Saigon Saigon

From the ninth floor of the rooftop bar at the Caravelle hotel, I am treated to a spectacular view of Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve been here over six weeks already and have already learned more than I thought I would. In terms of medicine and HIV, Vietnam is startlingly similar to us and yet remains a world apart. Doctors here earn slightly more than $1000 US dollars a month. Everyone gets an ultrasound because that’s the equipment they have. And, as expected, every treatment prescribed is a strange mix of Western biomedicine and traditional Eastern forms of healing.

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First update from Vietnam

I’ve been here two weeks and Vietnam is better then I remembered. I started work at the HIV/AIDS clinic this week, but have also been helping out at an orphanage for children with cerebral palsy. The state of health in HCMC is pretty much what I expected, a strange combination of western medicine and local remedies all in a city that’s trying to modernize but is still stuck in the mud a bit. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of relationships I develop with the patients as I continue working.

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Getting ready

I leave for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in exactly five weeks and still have a lot to do.

Here’s a quick list:

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Vietnam

I’m very excited to be returning to Vietnam this summer to conduct not one but two research projects funded by the Charles Center. It’s been three years since my first trip to Vietnam, and I expect this one will be much different, especially because I’ll be traveling on my own for most of the trip.

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