One reason that I enjoy traveling so much is because it reminds me that the way I usually do things is not always the best or the right way to do it. I am constantly reminded of this during my time here in India.
My first day here in India, I went to leave my apartment and found myself unable to lock my door. The key fit the hole, but no amount of turning it to the right would lock it. A friend was waiting to meet me and I became a bit frantic. Finally, I turned it to the left and it immediately locked. My door here locks and unlocks in the opposite direction than it does in the States.
And that is a bit how I have felt here in India. Everything takes me a bit of time to get the hang of, because it is all a little bit different. Crossing the street requires lots of patience. Set meeting times often change or are pushed back a little bit. More than anything, my work is very different than it was in the States, despite working in the same field.
The Birthing Center believes in minimal medical intervention as long as it is safe for mom and baby. This is quite different than how things were when I was working Labor and Delivery at a large hospital in the States. Instead of continuous monitoring, we doppler check baby heartbeats. Moms are not immediately started on fluids and are instead encouraged to eat and drink. Pitocin drips are not nearly as common here at the birthing center. Cesarean sections are a rare occurrence. This has been fascinating for me to learn about and see that there are different ways of doing things. It is so easy to get into habits without questioning how or why we do things and this work is breaking me out of that.
I am finally starting to get in and out of my apartment on my first try, just as I am finally starting to get settled here in Hyderabad. I take a few less pictures of the buffalo in the middle of the road and do not instinctively try to start moms on continuous monitoring. I still have a lot to learn, but I am excited to keep learning about different ways to do things.