News BlogLatest News From Our Volunteers in Nepal

 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Lucy Kervin

It’s been one week in Nepal and 3 days of clinic in Bajra Baraji. I’ve gone through so many emotions and learned so much about practicing primary care in a rural area. It’s been amazing but I have to admit that the first day of clinic was tough. That little voice in my head started saying stuff like, “You’re not a good enough practitioner, you don’t know enough, you can’t help anyone!” It’s hard enough to not let that voice rule over my thoughts in the best of times, let alone completely out of my element in a new country. I felt in over my head, seeing things like ear infections, gnarly wounds, ulcers and so many things I would refer out to a medical doctor back home. I was told the first week was going to be the hardest but I didn’t think that first day would end in tears. I barely made it to my room to wrap myself up in my zero degree bag to take some time to write in my journal.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Lucy Kervin

In our ARP clinic guide, it says “Trust The Process”, and that’s exactly what I needed to do at that moment: allow whatever was to just be. So I allowed myself to feel it all, the uncertainty, the loneliness, the self doubt. I closed my eyes and let those emotions fill my whole being. I began to imagine an older version of myself, the one who has been changed by this experience, who has been through this before. She knows you cannot heal the things you cannot feel, and she places her arms around me. I breathe out loving kindness and compassion to myself and the capacity grows. I am able to tend to myself like I would a child, pick myself up and hold tight; I am exactly where I need to be right now. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Lucy Kervin

I woke up the next day feeling changed, stronger and more centered. It was Saturday, our day off from clinic. I was going to put all my things away, make a little home here, do some laundry and go for a hike in the hills. I love being in nature and was excited to see what was growing in the forested slopes I can see all around us at the clinic. On my way to meet up with the group, I had to hop over a small ditch, and I’m still not sure what happened except I hopped and then ended up face planting right into the ground. I was stunned. I think I had my hands in my pockets because my chin took the brunt of the fall. Immediately, folks from the village who were passing by ran up to help me. I felt ridiculous falling down like that, I hadn’t even reached the hills yet! But as I repeated “Thank you, thank you, I’m ok, I’m ok!” I could see the concern on their faces and got that sick feeling when you realize you hurt yourself more than you thought. I could feel something warm and wet running down my chin and the front of my jacket, I felt in my mouth, my lip was split. 

A former version of myself would have been furious with me at this point, but after my grounding session the night before I knew that being hard on myself was the last thing I needed at this point. I got back up to the clinic and called out to my supervisor, Bex. She took one look, “Yeah, that’s gonna need four stitches.” She was close, I got three.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Lucy Kervin

I’m on the mend now, taking a round of antibiotics and alternating between herbal washes and slatherings of neosporin. I know this happened for a reason, I don’t know the reason right now but I’m trusting the process. I told Lila, the health post assistant, who gave me the stitches and was very concerned for me, “No worries, I’ve had worse!” And it’s true. I’ve had a compound femur fracture, broken bones in both feet and both wrists, knee surgeries and a few laparoscopic surgeries. My body is covered in scars. One of my favorite authors, Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “Be proud of the things you have endured. The scars are like a treasure map to the self, the deep self.” As I run my fingers across the scars on my body and feel for those healed wounds that you cannot see, I am proud. I am one of many wounded healers in this world. I look to my patients, I run my hands across their scarred bodies, see the things they have endured and am in awe. What I learn here will completely change who I am as a person and as an acupuncturist and will reverberate into so many areas of my life I cannot even begin to understand. I try to keep this in mind each day as I enter the clinic and allow this process to unfold.  -- Lucy Kervin

More Articles

  • Rice Harvest in Nepal

    Rice Harvest in Nepal

    I don’t know about you, but I grew up eating rice for basically every meal. My job in the house was to make sure the rice was washed and cooked

    Read More
  • The Faces of My Patients

    The Faces of My Patients

    tamangwomen I looked down to check that I had everything. I wore my white lab coat, new name tag, and had pens in my pocket. My supplies were all laid

    Read More
  • Nepali Women

    Nepali Women

    Cricket highlights are buzzing in my left ear, as I peel apart crinkling, plastic sleeves of a wedding album. My patient’s fourteen-year-old son splits his attention between the static screen

    Read More
  • Naturopathy in Nepal

    Naturopathy in Nepal

    Four years ago I fell in love with the most impoverished district of Nepal called Humla. Though I was there to research malnutrition, I quickly realized the desperate need of

    Read More
  • Human Suffering

    Human Suffering

    Yesterday, I saw an 80 year old patient whose oxygen saturation read 75. In America, anyone under 90% gets an immediate oxygen cannula in their nose. When I first encountered

    Read More
  • Bimdev Says His Daughter’s Name

    Bimdev Says His Daughter’s Name

    Not long ago, I watched a man carefully walk into clinic, cane in hand, right arm and leg trapped in contracture from a stroke. He sat down silently and handed

    Read More
  • Tamang

    Tamang

    She sat there like a queen, or a dictator, regally poised in a red plastic chair, her gold-tasseled nose ring eclipsed by her broad nose. Faded tattoos traced the corners

    Read More
  • The Best Medicine of All

    The Best Medicine of All

    I’m totally overdressed, now sweating in my puffy jacket that only a few hours ago seemed totally adequate to stave off the morning frost. The Nepali middle hills tower and

