Day 8: Let there be sun. After a week of rain showers, ever present cloud cover, and mud we awoke to blue skies and snow capped peaks with a magnificent direct view of Everest. To say the least the team’s spirit was lifted by the weather and a group of adorable little children who gathered in the morning to see the team gathered in their village. The morning trek was sunny and hot and the least strenuous of the week. Still muddy but no more leeches; slippery rocks lead to no big falls. The view was great with terraced green rice paddies and scattered homesteads scattered along the hill sides. We stopped in Khamding and saw the spot for the new health center to be constructed; and for which we hope to train additional community health workers in the coming days. We headed up the road and then there it was, our Shangra-la; the village of Chyangba.
The residents greeted the team with silken scarves for good luck and hot beverages. The day was spent talking with the teachers planning out our clinical program as well as the medical education project. Sunny skies disappeared in the afternoon was late afternoon clouds quickly rolled in and rain showers once again started again. Ah, monsoon season in Nepal.
After setting up camp once again, the team spent its free time playing Frisbee with the porters and children in the village. Andrew lead the game but also beaned a 2 year old boy, an 80 year old man, and a 12 year old girl with his errant throws. Everyone though laughed and seemed to have a great time tossing the Frisbee in the rain until it was lost over the mountain side. For some the highlight of the day though was a warm bucket shower for the first time in more than a week. The Peak Promotions team continued its amazing support for the team. Ever cheerful, they held the team together during the treks through the rain and were quick to address everyone’s needs. On day 8 the team’s biggest concern now is gaining weight as we are eating too well and won’t be climbing over any mountains to burn off all the calories. Tomorrow Wongchu is supposed to re-join us; and we plan to give our gifts of school supplies and soccer balls to the village children. One has to wonder how long the soccer balls will last in this steep mountain terrain.
Today’s educational activity focused on physical exam. The team spent time after dinner re-practicing their physical exam skills in preparation for tomorrow’s start to clinics. Jackie let everyone know multiple times that you can’t tickle yourself unless you are schizophrenic; something that people who are ticklish found reassuring. For the preclinical students it’s a nervous night before their first clinical experience. Tomorrow work begins for real but the team is more prepared and understands life in Nepal better after their trek from Jiri to Chyangba.