This day turned out to be an unexpected highlight! After a long week in Kaski and a cheesecake or two in Pokhara, I think we all got off to a pretty slow start, but once the day got rolling, it was a winner. We spent most of today at a recently revived community hospital for a one-day training.
We got to the hospital to find a whole complicated welcome ceremony set up outside, which I recognized as a typical, belabored Nepali inauguration. It starts out by calling all the respected important people to come up and sit behind the presenter, which usually leaves very few people in the audience. Then there are a lot of speeches that most people don’t listen to, however it’s critical that all the important people get to make speeches. I was called on to make a speech on behalf of our group so I had to talk in Nepali in front of all these people we’d never met. Then each person gets a kata, a silky Tibetan scarf. Then everyone drinks tea. All told, it was noon by the time we got in to the hospital to start.
In the morning, we did an expanded version of our community teaching with the NFP cards–for an amazing turnout that included doctors, nurses, hosptial staff and and administrators, hospital management, and local community members.
There was a group of Christians that came from a Tamang community about an hour away. After the morning, their priest talked to me for a while. He said he’s often called upon to visit the sick, and he planned to start using our NFP community protocols (the cards). He pressed us to come do a community program in his area–he was emphatic that we shouldn’t be teaching only in hospitals, but in the public (which we mostly have been). Tamangs are a minority and frequently discriminated ethnicity — the priest said his community suffers from poverty and low levels of education. He was thrilled by the idea of a therapy that people could do on themselves–he repeatedly emphasized, “that we can do ourselves.”
In the afternoon, we sat with the health staff (doctors, health workers etc) and went through our training manual page by page. This was really great because we didn’t have time to do it adequately in Kaski or the Tibetan Camp (I”ll do it after everyone leaves). It was exciting to see medical staff at every level of the chain so engaged and enthusiastic.
I predict that the protocols we’ve been teaching will be most used in two places: on porches in rural homes, because people gather there, and in hospitals, because ill people are lying there anyway with family around and looking for something to do.
We only planned a one-day training at Panauti Community Hospital, but everyone was asking us if the training will continue tomorrow! Many of the evals said that their only suggestion was that the training was too short. So, although three of us are leaving tomorrow, Will is going to come back and do more. How about that! Encore!!