Read about some of the experiences of previous students who have completed an internship at LHC or the Babylon Cycle School.
What was your first impression of LHC and The Gambia?
- A nice, warm and welcoming environment
A lot smaller than I thought after having seen it on the website haha...
What was a typical (work) day?
- Work out in the mornings, off to school (internship) until approximately 13:00, then lunch and for example go to the beach with everyone!
- At 8am we started by dusting all of the rooms and materials in the hospital, then I'd look for some local staff who could use an extra set of hands for example in the nurses' office, dressing room, wards or the pharmacy. Sometimes I would sit in with the doctor's consultations.
- We always started with a bucket of soapy water to dust down the hospital. Then we would see where help was needed. If there were patients on the wards, we would take a history and pass this, along with some basic vitals, on to the doctor. Then we would help wherever we were needed most. Sometimes we would help in the consultation room with the doctor, the nursing office, on the wards, or in the labour ward. We could also help out in the pharmacy or in the lab. Some mornings it would be more quiet with fewer patients and we would have to look for jobs to do. After every day at work we would run upstairs to dig in to the lunch that was prepared for us.
Can you tell me a bit more about your experiences here?
- I've had the time of my life.
- My experience with LHC is that it is a safe and sociable atmosphere where you can learn a lot about the health care in The Gambia but also about yourself. Due to the workday being only 6 hours, there is more than enough time to explore the village of Lamin and the beautiful Gambia. An experience never to be forgotten!
- All I can say is that I enjoyed every minute! The people are extremely welcoming and very nice. Everyone is up for joking around and there is an overall relaxed atmosphere. Even outside of work, we would hang out with the locals. It is easy to make new friends. Because of the fun group of volunteers and interns that were here, there was always something going on.
Did your experiences match up with the expectation you had before you came?
- No I had never expected that I would find it so fantastic!!!
- I didn't have any expectations for myself, however the things that I did experience I couldn't have dreamed of
- I think I thought it would be more boring, and that I would miss The Netherlands. But I really didn't miss anyone in The Netherlands. When people asked me when I was coming home, I would always reply that I didn't want to come home for a long time yet!
What did you do in your spare time?
- So much! Walk to Lamin lodge, go swimming, supping, on a boat trip or eat there. Visit all the beaches. Go to all of our new Gambian friends that we made. Visit the fish market, Serrakunda market, Latrikunda market, out for dinner in the touristy area, day at the pool, dansing until dawn!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- In my spare time I would hang out at Lamin Lodge, on the compounds of friends that I made, on the beach, at the market, at the pool, nature park, or on a trip to see more of the country.
- I really just enjoyed chilling with the locals and seeing what everyone's day-to-day life was like. This is how we ended up cooking Domoda with the neighbours, our favourite dish. We would also often go swimming at Lamin Lodge. The water never disappoints, is what Teun would say after a refreshing dip. The beach was also always a reliable choice. Before we came we had looked up all the things we wanted to see and do in The Gambia. We would usually do this in the weekend, but even after work there was sometimes enough time to do something.
What was the best thing that happened to you here?
- It's hard to only mention one thing. We had an amazing day where we raced to Sanyang beach in teams. All of us had to travel without using taxis to the beach and along the way play a game of bingo with the craziest tasks! This is also written on the wall...
- The best thing that happened during my time at Lamin Health Center is that I made friends and family for life. I was lucky to have lived with 8 other extremely fun interns/volunteers with whom I experienced the best adventures.
- That I was allowed to help out with a birth. I had never experienced this and I was also a little clumsy with helping out. But how amazing when you then get to see a new life enter this world!
What was your least favourite experience here?
- We made our own sowing machine. Sometimes we had problems with Gambian women who were not nice. This can happen anywhere.
- Saying goodbye! I found it sooo difficult to wave my new friends that I had made off at the airport.
Are there things that you hadn't expected and wished you knew before you came?
- The way animals were treated was very hard to watch, especially if you are an animal lover.. I did expect this, however it was still hard to watch.
Are there any other experience you would like to share?
- There is not much guidance from LHC for your placement (at the school). This is generally OK if you are in your final year and happy to go out on your own. If you have any questions or need any help, Annemieke will always be there for you but for the most part you are responsible for your own experiences!
I am just extremely grateful that I had this opportunity to work and live in The Gambia for 3 months. I'm also grateful for the rest of the group that was there who were just so sociable, enthusiastic, funny and lovely. I just gained a few brothers and sisters.