Two lengthy plane rides and three continents later we made it to India. We were all exhausted, but thrilled to be on the ground and excited for what lay ahead. In an attempt to waste no time we checked into our hotel, dropped off our bags, and immediately head out for some Hyderabad sightseeing. We visited Charminar and Chowmahalla Palace, two Hyderabad sights not to be missed. Unfortunately jet lag got the best of us and just as quickly as we head out, we head back to our hotel for naps. After some much needed R&R and a delicious Indian dinner we were ready to get started on our project!
This morning we woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on the day in Hyderabad, and eager to finally meet our host, Vijay, in person. The most popular mode of transportation here is the auto rickshaw.
In the spirit of embracing the culture, we left our hotel and secured two rickshaws to transport us to LifeSpring. Hailing a rickshaw is not nearly as simple as you might think. It involves an extensive negotiation process and a lot of back and forth to confirm the driver knows the destination. After securing our transport we took off. Lo and behold just a few minutes into our journey one of our rickshaws broke down! Our very persistent driver continued to restart the rickshaw and even pushed us for part of the way, making sure we reached our destination.
Upon arriving at LifeSpring we were met with an extremely warm greeting from Vijay. We exchanged formal introductions and immediately got to work reviewing our interim report and discussing the plan for the week. We decided that our team of four would split into pairs. Each pair would spend this week observing one CNM. Next week we would rotate pairs and sites, so we would have a total of 4 CNMs and 16 days’ worth of data. Before leaving for the afternoon Vijay gave us a tour of the hospital. This particular LifeSpring facility was an impressive 5 floors and displayed a wealth of information targeted at customers. We were most impressed by the price list that is posted in the lobby.
Now, well equipped with information from Vijay, we are looking forward to our first day of observations tomorrow!