour of his home. Dinner was traditional Goan food. It was delicious and everyone had a great time. On the bus ride home we were entertained by a rousing sing-along of any and every song anyone knew.
It was our last night together as a team. Everyone knew it and no one wanted the night to end. Some of us went to the Raddison Hotel next to our's for some karaoke. When that was over the party moved back to our hotel and we danced the night away. Midway through the night, it began to rain with the partygoers jumping out into the rain to do the Electric Slide. No one wanted the night to end.
October 20, 2011
In four clinic days over 5,000 people have been given the gift of sight. They come from villages on the outskirts of Goa and most come long distances to have their eyes examined. All day long people of all ages waited patiently as they went through the process. Monday's clinic started with an excited and loud team cheer. We moved to our assigned clinic positions and we were off and running. The first group came through almost shyly, not knowing what to expect but when they saw the doctors, they became more animated. At the dispensing stations, both Clinic member and patient were grinning ear to ear. One of our opticians, Stephanie, from Canada, bonded with an elderly lady in a beautiful teal sari.The lady's prescription was +9.00 mounted in a beautiful metal frame. The woman was laughing and clapping her hands. That is just one of the many stories that came out of our first clinic day.
Our second clinic day started like the first, with cheer led by one of our Italian team members, Paolo. We had an active day busltling with activity. Our recipients came from 3 different villages in the outlying area, with a lot of young children and older adults. The children were shy at first, but left with smiles and new eyeglasses on their faces. One of our team members, Amy, was working a the auto-refractioin station when a man came up to her and said he had no eye and held out his hand to show Amy his glass eye wrapped up in a napkin. She closed his hand around the eye, patted his hand and said, "that's okay we'll read the other eye".
Saturday was a busy day in many ways. First, we had a full clinic schedule. Second, Saturday night would be our Silent Auction night combined with dinner. We saw over 800 patients. Once again, our team was up to the occassion and made sure everyone was seen and happy when they left. After clinic was completed and put away for the day, it was time to celebrate our wins over the last few days and dinner was set up poolside at our hotel, Our entries for the auction were arranged in groups on tables surrounding our dining area. Bidding was fierce for all of the items and spirited rivalry for many items sent the bids even higher. We also had a live auction with Clinic Leader Steven acting as auctioneer. Even here bidding was exciting for each item. Prizes included a Prada necktie, an authentic Indian scarf, and Oakley luxury sunwear. The big prizes won were OneSight globe and stand and two baseball hats handpainted with the names of each clinic member handwritten in English on one hat and Sanskrit on the other. All in all, it was a marvelous day for Clinic Team members and the people we saw in clinic.
Sunday was originally an 'off day' for us, because of schedule changes, it was another clinic day.
After Sunday's clinic, we all went out for dinner at a seaside restaurant called Zeebop's By the Sea. It is truly a seaside restaurant because it is on the beach, with tables on the sand. Team members changed into swimwear and took advantage off the beautiful night and rolling waves of the Arabian Sea. Dinner was a fish dinner that was truly outstanding. There was also a surfside competition between some local boys and our Italian team members, including Dr.Cameron in a futbol match(soccer to the rest of us). Our Italian team came out on top.
Here is one of our Team Members, Claire Sjouerman, to send a "Shout Out":
Hello Friends, family and my colleagues in the UK! I'm missing you all so much.. I haven't had a good cup of tea in ages. Having the most amazing experience it is such an incredible feeling to see the smie on the face of someone who has not seen properly in years. Today I helped a lady who was -18 and had never worn glasses! She was so sweet... can't wait to show you the pictures. I feel so grateful for all I have and have been humbled by the kindness of those we have met on this amazing journey. India is amazing and I can't wait to see the Diwali celebrations tomorrow night. Wish you were here... love to you all.
October 19, 2011
We had a very busy day today. After waiting for what seemed forever, our equipment and inventory arrived at the clinic site this afternoon. Following a delicious lunched hosted by our Goan sponsrs, we spent the aftrnoon and into the evening unloading and putting everything in their proper place.
The team split into groups. The doctors calibrated their instruments and practiced using the latest in exam equipment. The rest of the team broke into groups, practicing becoming proficient with the autorefractor and doublechecking the inventory. People moved between one group and the other as tasks were completed.
As the night went on, snacks came out and water was consumed in great amounts in the hot school auditorium.
Finally, our work was complete. What was once an empty parking lot, now became a covered and comfortable reception area. The empty school auditorium became an orderly trail of eye exam stations and eyewear dispensing.
A tired but tremendously satisfied clinic team aboard our bus for the ride home, each of us deep in thought about our day and the upcoming busy day tomorrow.
October 17, 2011
Namaskar! That is "hello" in Konkani, the local dialect in Goa, India. Goa is a seaport city on the southwestern coast of India. It was settled in 1498 by Portuguese explorers. The strong Portuguese influence can be seen in it's culture, language, and architechture. After two days of travelling, the India3 team has assembled here. After orientation we received our room assignments and began to explore our new home for the next two weeks. We used today as a rest day to get acclimated to the time change. We can't wait to meet our clinic partners, our volunteers, and most of all our patients.
October 10, 2011
Hello world! This is the first in a series of articles you will be reading from the OneSight India Clinic, in Goa, India. Our clinic team is made up of over forty members representing Luxottica associates and volunteers from all over the world. We have team members from North America, Europe, and Asia.
With less than a week before we leave our homes to travel to Goa, team members are getting ready for this grand adventure. Bags are being packed, equipment is being readied and checklists are being checked to make sure all is ready.
You will being reading about our clinic adventures here. You will read about our journey to Goa, clinic members’ interactions with the people we meet and much, much more. With this blog you will be able to look over our shoulders and share our experiences.
For our readers who are unfamiliar with OneSight: we are a group of charitable programs dedicated to improving vision through outreach, research and education. OneSight is sponsored by Luxottica and has helped over 7 million people in 37 different countries. You can help us by visiting our Fundraising page at www.onesight.org.
About the Clinic
2011 India 3 Clinic Blog Clinic
A team of 40 volunteers and doctors from around the world will come together to provide much needed eye care and eyewear to the people of Goa, India.