Being from the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Mirriam Sam was understandably apprehensive about heading to sea aboard MV YWAM PNG. But this final year medical student set her fears behind her as she stepped out and put her name forward for a six-week rural health training position with the YWAM team.
During YWAM Medical Ships recent outreach, three University of Papua New Guinea students, all women from the Highlands, undertook their Year Five Rural Health Block aboard the ship in PNG’s coastal areas. This is part of a larger objective to use the ship operations as a launching pad for young PNG health professionals to connect their skills with the rural majority.
Did Mirriam regret her decision to take on coral, surf and sand in a province far from home? Read her impressions below.
“This experience has helped me gain confidence. The fact that the people that I’ve worked with have confidence in me has helped me as an individual develop that confidence.
“Also it has helped me to see how important my career [in medicine] is especially because most of our people are in the rural places and they are in dire need of these basic medical services,” said Mirriam.
Young Papua New Guineans like Mirriam have opportunity to experience for themselves more of the beauty of their land and also the challenges associated with rural service delivery. All the while, they are supported in team that calls them to stand tall and put their own hand to the task of sustainable development.
So what impact did the outreach placement have on Mirriam personally?
“I believe that this experience has helped me to make my decision in the future of which career I want to pursue. Who knows, I might pursue something in the rural health and go out to the villages more often. But this [YWAM outreach patrol] has definitely changed my perspective of this field [rural health].
“Seeing the faces of all the people I have helped, their smiles, has really impacted me. They are so welcoming and thankful and grateful of us going there… It has really made me want to help them more. It has really encouraged me to do more of this in the future.
“Thank you very much YWAM family for helping me in these 6 weeks I’ve been here. It’s been a bit rough for me on the sea because I’m from the Highlands! But I thank you for hospitality and the kindness – for the fact that you have really received us with open arms. I believe that this experience has definitely made me see things differently and I hope to come join YWAM family over the next few years to keep serving the rural places!”