- Created: 08 April 2018
- By Andrew Schlabach
Patients come on a first come, first served basis, often arriving a little before 6am, slipping their appointment cards under a designated stone on the reception window sill. Many will have taken several hours to get to the clinic then may have to wait for some time to be seen, but time has a different value here and we get few complaints.
This different concept of time can manifest in many ways. A patient will often postpone their follow up appointments in order to celebrate a new moon or a festival. Between all the different ethnic groups that make up Nepal, there are more holidays celebrated here than there are days of the year, but neither intolerable pain nor life-threatening conditions are allowed to interfere with these occasions, or the intense periods of preparation and ritual often involved.
When I started fundraising for this volunteer trip, many friends asked me why I chose to come to Nepal with ARP, and my simple response was, “to step out of my comfort zone.” I have very limited international travel experience, and I knew that providing healthcare in a developing country for an extended period of time would challenge me on various levels, providing me with an opportunity for both personal and professional growth.
Fast-forward to my 8-hour layover in Istanbul, Turkey, en route to Nepal. As I roamed the airport, I realized that several conversations were happening around me in languages unfamiliar to my English-speaking tongue, and I suddenly felt a loss of connection within an airport full of people. My ears searched for words of my native language amongst the crowds of people in transit and waiting, but to no avail. Finally, after some time, I heard English words spoken from the mouth of someone sitting at a table adjacent to mine, and I initiated a conversation with the man who spoke those words that were familiar to me. Only a few hours had passed since I stepped off the plane, but I was already longing to connect with someone amongst the crowd of foreign travelers.
In addition to volunteering their time and energy, our practitioners are required to raise the money it takes to support their efforts at our clinic. Please consider helping them by making a tax deductible donation in their name.