Greetings from Chapagaon! | Acupuncture Relief Project | Volunteer Community Health Clinic | Nepal

Jennie Treating Monk with MoxaWe are winding down our first week working in the clinic and have a few highlights to report.  Our team has come together nicely and we are having a good time together.  We had a lot of ideas of how we thought things were going to go but every day has been slightly different so we adapt to what comes up.   This week has been a bit of a wild ride because we are short on interpreters.  For a few days all of us were in one room with all of our patients (plus a few observers).   We had to share one interpreter, Satya Mohan, who was blessedly patient.  Amazingly, it worked but now we have two interpreters as one of the nuns from last year has graced us with her presence.  The past couple of days we have spread out over two rooms so in comparison it seems quiet.  We’ve now had a chance to see some of the patients a few times this week and are starting to get to know our clinic community.  A few of the patients are quite rowdy and like to tease us.  We are learning a lot and already feel like we are honing our skills to better meet our patients needs.  It takes awhile to establish a rapport with patients but as the week progresses we are getting to know each other which makes each treatment stronger.

Nikole treting in Nepal ClinicOn the home front (which is right upstairs from the clinic), we have a full house.  There are the four of us, Andrew, Nicky the clinic director, Joel from the gompa (monastery) next door, the two nuns Ani Yangchen, and Kolpana as well as rotating sick monks.  A couple of the monks from next door have had the flu so we quarantined them to a downstairs room so that we didn’t end up with a monastery full of sick boys.  The highlight of the week has been the moxa and herbs for rest of the boys.  We line them up to give them moxa on four points for the immune system.  They mostly tolerate us and do a lot of whispering and giggling as we go around.  If only we knew what they were saying.  It is quite the production.  

Allyndreth Taking a Pulse in Chapagon The food is fantastic as we have our own cook.  We even had cake for breakfast the other day.  Nikole’s birthday was on Wednesday so we surprised her with a banana and fig cake that Nicky made in the rice cooker.  It didn’t turn out like we planned so it wasn’t ready that night but with the time difference technically Nikole had her birthday for a day and a half.  You can justify anything if you try hard enough.  

Overall things are shaping up and we are starting to get the hang of it.  We are not as busy as last year yet (probably due to harvest) but this is merciful as we are getting up to speed ourselves.  All of us are learning a few key Nepali words and can now head bobble with the best of them. Tonight, we are treating ourselves to a night in Kathmandu with the B Team women, Sarah and Jackie who have arrived early to trek. 

Heidi Treating Monks in Nepal

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