Today marks the end of our time at the Mission Hospital in Tansen. Our week was filled with various festivities, adventures, and work in the hospital. Sunday through Tuesday was spent on the wards, along with today (Thursday). This was our first week working in community health, which we all loved. This was a time for us to all get to know the Nepali nursing students better outside of the hospital setting. For this week, we were either placed in Community health, Maternity and Child Health, Children’s Library, or the traditional hospital wards.
On Wednesday, we all woke up early to hike seven miles down the mountain to the “Taj Mahal” of Nepal, Rani Mahal. It was an old palace built by the King for his wife, who supposedly had leprosy. In 1902, the family fled to India and left the palace abandoned. The palace was surrounded by beautiful mountains and a flowing river. We were able to walk across a large bridge spanning the river to get a better view of the palace and valley.
After taking a jeep back up the mountain, we took part in a cultural exchange program with the Nepali nursing students. They decorated their outdoor stage before performing traditional Nepali dances. We were also invited to the stage to share some “traditional” dances and songs from the United States. We chose to sing the Goshen College alma mater song, and danced the Cha-Cha Slide and the Cupid Shuffle. After the program, we danced our dances with the nursing students and exchanged gifts with them.
Following work on the wards, we spent some quality time with the nursing students. They showed their artistic skills by decorating our hands (and feet, necks, ankles, etc.) with traditional Henna designs. They then proceeded to share a popular Nepali snack with us. Like Ramen, it was crunchy instant noodles, but mixed with different vegetables and spices, all crushed up and mixed together to make a delicious (and spicy) dish. We really enjoyed getting to know the nursings students a bit better during our two short weeks here and appreciated that they welcomed us so openly into their hospital.
Today marks a bittersweet ending to our time here, but we look forward to the next few days as we ready ourselves for Pokhara, Kathmandu, and then home!
-Megan and Annelise