The Birthday Blog Post: Week Four at Tata

Raymon and Patrick tell us about their fourth week working in Kolkata, India for the Tata Medical Centre!

Today is Patrick’s birthday, the first birthday which he has spent in India and in fact the first he has had in Asia. It is odd for him to be so far away from his family and friends in the UK, but it’s special to celebrate here in Kolkata with the new friends and colleagues we have met. Unfortunately, as his birthday falls in the working week we are still working today, and working hard. This is because on Monday we, along with Brega and Suman, will be presenting our projects and today we are applying the finishing touches to our slideshows. However, after the day of work is finished the celebrations will start as we will go to the centre of Kolkata and spend the evening at Park Street which is very lively on Friday nights with both local people and tourists.

As the presentation for pairs of interns is on Monday much of this week has been spent in preparation. We (Raymon & Patrick) finished their data analysis on Monday and Tuesday and have found some interesting results to present, finding the associations between the diverse socio demographics of the population of Kolkata and their knowledge and awareness of cancer. Since then we have had our creative hats on in trying to think of the most interesting way possible to present these results. Whilst doing this, we have been developing our skills with Microsoft Office packages Powerpoint and Excel with both of us able to learn from the other. We’ve also had lots of help from their supervisors whenever we have needed it.

Moreover, this week we have had a large variety of food due to Raymon discovering a second canteen in the Medical Centre.  This canteen although smaller, does offer more food than the typical chicken curry we have been eating. Therefore, this week we have tried homemade chicken pizza, chicken burgers and chicken hotdogs, which have all been very different but equally spicy! The guesthouse food has also been different this week with the houseboys giving us some onion bhajis as a snack, to Patrick’s delight as he remarkably hadn’t found any in India yet, although he may have had a spicy mouthful in the photo below…

The houseboys also learnt that we all wanted to have pizza and decided to show us their version of homemade pizza which looked different but was a nice change to curry, but not a change to the spices. They can even make pizza spicy here!

On Thursday, the two American interns from Berkeley University left the guesthouse as their time at the TMC had come to an end. It’s been great to get to know them and find out more about the University in America and the American way of life, and to talk to them about the projects they did here at Tata. It was sad to see them go but we had a nice group meal of biryani in the Guesthouse on their last night which was delicious. They will be missed.

We are not planning to do too much this weekend as we have the presentations on Monday, however as mentioned earlier we will be going for dinner tonight for Patrick’s Birthday. We also want to watch the new Christopher Nolan film in the cinema but we need to find somewhere showing it in English! The last thing we would like to do this weekend is to visit one of the largest stadiums in the world called Eden Garden (cricket stadium).