In 2013 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Nepal for an International placement with a classmate and good friend Caitlin Dubiel. This experience opened my eyes to Global Health and really changed my career path. It was during this experience that I started to think about sustainability and asking about what we were really doing.
If you would like to hear more about my experience, send me a message. I’m more than happy to share.
After 3 rejected Indian visas, 3 exams, and 35 hours of transit we finally arrived in Kathmandu.
Our journey began in Toronto last Monday. Along with our personal bags, we checked a hockey bag full of equipment and a wheelchair ramp with little resistance from the airlines (partly thanks to the X-Ring). The supplies were donated by BABU and a number of incredible sponsors and are to be shared between the International Friendship Children’s Hospital (IFCH) and Special Education and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children (SERC), where we will be volunteering.
Luckily, we just missed the hurricane and we on time for our 7 1/2 hour flight to London. We arrived at Heathrow International Airport in the early morning and of course had to experience some of the local culture by enjoying a Guinness. Our next flight was 9 hours to India. Our neighbor was a young Nepalese man named Deezee who shared some of his local knowledge despite the fact that he has never been treking or spent any time in the mountains. Continue reading “And It Begins…..”
Quick note in regards to the rubble that Phil mentioned. We were chatting with some folks we met who are all currently living and working in Nepal and apparently, a number of months ago, the Nepali government decided it was time to widen the roads. As a result, portions of all of the buildings were demolished in order to make room. Apparently, the people have known that this was going to happen for many many years. But it finally happened. Some of the project nearer to where we are living has been completed and you would never really know it happened. Along the route to work, however, piles and piles remain of what WAS a number of store fronts and houses. Basically, people are in the process of rebuilding what they have left a few meters back from where it was. There is bamboo scaffolding everywhere and one can’t help but wonder about the location of load bearing walls….!! Continue reading “Caitlin’s Post: #2”
Caitlin and I are currently sitting in our room after a pretty busy and amazing week.
We started getting into the swing of things at SERC and IFCH. At SERC we have been working with a number of different children independently with pointers from Thea, who is an amazing pediatric physiotherapist from Holland. We brought over much of the donated materials, including sensory rehab kits, fine motor supplies, swiss balls, and the wheelchair ramp. Continue reading “Second Week of Placement”
Last Thursday we were at some friends’ place for dinner when out of the blue we hear music coming from outside! A group of Nepalese guys known as “crazy band” set up a full concert outside in the front yard. Their tour bus consisted of a 3 wheeled bike loaded with speakers and groupies each carrying a piece of the drum kit. Continue reading “Tihar and Film Festival”
Three things to love about Nepal: (1) Everyone horks and spits even ladies even on the bus (2) To sooth their children, people make clicking sounds like you might make to call a horse (3) When a tuk-tuk (a mix between and small car and motor bike that we ride to work in everyday) gets a flat, 2 or 3 man passengers with the driver will have it changed out in less than 3 minutes without barely pulling off the road- we didn’t feel a thing. Continue reading “Cait’s Post: Hand Painted License Plate Land”
After work one night last week we took a taxi out to Pashupatinath Temple to the cremation ghats. The temple site beside tthe holy Bagmati river with cremations occurring all day. We arrived as the sun was setting and walked along the water where only fire and ash remained on the ghats as loved ones looked on. We watched as one family carried a body in front of a cremation ghat, threw his clothes into the water, and said a few prayers after each member of the mourning family took hand fulls of water from the river and bathed the body about to be cremated. The logs were then laid, and the body was placed on top before the fire was lit. We sat in silence for a long time across the river as the ceremony unfolded. Very powerful experience!
The rest of the week left us saying good bye to a few great friends. The Dutch physio, Thea, went back to Holland (I have no idea what we would have done without her), and the Belgian physios were on their way to India before Elise goes back to Belgium to find a job and Severine returns to her job at a private physio clinic in the South of France (tough life). I hope to visit them all some day! … And who knows maybe they can hook me up with a physio job when I’m done. I think I could handle the South of France for a little while.
I stepped off the bus to a swarm of taxi drivers and hotel workers trying to get my business. They surrounded me like 5 year olds on a soccer ball. I looked over and Caitlin was experiencing the same problem with another group of men. It was impossible to hear what anyone was saying as everyone was shouting out their lowest price and shoving brochures in front of my face. Caitlin started walking through the masses towards a Nepalese man with dreads and a Rastafarian t-shirt. I followed… Anything to get out of this mayhem. Continue reading “Attacked by killer bees”