Thursday, 30 October 2008

I Am Here

After a long drawn out journey, I have arrived in Nepal.

I thought all the airports in the Gulf States would be plush and wonderful. Regret to say, Abu Dhabi aierport is like a cattle market. It was utter chaos heppening on 2 levels .Maybe Bahrain and Dubai are the modern , state of the art airports I so often read about ,with the world's first 6 and 7 star rated hotels. I nearly missed the connecting flight because I was directed to the wrong gate!

I have been staying in Boudanath area, a Tibetan Buddhist stronghold, in order to experience some pure spiritual enlightenment .It would appear that I arrived on a very auspicious day by accident, the Nepali New Year.The place is teeming with visitors, worshippers and Buddhist monks of variuos grades, walking in clockwise direction around the stupa (Buddhist monument )endlessly. It is more so in the evening, a kind of evening walk, I suppose. It is said( not sure how true this is ) that all devout Buddhists have @131,000 rounds to do in a lifetime to achieve their goal, a bit like the Muslims who have one life time ambition to go to Mecca to pay their pilgrimage as good Muslims. I have done one round so far

Weather has been good so far.Its been sunny and warm.I have been able to walk around with just a tshirt.
The hotel is basic but clean with flushing toilet. The only fault is the towels. Just as well I brought mine as advised! The food is very salty, taking a bit of getting used to. My tummy has tried to rebel couple of times, but so far so good

A lot of visitors came to this part to undertake some Tibetan cultural studies including Dalai Lama's teaching. Some Americans staying in my hotel were talking about wanting to save the world last night. They were exploring the different ways of how they can achieve that, via singing around the stupa,or linking hands, or ask for special permission to go into the temple and chant, so it went on. In the end , they went for a lemon soda ! How sweet.

Being picked by Uma (my host whom I'll be staying with for the next 3 weeks ) at 11 today, thus ending my freedom here for a bit till John comes out on 23/11

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Almost There

Well, its only 2 more days before I fly out.I am beginning to get slight butterflys- in - the - tummy feeling. John has commented that I have had a couple of nighttime wobbles in the last few nights.They are sounds I made in my sleep when I am anxious about things / events....just like my mother. And I blame her for the genes....

What with everyone wanting to meet up before I go, its like xmas has come early . I have been having meals out almost everyday for the past 3 weeks. On some days I have been to lunch and then dinner on the same day ! I am reaching saturation point for eating out I think

The journey is going to be long & drawn out .Its 7 hours to Abu Dhabi with 4 hours transit there, followed by a further 4 hours flight before arriving at Kathmandu in the evening on the following day. I need to find out the difference in time between UK and Nepal. Otherwise John won't be too happy if I were to text him @2 o'clock in the morning, full of excitement about my discoveries in Nepal.

Well, the packing is almost done. Arrangements made for the pickup, and accomodation organised. To date, £1260 has been collected from family, friends, neighbours and colleaques I used to work with.. Everybody has been most supportive and generous.Travellers' cheques are ready for collection, mainly in USD, so I was advised. It pains me to see the dramatic slide of sterling against the USD after I have placed the order last week !!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Nursing Skills Refreshed

It is such a relief to be shown how to take a pulse effectively when it's too feeble to be felt at the wrist.. phew !! I know its probably funny, but it was reassuring to know that I was not out of my head when I say I can't feel my pulse! ' Walking dead ' did flash through my mind though

I have been on the Terence Higgins website to try and glean the relevant bits of information to update my knowledge base etc. It is important, but was reminded appropriately by close friends that good nursing care is what its about, and less of the technical stuff. So Lai See, you have been told!

I have been given some rubber gloves for nursing the HIV&Aids patients . I have to work out the logistics of how to make them last till the end of my placement .It could be tricky, I may not be able to do a one to one. I may have to double up.Whatever happens, I suppose its better than nothing. I just need to be flexible, under the circumstances

There are questions , for example-do volunteers wear aprons, overalls or just in their muftis ? Do the volunteers have chaperones who are bilingual ? How do I do health promotion about spread of disease if I cannot communicate with the patients ? Ah,I just remember I'll be expected to do a crash course in basic Nepali language (in 3 days ) ! Ha, thats funny.

I am sure I will have all the answers soon, fingers crossed (again).

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Am I Ready ?

I only have about two and a half weeks left before I leave for Nepal, there is a long list of things I need to do, what do I do first ? Help....... panic station !!

Take a deep breath, and count to ten. Thats what I would tell others, but its not so easy when its yours truly.Ok, lets prioritise as a manager would- seems such a long time ago when I was vaguely one of them. Make a list, I always feel I have achieved something when I have made a list.So here it goes :

-collect sponsorship money.£940 so far with half a dozen outstanding and a few more reminders to do

-Explore setting up a blog for interested sponsors to keep up to date with the trip

-Do a complete list of all sponsors to be posted on my blog- has started

-create a medical kit to include antibiotics, Malarone for Malaria, antihistamine, Immodium, sterilizing tablets plus all the usual suspects.I am half way there on this

-take little pressies from M'sia for the children in the orphanage. Found lots of useful knicknacks in the most unlikely places in the cupboards.I didn't realise that I am such a hoarder.......come in useful sometimes I suppose

-Need to read up all about HIV &Aids and practise my injection technique. Its been years.........Help !

-I can't find my pulse ? Help, someone !

I am just about reaching saturation point about lists.I guess I need to start packing sometime