Monday, April 20, 2009

Electricity update

The Nepal Electrical authority ( has announced that power allowances will be increased since glaciers in the mountains are melting. Since Friday, I’ve seen 3 different power schedules issued, but none are being followed yet. So at present, we are getting some bonus hours of power – just not on a schedule that we know of. They say we will be taken down to only 12hrs power off per day (versus the 16-20 we’ve been experiencing since January). It will seem almost luxurious.


This photo is of a couple in the wards. The woman is a patient. Often in this culture a spouse will leave when there is a diagnosis of leprosy, but this husband is special. He visits her daily, bringing things to eat and sits with her.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stupid monkey eating my trash on my wall in my yard

I had to leave to go into town overnight for a meeting a few weeks ago. Moments before leaving, I had heard the familiar rustling on my back porch. I had shaken the sling shot at him, so he backed away from the trash can maybe 20-30 feet. Then he ignored me as he took his time and enjoyed whatever it was he’d stolen. I knew when I left in a few minutes, he’d just go back. It made me so frustrated, I drug my outside trash can into the kitchen and locked the door. On a compound, however, it did not take long for someone to notice that the trash can was missing from behind my house and rumors started that it had been stolen. Someone broke the news to me the following day. Such is compound life. It’s way tighter than any neighborhood watch program. Don’t ask about the wet spot on the wall. These past few weeks he’s been missing. He showed up with a companion just as the kids were released for a month’s holiday. The boys (and guys) like to practice their slingshot skills. He just climbs up high in the pines out of range. Maybe he has moved on until next season, maybe…

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It has been 2 years since April 14th 2007

April 14, 2007 was 2 years ago. Aubrey celebrated his first birthday party in the Chandler home. That was the day Ms. Donna said, “Maybe it is time for you to go on the mission field.” The next day google in a matter of seconds unexpectedly led to a shocking job description. A week later, I found out about friends who’d dreamt dreams about things it was impossible for them to have known. Two weeks after that, an application was emailed to TLM. In July 2007, I interviewed in London and then began the blog. By September, I’d left the US. By mid-December, I was in Nepal. It still blows my mind sometimes to wake up here, to see some of things I see, do some of things I do and to be with the people here. God definitely is an awesome story writer, has a great sense of humor and obviously has longsuffering patience for those kept clueless. He’s the best of managers.


This picture is of Anshu (for Americans, pronounced more like aung-shoe). Her parents moved onto the compound at the beginning of the year. Her mom is the pastoral counselor in the hospital.  She will be 4 in June. This pic was taken when she stopped singing and dancing in the rain long enough for me to get a straight shot. Sorry you cannot see the dancing video. J  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shanku med camp


Lunch in a nearby home

What else? Dahl bhaat and tarkari (rice, lentils and mixed vegetables).

Shanku med camp pics cont.


Hill top view from Shanku


Pics from the med camp in Shanku

For this camp, we drove a couple hours south into the hills – waaaaayyyy up into the hills. A couple hundred or so people came. The dentist was extremely popular. We had 50 women signed up to see the dentist within the first two hours of opening. I did door patrol for that room most of the morning – trying to keep little ones from watching other people getting shots in the mouth and extractions. Kids who were in line to be next did not need to see that. As it was, one little boy resolutely refused to open his mouth in that room no matter what his mom or the doctor said. Some things are the same everywhere!


We were so high in the hills, and the hillsides so steep, that we could not see the valleys below between the jam packed hills. One of the vehicles broke down on the way because the roads were so bad (and steep). It and another jeep ended up at the mechanics afterwards. We drove 3hrs back on a different road with better inclines for the down journey. I have much, much respect for the drivers here. “Someone” of our group purchased a live chicken on the way back. For some reason, that bird ended up not in his vehicle, but in ours for the rest of the journey home. But, I will have to say, the bird in the box under the back seat handled the bumpy road pretty well. We just heard a low disoriented cluck every once in a while. When we finally returned to the hospital, one of the doctors told everyone to go home, take some ibuprofen and go to bed. I think everyone was sore from the long bumpy ride. At least with a horse, there is a rhythm to the bouncing.   

People who work the brick factories

The children’s hair should be shiny jet black, but unfortunately is not always so here. The hands belong to a boy, who I would have guessed to be maybe 12. I haven’t gotten used to the fact that some kids here just don’t know how old they are. The people who work all day to form bricks from the clay have scaly, darkened hands like this. I even saw it in toddlers.

Pics from the Bugmati Brick Kiln Med camp (March 25th)

Just over three hundred people attended this recent free med camp that we performed near a brick factory about an hour’s drive away. We also had some people from the surrounding area. Dr. Indra said some of the people working the brick factory make maybe 50c a day. It is hard work and bad living conditions - basically whatever lean-to shed you can fabricate on your dirt patch to make brick clay. It wasn’t uncommon for our nepali docs to diagnosis malnutrition related issues in the kids. Some of the youngsters working there had come from far away (other side of Nepal) without their family to just try to earn some money.  These are always difficult places to visit, but we do what can do when we are there. We had a couple expat doctors volunteer to help that day and several visiting med students from a couple organizations came to observe. We did find a woman who had been recently scheduled for necessary surgery elsewhere, but she had never gone because she did not have the money. She will now have the surgery. This first pic is still in the set up stages and mostly has our med staff and volunteers. You can see Dr. Indra in the middle giving out preliminary directions.