February 14, 2012

My Visit to Mangalore

I am happy for the opportunity in my life, especially in the first month of the year to go for a Master Training programme on HIV&AIDS counseling.  I did have the basic information about this subject, but it’s been a long time, since I read or spoke about it, as my present position leaves me listening to students and provides me space to organize training in counseling, and be involved in research activity. 

I was really thrilled when my head asked me to go to Mangalore for a 6 day training, it was a surprise, and I was not sure, whether I would manage leaving my daughter during school time, and be off for a training like this – I thought about it deeply, and with encouragement from my head and my husband’s assurance, I was able to make up my mind to attend this programme.

To my surprise, my daughter adjusted so well at home in my absence, and my husband took care of her so very well, I felt stupid worrying for nothing, I learnt to relax and trust  my husband and mother in law, who managed the home in my absence, and also understood that it’s all in my mind, it’s my own pre conceived ideas that stops me from growth, stops me from moving, and taking risks in life.

I am glad for this time, for it helped my daughter and husband to bond with each other, and also provide space for my own learning, for which I am eternally grateful to God, I believe that everything happens for a purpose, and this learning was all a part of the greater plan God has for me. 

It gave me opportunity to interact with more people in my life, listen to different concerns, and also to learn a little more about how to care for those who infected with HIV&AIDs. There were different speakers and topics revolving around counseling, and every person had something beautiful to offer.
I feel better equipped as trainer, and more confident in dealing with this subject. Some of the exercises enabled me to take a inner ward journey especially on grief counselling –this session made me look at grief and feel the pain, the loss, the emptiness and the void one feels after death especially with those who die of AIDs, it touched my heart and I was speechless for a moment – it helped me to understand what actually is “EMPATHY” which is so commonly used in counseling.  

There were also sessions on  Gender & sexuality, Orientation to HIV/AIDS counseling, stages and process of counselling, basics of family planning methods, Counselling Micro skills, PPTCT issues in counseling, care and support – challenges of care givers- home based care, opportunistic infections, overview of mental health issues among people living with  HIV/AIDS, Nutrition counselling, Counseling adolescents at the ICTC, counseling women, grief and bereavement counseling, Crisis intervention and problem solving, positive looking and beyond, legal and ethical issues in counseling.

 There was good food every day, I enjoyed the variety being served, and there was fish, prawns, chicken and everything had coconut in some form or the other, there was also two three, types of rice’s, white, brown, and boiled, there was also the kerelite specialty  of idly, neer Dosa, Appam, vada and  added were the sweets, which was delicious. Evening hours, I went out with participants for window shopping, and some days I preferred to spend time with myself in the hotel, which made me think, reflect and enjoy my own company.

I reached back, happy for this whole new experience! and here I am ready to continue my journey with gratitude …….. Expecting many more unexpected experiences to make my life meaningful and fulfilling ..

Be Blessed & Be Happy !

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