Number of Survivors: 8? I think.
This morning, we got to sleep in FOR ONCE! Since lectures begin at 10am, we decided to sleep in until 7am (we had been waking up at 6am for the past 2 weeks). Today, Erin and I stayed behind at the school while the rest of the team went back to Khamding for their second day of medical training, which covered respiratory illnesses and how to use a stethoscope.
School starts at 10am here in Chyangba. People wake up early here (we hear the local neighbors’ radio blasting at 5am), but apparently people here don’t eat breakfast. According to the English teacher, people here eat “lunch” (which probably like brunch) before 10am, have tea time from 1pm-2pm, and have dinner in the evening. How do they not starve during the day with just two meals….?! I eat about 4 meals a day when I am stressed out with med school….!!
At 10am, the day began with a school wide morning exercise outside. The exercise moves were just like the Japanese “radio exercise”, just without the music. Singing of the national song followed the morning exercise. The children ran to their respective classrooms and started singing or reading out aloud their textbook. Today’s plan was running a lice check on all 35? students and teaching grades 5, 6, and 7 about lice and hair washing, hand washing, and healthy diet. The English teacher graciously allowed us to use his English period to teach children these topics. The health teacher sat in in our lectures too. The lice lecture consisted of Erin explaining about lice is and how it is a common phenomenon and me discussing about how lice is spread and how we can prevent lice. Next followed the hand washing lecture in which we asked students the importance of hand washing and how they normally wash their hands. All of the children knew the importance of hand washing, so that was great! Everyone was so shy when we asked them to demonstrate how they normally wash their hands. What adorable kids. The healthy diet lecture was probably the most fun for the kids because they got to draw and color in a plate. We asked students what kind of fruits/veggies/protein/carbs/dairy they ate in English. I was very impressed that many of them knew the English words for these foods! I learned that goat and buffalo are commonly eaten here. It was very interesting to see the difference in knowledge and awareness towards health and hygiene amongst the different grade levels. Each period was 40 minutes long, but we ran over every hour. Thank you to the teachers who were kind enough to be so flexible and understanding! I hope the kids had fun and learned a little bit about eating healthy and staying clean!
During the hour long tea break from 1-2pm, many children went back home for their tea and snack. Erin and I ate lunch that the kitchen staff prepared for us ( Chapati bread with curry flavored carrots and potatoes! YUM!) and then played outside with some of the kids who had come back to campus. The girls were playing a different form of tag where the person who is “it” has to wear a blind fold, while the boys played soccer and volleyball with the soccer balls that were donated. The soccer ball went down the hill the couple times, but the kids simply ran down the steep hills with ease as if the land were flat and came running back with the soccer balls in their hands. Some of the teachers (event he principal!) played soccer with the kids. It is great to see everyone enjoying the soccer balls!
The afternoon consisted of two more lecture, lice checks for grades 1-4, and a school wide relay game at the very end. We had students break up into groups and had students run a relay race by having students pair up with their teammate, put their backs together, link their arms, and run sideways together. I don’t know if relays aren’t that common here in Nepal, but it was a little difficult to try to convey how the relay works to the English teacher. After a practice trial, we were able to conduct the relay. The kids had a blast trying to run sideways in pairs as fast as they can – a couple of them tripped over their feet, but they were all laughing out loud and cheering for each other! After the students’ relay race, the principal proposed that the teachers do a relay race too. However, the female teachers were a little shy, so the 3 male teachers and one of our kitchen helpers participated in the faculty race. The children were bursting with laughter as the teachers ran in such a silly fashion! At the very end, everyone, including the teachers, was given a piece of candy that we had brought from U.S.A.
Oh, going back to the lice check… we had initially found 4 kids with lice (plus 1 boy with warts) during our clinics in Chyangba. Today we additionally found 16 kids with lice! The Khamding sub health post only has a few bottles of medicine (benzene) left to treat lice, so we are hoping that somehow Wongchu can place an order for lice medicine for these kids. We must tackle this battle!
I am sorry that I cannot write anything in regards to today’s Kim’s lecture on respiratory illnesses. Perhaps Frank can speak about it in tomorrow’s blog. It sounds like everyone had a blast playing with stethoscopes today! Tomorrow I will be given a lecture on maternal care…! EEK! Wish me luck!
It just hit me that we only have 2 more days in Chyangba. Though the trek was not easy and most of us had our share of stomach problems, it will be sad to say good bye all the cute kids with the biggest smiles, our wonderful crew, and the yummy Nepali food!
Andrew still tries to call me “okaasan”. I think he is missing his real mommy too much. He even asked me if I would name my first child after him. ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! He is getting weirder by the day. JK! We all love you, Andrew!
Time for me to go review some maternal care material and head to bed…everyone is already asleep! I bet Kelly is snoring away by now… :P
Hope all is well back home, friends and family! We’ll see you shortly!