    Read More
  • My Home Away From Home

    My Home Away From Home

    After living in Bajrabahari at the Acupuncture Relief Project headquarters for 3-1/2 months it has become my home. As I think about my “other home” in Portland Oregon it seems

    Read More
  • This Is A Place I Call “Home”

    This Is A Place I Call “Home”

    Sitting in front a window at the Roadhouse in Thamel, realizing I’ll be leaving Nepal in less than 8 hours, feel like unreal. There is a strong voice inside me

    Read More
  • Heart Wrenching at Times and Exhausting at Others

    Heart Wrenching at Times and Exhausting at Others

    It has been a month now I have been living in Bajrabarahi, Nepal and I am in a nice groove. I am consistently seeing around 15-20 patients a day in

    Read More
  • Walkabouts in Nepal’s Agricultural Nirvana

    Walkabouts in Nepal’s Agricultural Nirvana

    As an American Acupuncture volunteer for Acupuncture Relief Project (ARP) in Nepal, I stepped into an eastern culture that is a distant shadow of my own, regarding the traditional farming

    Read More
  • The Work of Farming

    The Work of Farming

    I’ve been moving around for awhile, but for most of my life I lived in one place. There is much to be said about having roots and feeling at home.

    Read More
  • Everyday Acupuncture Podcast

    Everyday Acupuncture Podcast

    Here in the west we are used to seeing acupuncture clinics in an urban setting, and it is often sought as an adjunctive therapy used in combination with other modalities.

    Read More
  • Jatra: The goddess

    Jatra: The goddess

    Patients come on a first come, first served basis, often arriving a little before 6am, slipping their appointment cards under a designated stone on the reception window sill. Many will

    Read More
  • Beyond the White Coat

    Beyond the White Coat

    When I started fundraising for this volunteer trip, many friends asked me why I chose to come to Nepal with ARP, and my simple response was, “to step out of

    Read More
  • Baskets and Knees

    Baskets and Knees

    In the foothills of the Himalayas, Bhajra Barahi is made up of steep hills, the slopes of which have been terraced for farming. These plots of rice, cauliflower, mustard, squash,

    Read More
  • A Day in Bajrabarahi: Where There are No Doctors

    A Day in Bajrabarahi: Where There are No Doctors

    When we open the clinic doors at 8:30, there are usually already a handful of patients waiting outside in the crisp morning air. Patients arrive throughout the day. There are

    Read More
  • Ten Years in Nepal: A Tale of Three Brothers

    Ten Years in Nepal: A Tale of Three Brothers

    The day started like most days, a brisk late-autumn morning with a light frost on the ground and clear blue skies. A breakfast of churra (beaten dried rice), chickpeas and

    Read More
  • Death

    Death

    Today's topic: Death! (the author does not pick blog topics; the blog topics choose him) I began thinking about this after hearing that one of our ARP staff members, Tsering,

    Read More
  • Together We Drink Tea

    Together We Drink Tea

    The morning sunlight, through a gap in my curtain reaches onto my bed and teases my skin. I look outside the window to see beautiful blue sky above our mountain

    Read More
  • I love food

    I love food

    Fun fact, my body is 85% digestive tract with the rest being sensory and motor structures that assist me in attaining more food. My genetics are closely related to a

    Read More
  • Return to Baseline

    Return to Baseline

    As part of our long term goals in Nepal, it is our aspiration to train several Nepali born practitioners to serve in our clinics. We have partnered with a small

    Read More
  • Today, I am very happy.

    Today, I am very happy.

    After clinic one day I had the opportunity to experience a wonderful delve into the down country culture of the local folks I've befriended over the last couple weeks. Gunaraj,

    Read More
  • My Bone Problem

    My Bone Problem

    Today I fitted my elderly patient with her (hopefully) semi-permanent shoulder cast. This woman came into the clinic a few weeks ago. I remember treating her knee pain and when

    Read More
  • Worth it

    Worth it

    Having lived my whole life in a developed country, with most of my needs magically looked after for me, it was a cultural shock to see the many inadequacies the

    Read More
  • More than just acupuncture

    More than just acupuncture

    In Bimphedi, a small remote village in the hills south of Katmandu where the acupuncture relief project has a clinic there is also an orphanage. The children that are there

    Read More
  • Trust The Process

    Trust The Process

    It’s been one week in Nepal and 3 days of clinic in Bajra Baraji. I’ve gone through so many emotions and learned so much about practicing primary care in a

    Read More
  • Bookends

    Bookends

    At the beginning of my service with Camp B at Bajra Bahari, my first patient is a 70 year old male with right-side hemiplegia resulting from a stroke. I look

    Read More
  • The Magic of Determination

    The Magic of Determination

    I meet Buddhi for the first time at the end of the second last week of the camp. He had a stroke 5 years ago which affected the mobility of

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

News Archive

2019
(8 articles)

2018
(8 articles)

2017
(15 articles)

2016
(16 articles)

2015
(11 articles)

2014
(12 articles)

2013
(13 articles)

2012
(14 articles)

2011
(10 articles)

2010
(8 articles)

2009
(15 articles)

2008
(9 articles)

Latest Instagram

Follow Us on Facebook

Your Donations Help

In addition to volunteering their time and energy, our practitioners are required to raise the money it takes to support their efforts at our clinic. Please consider helping them by making a tax deductible donation in their name.

DONATE NOW

Support our work

Donate Volunteer Get in Touch

Support Us