Tonight I had about fifteen neighbors over to test-drive our “Community Teaching.” This meant using the plastic cards to teach about our four health areas: 1. Digestive/food poisoning 2. Acute Fever and illness 3. Surgery and bad falls 4. Maternal and infant health.
We had great attendance and it was a lot of fun. I made photocopies of the plastic cards to give out (when we do this for real, we’ll have plastic cards for everyone) and then I brought some bananas and trail mix back from Pokhara for refreshments. Our closest neighbors came over–people like Maya and Saano Did who I’ve spent so much time with in the fields–and Bauta dai couldn’t make it so he sent his son. There were a lot of young people there, all of the college students that are home for the Dashain holiday. And our KOHCP medical technician Rishi came. It was really fun having everyone over, sitting around on the beds after dark, scrutinizing the pictures Catherine worked so hard to make this summer.
There are a few things that are becoming clear from my trial efforts so far. One is that we should rethink our four categories. High blood pressure is a major issue. There are a handful of things we can group under “family health” instead of focusing on pregnancy alone. And I think people here are more likely to do IMT as a communal activity with a lot of people around, the same way they sit around in the evening and chat. It’s unlikely that you’ll have one person sitting alone treating someone else in the house for an extended period of time. So I think we can do a lot with things like all of the neurofascial process centers to each other. It’s completely different from in the U.S. where you can pretty much assume that families are almost never sitting around in large groups for half an hour at a time with their hands free.
I think we’ll also have to figure out if we’re focusing on one or all categories in a single teaching session. I had everyone over for more than an hour and we didn’t get through all four protocols. But, we practiced on each other and I was able to see that, in order to get anatomical placements right, we should add the bottom of the ribs to our pictures. The crowd enthusiastically agreed with this change.