Tales From the Bush: Michael Rubenstein, MD

It’s so strange to sit here writing to you - everything in Karatu still seems so close as though I’m going to wake up there tomorrow and walk to clinic.  It’s hard to explain, but I’m sure you’ve had others describe some difficulty making the transition home, even after such a short visit.  I think it’s obvious that my time at FAME Medical and in Karatu was an experience unlike any before it and it’s been difficult to put it into perspective with the world here - they are so different.  Everyone here asks me how my trip went and I don’t really know what to say to the - I tell them “fantastic,” “wonderful,” or maybe “amazing,” but none of those can really capture or even come close to the true magnitude of the experience.  I haven’t been able to really get my arms around it yet.

So I’ve found myself telling everyone now that it’s really impossible to describe because it’s so different, so foreign, so unlike our lives here.  Perhaps because every moment is so meaningful there, I really can’t explain it.  I’ll tell someone what it was like walking up to the clinic in the morning for a new day, but it doesn’t capture the real emotion of that moment on the other side of the world in such a different land.

To tell you that I’ve thought about the clinic, Karatu, red clay and dust, the smell, the sun, every single person there, those whose names I knew and those who I never really did, every day, if not every hour, since my return would be the truth, but it would still not express the full extent of the impact my visit had.