daily July 5, 2014 - Day 1 - Community Health Volunteer Class

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July 5, 2014 - Community Health Volunteer Class   

So last night, as you all know, was 4th of July. We had been dropping hints to the guides the last few days that we wanted to celebrate, but when explaining the holiday and that it was huge for us back home, they all simply replied, “but this is Nepal,” and our prospects for a celebration were looking slim. However, last night they definitely pulled through. Those of us that didn’t have to spend the night preparing a lecture, gathered in a room where our guides hooked up their phones to a large speaker, and we all danced to the very interesting beat of the Nepali music. Laughter, cheering, and great dance moves filled the room. I think I can speak for all of us when saying it was definitely one of the stranger, yet extremely entertaining, 4th of July celebrations I have had thus far. 

Today we started our community health training courses that we held in a room in the Khamding Health Post. Sharon gave a great lecture on sanitation and GI as well as held a workshop on how to create rehydration salts. During the GI lecture, the class was either amused or intrigued by the notion of bloody diarrhea, and seemed a bit queasy as they learned about liver failure. Any discomfort, however, was defused as the class mixed their own rehydration formula, which Karma spoon-fed to a severely dehydrated child aka Stephanie. Afterwards, Jennifer covered the importance of immunizations and how to keep immunization records, complete with illustrations. (The class nodded their understanding/approval as Jennifer made a rather impressive white-board sketch of a syringe.) Finally, Max topped things off by giving an entire lecture on preventative medicine without referring to any notes. His intensive Boards-studying is definitely paying off. Overall, we had 24 people show up for the classes, 21 women and 3 men. I think we were all really pleased with the amount of people that came from neighboring villages eager to learn from us, for this is the most important part of the entire program. We were all super happy to see two 13 year old girls in the classes today, and hopefully we can inspire them to continue to study health and eventually be a resource for their community.  

As for the rest of us that didn’t have to teach a lecture today, we got a day off. Most of us spent the day preparing for our upcoming lectures, napping, or exploring all that the one road of Khamding has to offer. Adam, Grace, and I went searching for the “tea shop” that was advertised on a map we passed at the previous village. We were hoping to find a store with an assortment of teas to buy, but instead were taken into a random home, and given a tea we hadn’t had the pleasure to experience yet. I believe it was nak butter tea, and it was interesting to say the least. We all took one sip, and could barely swallow the salty milky taste. The women that served us just stared as we sat there, and we had to come up with a clever excuse to leave without finishing the tea, but I’m sure she saw right through it. After the failed tea shop attempt, we headed towards a path that went up the hill, but was quickly stopped by Ang Phula and told that we couldn’t go up there because it was “secret” and only something the guys could see. This only made us more curious, so Grace and I booked it up the path, where we came across a tarp where members from the village were chopping up a huge buffalo that we would later see on our dinner plates. We finished the day with a great speech from Ang Phula on relationship culture in Nepal, where he reiterated that the “biggest problem in Nepal” is the inability to get a divorce.  Tomorrow Yvonne, Grace and I will be doing our lecture on Child Health and Development, wish us luck!
Love and miss all the fam! -