Saturday, 9 July 2011

Namaste Nepal!

It has been one week since Katelyn, Keira and I flew into the Kathmandu airport. We came directly from backpacking around Thailand, which was a good cultural stepping stone for what lay ahead in Nepal. By this point in our travels, we were airport savy so we encountered no problems at the airport, it was what lay beyond the airport that would challenge us. The streets are bustling - there are cars, motocycles and pedestrians dodging traffic everywhere and often vehicles would drive on the opposite side of the road to get through traffic. This was so foreign to me, a country bumkin from Westbank BC, used to intersections with lights, stop signs and very little traffic.

We arrived at the Shalom Guesthouse with a very warm welcome from Kylie, Mike, Renee and Hasan who did everything they could to make us feel at home. Over the next few days we tried to pick their brains of everything they knew about Patan, PAHS and the students. We has several "hand-over" meetings where they intorduced us to the projects that they started and helped guide us as to what our next steps should be. We are sad that we only had a few days with them and we wish our overlap time was longer.

Tuesday was our first day without them. Our first thought was, can we even find our way to the hospital? Luckily we did and it turned out to be a very fulfilling day of lectures and getting to know the students. Today we learned about how to interpret ECGs, which is a difficult topic even for me having already learned how a few months ago. However, I think all the students did really well and asked very good questions. Their dedication and passion for their studies is very inspirational.

Thursday we held a Time Management workshop for the students to help them get organized. We all know how busy life can be and sometimes knowing how to write a To-Do list and make a schedule can make all the difference. It was a successful workshop and next week we will check in to see if the new techniques that we introduced are helpful.

Friday was probably the most fun that we have had in Patan so far. This was Katelyns birthday so Keira, myself and some of the students planned a surprise birthday for her. A couple of the students kept Katelyn late after school because they needed some "extra tutoring" while keira and I went home to decorate. There were probably 20 students who showed up to celebrate with us and it was a great time to get to know the students in a more casual atmosphere.

As much as we love the students, we also love the faculty - both PAHS and UBC faculty.
Earlier that day (Friday) we attended a meeting with the PAHS faculty to discus the writng process of Block Objectives. It was held by Dr. Waechter to introduce a few helpful hints that he has learned throughout his experience of being a cardiovascular Week Captain at UBC. He asked us to come along so that we could share our opinions as students about what we think a good objective and which objectives are not helpful. It seemed like the PAHS faculty took our opinions to heart and they were quite receptive to what Dr. Waechter presented.

Despite trying to cross the street, our stay in Nepal has been very positive and we look forward to the adventures that lie ahead.

Thank you Kylie, Mike, Renee, Eda, Marion and Hasan for laying such a solid ground work for us! Our transition has been very smooth.

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