News BlogLatest News From Our Volunteers in Nepal


Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kyndl Mueller

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, one of our interpreters, invited me to his house in the village just north of town, and so I joined him on his walk home, along with his cousin Sita who is also our receptionist, and our clinic manager Ritesh. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kyndl Mueller

It was about a half hour walk through the sunshine and the agricultural terraces blooming with the springtime harvest; cauliflower, pumpkin, leafy greens, potato... and peas for days! The white flowers on the shoots looked as sweet as I know their fruits will taste, and it was so tempting to snap a pod from a stalk; however I was reminded to stay respectful of the land in which I was invited to cross. The air becomes cleaner as we climb higher and higher through the fields, taking the 'short cut' paths used by so many as the way to get their heavy loads to where they need to go. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kyndl Mueller

We arrive at Gunaraj’s house and are greeted by various family members. All but myself are bantering in their native tongue, although it doesn't make me uncomfortable or give off the feeling of being an outsider. Everyone is warm and welcoming and it’s almost like I’m one of the crew, not just a foreign visitor in a strange land. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kyndl Mueller

Gunaraj brings out a ground apple, a native fruit of the area, and peels and slices it for us all to share, while his older brother brews us a nice spiced tea which when ready, arrives in their finest glassware, stickers still on, must be brand new. We chat and hang out in the yard on a log bench under the pumpkin trees, until the tea is done and it gets to be time to move on. We depart and head further into the hills, the trail leading us through more terraced fields and then up a steep pathway towards Sita’s house. It is the first hot day of spring and we are all sweating by the time we arrive to find a nice spot in the grass. We pop a squat and rest for a moment in the shade, long enough for Sita’s youngest brother to come by and join us for the rest of the walk to the farm.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kyndl Mueller

The weather was perfect, the people were great, I got to be the semi-silent observer of the normal way of life for the younger generations in Nepal. It was completely due to the company and the positive vibes, here I was happy. We arrived at Sita's in time to see her other brother, who I had been treating in the clinic, coming up the path with fresh greens for the goats who are all tethered to posts in the yard, the two babies running energetically and acrobatically free. We sat outside in the early evening air, just a touch of chill to it, and chatted some more, while we watched the kids run about, and took selfies (as is the new age custom for the nepali millennials and real millennials all around the world). 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kyndl Mueller

Gunaraj brings out a white rabbit and plops it on my lap. I bite my tongue on my Watership Down feelings towards these communist creatures and pet its soft pelt, thinking of Blacks, my cat back home, and wishing it was her I was holding. I was relieved to give up the rabbit when Sita invited us inside for fresh popped corn her sister had prepared at the hearth in the corner of the big open room. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kyndl Mueller

There was no where else I'd have rather been at that moment in time; these folks were my new found friends and even if I didn’t have a lot to add to the foreign conversation that surrounded me, I felt perfectly at home. I realized that no matter what the language, a laugh can be shared by anyone with it's simple meaning shining through in perfect understanding.  Time is of no essence in a place like this, hardly a need for urgency, and work seems to get done in a way that keeps things stress free, aside of course, from the back-breaking labor of farming, with little else than the means of one's own body power. We depart as dusk gets closer and walk home through a steep forest trail that reminded me of walks in the canyon near my home. Everywhere you go you can find little bits of familiarity that balance out the peculiarities of being a stranger in a foreign land. “Aaja malai dherai kushi lagyo” –Today, I am very happy. ---Kyndl Mueller

More Articles

  • Seeing Nepal in a New Light

    Seeing Nepal in a New Light

    The morning sun glitters through the windows and my rhododendron plant stretches its leaves up to reach the light. I put on the kettle and sit down to eat my

    Read More
  • Volunteers Back in Nepal

    Volunteers Back in Nepal

    When I arrived in Nepal I was an anxious graduate student fresh out of acupuncture school during the Covid-19 pandemic. Having spent two years practicing medicine over zoom, I was

    Read More
  • The Tin Shed

    The Tin Shed

    Ramkrishna’s eyes brightened with recognition as we entered. His room… a small tin shed. A collage of colors and rust patinas cover every surface of the salvaged corrugated metal. Six

    Read More
  • Volunteer Acupuncture Care

    Volunteer Acupuncture Care

    “Finding our own definition of success means becoming aware of what we value. Often, this means rinsing years of conditioned thinking from our minds. ” - Anonymous I recently returned home to

    Read More
  • COVID-19 Update

    COVID-19 Update

    Dear friends and donors, I want to thank you all for your continued interest and generosity towards our ongoing work in rural Nepal. March 16th, in response to the global

    Read More
  • End of Life Care in Rural Nepal

    End of Life Care in Rural Nepal

    Basanti is a 32 year old woman from the small village of Bajrabarahi, about three to four hours from Kathmandu (depending on your mode of transport). Ten years ago she

    Read More
  • The Color of Love

    The Color of Love

    In my first week with Acupuncture Relief Project, a grandmother came to the clinic complaining of abdominal pain. She had eaten some bad buffalo meat and was now suffering from

    Read More
  • Integrated Medicine for Rural Primary Care 

    Integrated Medicine for Rural Primary Care 

    “Easy! Easy!” My motorbike’s rear tire spins out to the left as it loses traction on the rain soaked, stony... road? path?. It’s a cold wet Saturday morning and I’m

    Read More
  • Wound Care

    Wound Care

    Recently while working in the Bajrabarahi clinic I had the opportunity to help someone with an infected wound. A middle aged woman came into the clinic with a swollen, painful

    Read More
  • 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


    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


    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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

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.


Support our work

Donate Volunteer Get in Touch

Support Us