Monday, 4 July 2011
A warm welcome and a sad send-off
Well, here I am in the PAHS computer lab, nearly four weeks after touching down in Nepal and coming to the end of my part in Health Trek Nepal (on the ground, that is). Renee left after a touching thank you and donation ceremony yesterday. Hasan, Kiley, and I will be flying to India tomorrow. Although there are more great adventures ahead - and let's not forget the delicious food - this is going to be a heartrending handover, a difficult departure, a sad send-off. Okay, I'll stop with the alliterations! I have a lot of blogging work ahead of me to describe some of our recent adventures (sorry for the delay, it's been a pretty action-packed week and I'll attempt to get some writing in tonight), but my time here can be summarized in one word: unforgettable. Renee and I were trying to list our top three's yesterday and I think we made our way down to number 34 after creating sub-categories (location, people, moments, food, etc.).
Despite falling in love with the Nepal and having a fantastic time at PAHS, it's refreshing to see the project continue with Candace, Keira, and Kaitlynn. Refreshing because they're energetic, eager, and excited. Oops, another alliteration slipped in. I was pretty much comatose after our flight from Canada so I'm impressed that they arrived on Friday evening from Thailand and have been game for the rigourous schedule over the last three days.
Our time together started out with a project debrief at Masala, our local Indian hangout on Friday night - Cardiologists, avert your eyes: paneer butter masala is inching out poutine as my new guilty pleasure - We were up early on Saturday morning for some hard labour at Sunrisa orphanage and then two dinner meetings, first one that we prepared for the PAHS students which culminated in a bhangra dance-off and second with CA didi and Dr. Karki at a Nepali restaurant in the Kingsway area of Kathmandu. Yesterday (Sunday) was a full day of lectures, meetings, and presentations, and another send-off dinner chez CA didi and Bibiana. It's a bit cheesy, but I'm really happy to have had some face-to-face time together during our handover; most of our interactions in the past have been through email and video-conferencing.
The adventures aren't over yet. We're having an electrifying lecture on ECGs this afternoon and then heading into Thamel for good eats and a fun, less formal handover about places to go and things to see in the Kathmandu Valley. And then there's packing...an adventure of a very different type!