Another busy week has flown by as we have gotten settled in Tansen as well as becoming more familiar with United Mission Hospital (UMH). Each student has created connections with Tansen nursing students, instructors, and UMH staff to create their own unique experiences. Many students have had opportunities for hands-on patient centered care along with observational experiences in the operating room and labor & delivery. Being in the wards has been a very humbling experience for many. During our last week in Tansen, our goal is to grow closer to the Nepali nursing students and to become more fully immerse in the ways of Nepalese healthcare.
Jessica Verleum came to Nepal with fourteen knitted sweaters, made by Barbara Brumbaugh from Goshen, to give to children in the pediatric ward. So far, we have given away six sweaters to adorable Nepali children.
Friday afternoon our group took a trip to a nearby orphanage. Though these children had many sad stories, each one welcomed us with open arms and big smiles. Two children, ages of thirteen and eleven, took it upon themselves to show us around the orphanage. At the end of the tour, all of the Goshen students came together to sing songs and play games with the children. Later that night, we also had a chance to get to know some of the Nepali students by playing games down on their courtyard.
Saturday is recognized as the Neplaese rest and worship day, where many businesses are closed and the Tansen nursing students are not on the wards. This past Saturday, though, happened to be special and connected us all — it was International Nurses Day! We attended a wonderful celebration ceremony at the Palpa District Hospital where we honored legendary nurse theorist, Florence Nightingale. International Nurses Day honors the birthdate of Nightingale and all of the nurses around the globe who continue to provide selfless work for those in need. Following this ceremony we attended a local Nepali Christian church. There are several differences we identified between Christian worship in the United States and Nepal. For example, we were mostly sitting on the floor, men on the left and women on the right.
This Sunday evening, we were welcomed to the home of fellow UMH associates for a campfire. Our hosts have mainly lived in Nepal since 1990, which inspired many questions from us students about Nepal’s history, healthcare, natural disasters, and demographics. We were also very grateful to have hot chocolate and roasted marshmellows, as it made us feel closer to home.
This will be our final week in Tansen, and will be traveling by bus on Friday to Pokhara. We are excited to see what the wards may hold for us in our final days.
MacKinnon Tracy and Jessica Verleum