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It seems so long ago (Nov. 10th) that we were all sitting on the roof of the clinic drinking tea and wondering if anyone would show up. Then the doors opened... After seven 10 hour days, our team of four has treated nearly 600 people. It has been a very exciting, challenging and exhausting week for all of us. Many of our patients have never seen a doctor in their entire life and every morning they flood into the clinic and sometimes wait up to six hours to be treated. Chronic pain from a lifetime of backbreaking work is the most common complaint however we have also treated dozens of asthma cases, strokes, skin conditions, unhealed broken bones, leopard attack wounds, diabetes, gastritis and ear infections. We have treated patients as old as 90 and as young as 6 months. All have been overwhelmingly receptive to what must be a completely confusing experience. Many of our patients have been thrown by us needling a wrist or a foot to treat their shoulder pain and we have been asked numerous times "what kind of medicine is on the needles?" Most days the electricity goes out at some point and we treat our last few patients by candlelight.
We are completely indebted to our interpreting staff who have been working tirelessly beside us facilitating our crucial verbal link with our patients. And to the kind monks at the monastery who make sure we get an ample supply of Nepali tea and food during the day. In the evenings we sit on the roof, laugh, unwind and share what we have learned during the day. Currently we are back in Kathmandu taking a two day rest, eating large quantities of western food and indulging in hot showers. The clinic reopens on November 21st and we are looking forward another full week.
Thanks for all of the email and words of encouragement. Stay tuned for future updates.