Litomyšl, Czech Republic, 18 October 2021 -- I joined the Salesian Lay Missionary Volunteer Service (SADBA) of the Czech Salesian Province because I wanted to have a missionary experience after my 5th year of medical studies. I was sent to a new country for SADBA volunteers: Papua New Guinea. I did my volunteer service from February 2 to September 9, 2020.
During my stint I regularly wrote my reflections on my daily experiences. Now looking back at the time I spent with the Salesians in Araimiri, I realise that the more I reflect on my missionary experiences, I always discover something new that is a little different from my previous reflections.
I think my missionary experience has greatly enriched me in two ways. Firstly, as a 5th year student of the faculty of medicine, my work in the clinic or health centre gave me the professional possibility of suturing wounds, wound care, and dealing with people with malaria. But above all I was most enriched by the need to deal with limited access to information and diagnostic methods.
Secondly, I believe that the people had greatly enriched me culturally, more than I have influenced them. Surely, I also had to confront some difficult situations. But overall, I had the opportunity to learn from the Papuan New Guineans and appreciate their way of life, their way of thinking, their way of educating their children, their celebrations as well as their struggles and difficulties.
Since I overcame any inhibitions to share the life of the people, my experience has greatly helped to become a better person. My reflections of these experiences are found in my book which I entitled “A medic without inhibitions”. It is published by SADBA and was launched in Litomyšl, my hometown, last October 10, 2021.