Namaskar from Dolakha (east of Kathmandu) and Happy St. Patrick’s Day….what a crazy combination! Despite it being the day of the green leprechauns there’s ‘nar a bit of green in these hills as the last of the arid season pelts us with dry, blowing winds. The land is parched and a far cry from the green flowing terraced fields of my last fall visit. But I am getting ahead of myself……
The team of Pediatricians from Geisinger Medical Center spent the first week at Kathmandu Model Hospital teaching Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Neonatal Advanced Life Support to the nursing and physician staff. Several CMA (Certified Medical Assistants) also attended. These are the women and men who work out in the rural areas and have medical educations ranging from a paramedic to a nurse midwife. Medical education in Nepal is taught in English so language wasn’t a huge barrier except with the CMAs….but we broke through with hands on practice and help from the Nepalese doctors and nurses. They did a great job and everyone had a successful mega code test…all the pretend kiddies survived.
Seeing Kathmandu through the eyes of “newbie’s” is almost more entertaining than Kathmandu itself. There has been no lack of surprises and laughter each day as Janis, Lexi, Anna and Tessy marvel or more accurately stare in shock at the unusual sights that define this city. As we toured Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most revered Hindu temple, Anna summed it up the best when she looked around at the sadhu (wandering, painted Hindu holy men) and declared “Dorothy we are not in Danville any more”!
Despite Janis taking out the electric lights in two rooms with her 110V surge protector….electric here is 220V….we have not had too many mishaps. Our most funny misunderstandings occur due to Tessy’s heritage. Born in the USA of East Indian parents she can easily pass for a Nepalese woman. Several times people have approached her speaking rapid Nepali and insist she is Nepali despite our objections. I think we could have offered her hand in marriage a few times too.
They were fortunate…or not…depending on who you ask….to be here during Holi Festival. It’s kind of a water sport festival….a harbinger of the drenching monsoon season to come. And drenched we were….everywhere you go in the city people….well, mostly kids and teenagers….throw water balloons at you…..filled with colored….let me elaborate….day glow colored bright red and orange dyed water. The more ambitious throw buckets of water and balloons from the roof tops. It’s a toss up when walking….look up to avoid a balloon and risk taking a direct face hit or dodge through the streets commando rabbit style.
The second week we were off to Dolakha’s Gaurishankar Hospital for more PALS and NALS…..stay tuned.