6 months in Nepal
28-SEP-2007 -- 20-MAR-2008

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu February 24th 2008

19-24-FEB-2008 WORK I pick up Shelkar's eyeglasses via Tuk-Tuk and grab a couple samosas en route back home. She is so excited when I drop them off, jumping up and down and hugging me for an excessively long time- she is such a sweetheart and tells me she'll be sad when I leave. I've updated vaccination records and put together the numbers for next month, seeing that I will no longer be around. One of the other volunteers skips out on the health talk she's supposed to give- I haven't seen her essentially since I met her a few days after she was placed at my Children's home. I truly wonder why she even bothered with volunteering. The power is out at 1pm so that's it for the work I am able to do in the ... read more
Saying goodbye
Aama making khaaja
No gas

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu February 19th 2008

12-18-FEB-2008 MONTHLY HEALTH CHECKS, FUN DAYS, AND VACCINATIONS As a result of the diesel shortage, the jeep is unavailable for health activities. M.B. (VSN's transportation officer) takes matters into his own hands and borrows a friend's taxi to facilitiate the fourth round of vaccinations and the Shining Stars health check and fun day. We pile the vaccination, health check/fun day supplies into the undersized boot and head off on our way. We pick up the nurse with a random white girl (her apparent assistant) and head to four of the six VSN sponsored homes to inject meningitis vaccines and follow ups from the previous months. There is a definite shortage of follow up vaccs at Charity because the vaccination reports and spreadsheets I used to plan the number were completely out-of-date and inaccurate, though they are ... read more
Vaccination Day 4!
Vaccination Day 4!
Vaccination Day 4!

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu February 12th 2008

06-11-FEB-2008 WORK I head to the hospital for a follow up visit for Bijit (8)- the young boy that had been having debilitating headaches and stomach cramps. It seems that whatever meds they'd prescribed for him are working their wonders, and he's feeling much better now. While I'm there, I arrange a next-day appointment for Pawan Raj's (13) chronic right ear infection. He's completely non-responsive to antibiotics. The next day, we trek the 1-1.5h journey to the hospital only to discover at the check-in desk that the ENT doctor is on leave. As if no one was aware of this the day before when I made the appointment. I am extremely frustrated and defeated. But lapses in communication are commonplace here, and getting worked up about it isn't going to do any good. I just have ... read more
Tuk-tuk land
Wolf skin

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu February 6th 2008

27-JAN -- 05-FEB-2008 WORK We postpone the remaining January health fun days because unfortunately Daniel (the other health team member) is sick, and I surely cannot handle all these kids on my own. I manage the Charity health files in the office so that they're all in one place and attempt to type up the health check and last two monthly reports every night for about a week, but the power is consistently off in the evenings. Makes running the organization very difficult. My patience with the kids is dropping exponentially by the day. Because of the number of them at the home, they have absolutely no discipline so some are extremely disrespectful to any type of authority. I attempt to take care of Pawanraj's chronic ear infection that just won't quit. But after an extensive ... read more
Bamboo Bridge
360 degree view

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu January 27th 2008

19-26-JAN-2008 It rained all night on the evening of the 19th for the first time in two months. So I woke up in the middle of the night completely confused with the noise I was hearing on the roof and windows. Amazing the things you forget when you lose regular exposure to them. But this resulted in the most amazingly fresh, crisp, clean air. I couldn't fill my lungs with enough of it. And I did not realize how much I missed that fresh scent. If only there was some way to store it... And about a week later, I notice strange clouds out around the mountains- it looks and feels like rain but I still never expect it to actually happen in mid-dry season. But lo and behold I hear startlingly loud and drawn out ... read more
New Charity home
Helping Hands

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu January 19th 2008

11-18-JAN-2008 I planned out Round Three of the vaccinations and managed health fun day preparations. Our first health fun day of the month went well with the children coloring in their renditions of healthy and unhealthy people. There was also a hygene and layering talk, and duck duck goose and pin the tail on the goat (regardless of the relatively insignificant goat tails). The difference between the kids in VSN vs. non-VSN homes is astounding in terms of their personal contact, discipline and overall personalities. At Charity, a case of lip impetigo completely cleared in response to oral antibiotics and large leg burn evaded infection a la moi! It seems very strange when electricity is on in Thamel in the evenings. Power cuts are now up to 36hr/wk, 30% of the time including most evenings when ... read more
My new house
My room
The chickens

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu January 11th 2008

04-10-JAN-2008 Since the Charity kids are out of school for an entire month, I no longer have to rush over before they head off right after morning daal bhaat. This is a good thing, because I am sick of my feet freezing in the frigid early morning temperatures with me in flip flops. I have not worn proper shoes yet this year. I refuse. Then again, It's really not much of a challenge as long as I don't venture outside before 8 or 9am. In an attempt to blend a bit more, I purchase fabric for and head to the tailor to get measured for a kurta (a long shirt with slits up either side) with matching pants beneath. It takes a while until I think I get my point across because the tailor does not ... read more
Ratna Park

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu January 4th 2008

01-03-JAN-2008 On New Year's Day I first woke up at exactly the time corresponing to midnight at home- I must have subconsciously realized what I was missing. Because everyone at reception knows me by now, I was granted the permission to sleep well past check out time to when I felt comfortable enough to function. I head to my new host family for absolutely AMAZING daal bhaat- no lie. They asked me my preference on spiciness and the baa (father) even brought home pizza for the New Year, making me eat a couple slices. PIZZA! The baa is eager to advance his English, and has offered to have their 10yr old daughter teach me more Nepali. He also offers to treat me to beer the following night, but I try to let him down softly as ... read more
Mission toothbrush
Dental camp
Akal at dental camp

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu January 1st 2008

26-31-DEC-2007 Ben has purchased the box set of Scrubs. We cannot resist. The day after Christmas, we indulge in an all-day Scrubs marathon- first in the lounge room of the office and then in the hotel after we get the boot (after renting a DVD player and all!). So nice to Westernize and veg every once in a while. Miss just being able to lay on the couch all day during the weekend when the mood strikes and I don't feel like doing much else. However, we take things a bit to the extreme and the marathon goes on until 7am the next day until we notice that it's light outside. Um, probably should go to bed now... I am not nearly as exhausted as I should be. I head into the office to discuss with ... read more
Fruit stands
Washing clothes
The boys

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu December 26th 2007

24-25-DEC-2007 It is Christmas Eve but it certainly does not feel like it. I opt to push the shower back another day because it will make it even more special being on Christmas. And besides, the water is not hot. I speak with Emma (the founder of VSN) about the prospect of switching families. After seeing how welcoming and sweet other families are, I will do whatever it takes- I am ready for a change. It will make my experience that much more meaningful. Paul is dressed up as Santa in the office- I about have a heart attack due to shock upon seeing him. A bit unexpected. As such, he heaves a huge green sack of coats and winter hats for the Charity children down into the jeep. Many of the people do double takes ... read more
Heave that sack!
Phoning home

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