Claire Holgate's blog, India April 2019

By Claire Holgate, Specialist Dietitian

I am 27 and from Northern Ireland, studied Masters of Human Nutrition in Nottingham University and am now practicing as a dietitian since. I had a period of travel after two years of work, doing a ski season in France then travelling North America in a campervan. My mum was born in Ethiopia and has always been keen on travel and volunteering. I have been on one volunteer trip to Tanzania and feel this was an experience that shaped me as a person and I have always wanted to be able to go on another trip. In 2014, I started as a general oncology Dietitian at Addenbrookes hospital, progressing to Specialist head and neck oncology on 2015 for a year. I then spent some time travelling returning to dietetics in 2018 to my current post as an Upper-Gastrointestinal dietitian.

I have always had a passion for travelling and helping people, and I have always wanted to experience India. I love the work that Rama Foundation have been doing to date and I am very excited and grateful to be able to have to opportunity to become part of that. I also believe in being able to use the opportunities we have to share our experience and knowledge if we may be able to help others.

I have volunteered before in Tanzania, Africa – I really enjoyed this experience and feel like I learnt a lot about myself and I think this experience helped me to understand what is important in life. I also liked being able to share my experiences/knowledge if it could be helpful for others. I am excited to be able to have another opportunity to have similar experiences to help educate others in improving quality of life for palliative patients.

I have prepared by talking to others who have visited Rishikesh and discussing with them what they found most rewarding or challenging. We have also been having lots of planning meetings! I am most looking forward to experiencing Indian culture/life and what we can learn from them. I am least looking forward to being able to accept the things we can’t change/make a difference in – it is always hard to watch others struggle when we know we have so much. (And also Delhi Belly!)

Follow Claire;s personal reflections from her trip to India on @RamaFoundation.