The leprosy science meetings have concluded (one pic below). It was very good to hear everyone’s presentations about what leprosy research is being done in their countries and then to discuss what can and should be done in coordination with each other next. Answers we find in research need to be applicable to many different countries – which means not only different cultural contexts but different genetic backgrounds (which affects immunology). We had representatives from many involved: India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Columbia, Brazil, Philippines, Korea, Japan, Thailand, USA, China, Nepal, UK, Netherlands. Several represented Leprosy Mission sites. Netherlands Leprosy Relief provided the funding to support the meeting and discussions (formally called IDEAL: the Initiative for Diagnostic and Epidemiologic Assays for Leprosy). Unfortunately, our Bangladeshi colleagues had visa issues at the last were unable to attend. In the evening, we had dinner together at a famous dumpling house, which were something like Nepali momos. There was a crew that could be seen through a glass window preparing the dumplings. They had many varieties, including pumpkin with shrimp (pic). We had three tables of people, but I only have photos from the table where I sat. At the end of the day yesterday, Nora and I walked in a nearby park. Our hosts have planned and organized this meeting very well and we greatly appreciated their warm hospitality.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Did you know that Facebook cannot be accessed in China? The pages just do not work here. If you ever travel there, Kunming airport is not intuitive and finding someone who speaks English is not a good possibility around 5am. Upon arrival at the hotel in Beijing, however, there were already a group of familiar faces in the lobby from Colombia, Brazil, India, USA, etc. As we awaited the delegates from other countries to arrive, we rode out to the great wall of China (about 1&1/2 hrs away). I will not be posting pics from the days of workshop meetings, discussions and presentations. Somehow, I do not imagine them as interesting for you!
These are some pics from the Great Wall. Many of the bricks have scrawled Chinese graffiti, but I sighted one with “Nepal” written on it. There is a pic with Nora, a leprosy researcher from Columbia and then a group shot with other researchers that also had arrived at the time. Strangely, I also met some people from Louisiana touring the wall. This is only the second time that I have accidentally met Louisianans on this side of the planet. The accent is unmistakable. J Of course, one of the leprosy group said that my accent appeared suddenly stronger when I spoke with the Louisianans. One guy and his wife was from Alexandria, while the other was from Denham Springs (his street name was even familiar). The wife had taught at Central for years. Imagine that!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Short term medical student interns and volunteers often come from all over the world during the summer to Anandaban. Many have helped to make and then tasted Dr. Indra and Jwala’s momos (steamed dumplings). Last night, a visiting prosthetics student broke the record: 54 momos (when we ran out) and still had room for dessert (cake and homemade icecream). I do not know if he will have room to eat anything today!
When this laptop was purchased, it came with an accident “anything” will be fixed or replaced policy. “Do you know that I’m taking this to Nepal??” Thankfully, when I came to the US for a leprosy meeting in July, IBM sent for it, fixed it and shipped it back before I flew back to Nepal.