Sunday, 17 July 2011

Butter Naan Anyone?

The past few days have been a blur as time seems to be flying by so fast. I wish there was a way to press a pause button on life to give me time to reflect on the events each day.

One thing I know for sure is that we have eaten a lot of butter naan and a lot of butter paneer. That equals A LOT of butter. But all diet rules are off when you are in a foreign country, right? To even things out, we have been having an lively 80's workout session on the rooftop in the mornings, so hopefully we don't pack out more than souvenirs when we leave.

Over the past week we have held two very successful workshops for the Nepali students. One was about time management and how to schedule your life while in medicine and the other was a study skills workshop. The time management workshop foucsed on tools to help with organization, such as To-Do lists, prioritization and goal setting and then eventually showing the students how we schedule our time and how much of our day is actually dedicated to studying. We recieved good feedback from them and more than anything, I think they like to hear about how Canadians function.

The study skills workshop went even better than the Time Management workshop. We demonstrated how we tackle making notes for exams. We call them our ConEx notes, or our condensed exam notes where we take notes from textbooks, lectures and PBL and organize them into one concise document. The students raved about it so much that those who could not attend the workshop the first time, asked if we would do it again.

This past week we were also allowed to attend PBL. All the students were very conscientious of our presence and inability to understand Nepalese so they spoke English, despite their natural tendencies to debate in their native language. We appreciated this and it gave us a very good understanding of how they communicate to each other throughout the problem solving process. One thing that stood out to me is that after each session every student will give feedback to the rest of the group. And it is honest feedback. They take out the "fluffy" general comments and they tell it like they see it.

Besides schoolwork, we have been able to visit some sites around Kathmandu. We visited a giant Stupa called Boudda Naf as well as the Kapan monastery that overlooks the Kathmandu valley and we visited the Hindu cremation site Pashupati. All of which were beautiful and culturally educational.
Out next stop (if time permits) is Nagarkot where the sun rises over Mt. Everest.

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