Monday, August 30, 2010


Health--What We're Here For!

The reason we're here is Ramon's work in the hospital.  Do you realize that there are about 18,000 people per doctor in Nepal?  !!!  ...and about one hospital bed per 5000 people?  !!!

The mountainous terrain, which of course makes this one of the world's most beautiful places,
(On a clear day, after the monsoon rains, you can see the Himalayas just beyond these hills!)

filled with a diversity of geography, culture, and religion, can put villagers a very long way from health care.  Walking for days to clinics and/or hospitals is not uncommon.  (If they can't walk, someone will carry them.)  There's also a lack of clean water as well as inadequate sanitation, both of which lead to numerous health problems:  diarrhea, malaria, TB, intestinal worms, gastritis, jaundice, Cholera, Typhoid, hepatitis, meningitis, airborne and skin infections, upper respiratory infections, dysentery, parasites, Hepatitis A, to name a few.

Then you have animal attacks.  Check out the "Sanga Leopard Story" on the hospital's website if you have time:  You'll read about the little boy who was rescued from the jaws of a leopard by his sister!

Here are a few more hospital pics:

 Here is the front gate fence.
(This young mother's face says a lot.)

Just outside the gate is this "sidewalk" shortcut down the hill:
(Ramon said the ambulances used to go up and down this.)

Here is the view looking up:
It's good exercise!
Ramon likes to tell people, "I know it looks like I'm helping my wife go up,
but she's actually helping me!"  :)

And now, you will see the reception area:

and the hallways:

Ramon working with part of his team:

Student nurses from the hospital's school:

This X-Ray shows why this person needed surgery:

Here we have someone's bladder stones:
(skip over if you don't want to look)

And a kidney stone:

That's all for now.  More to come!

Have a nice day!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


So we went to Kathmandu on Wednesday, the day after the festival (see previous post), and saw a few interesting things.  Not sure if these were continuing festivities, or something new and different.  First we just saw a few various people walking around with costumes on:

(Almost missed this group.  If you look closely, towards the front
of the line, maybe enlarge the pic...)

(Again, look closely.)

Ah, here they are.

And THEN we got lucky!  What's that down the road?  Is it an ELEPHANT? 

Why Yes, It Is!!!

For once, we were in the right place at the right time!
(...and we were stuck in traffic so we could watch!)

(This sign says End Discrimination/End Poverty/Promote Tourism)

Sometimes you just get lucky!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Today, August 24, 2010, is a holiday in Nepal.  The date here, where the Bikram Sambat calendar is observed, is actually 2067 Bhadra 8.  (The year is usually written first.  The Bikram Sambat calendar is 56 years, 8 1/2 months ahead of the Gregorian Calendar.)

Yesterday, at school:  (more about the school in another post)

...the kids told me about the upcoming holiday.  Here is an approximation of the conversation:

Kids:  Kathy Ma'am (names are first and then the title), tomorrow is a holiday! 
Kathy Ma'am:  Oh!  How nice!  What holiday is it? 
Kids:  Janai Purnima! 
Kathy Ma'am:  How interesting!  What is that? 
Kids:  It's a festival. 
Kathy Ma'am:  What kind of festival? 
Kids:  A festival!!!! 
Kathy Ma'am:  But what is it exactly? 
Kids:  It's a festival!!!! 
Kathy Ma'am:  But what happens during this festival? 
Kids:  Oh, they're going to have the festival. 
Kathy Ma'am:  What kind of things will they do at the festival? 
Kids:  Just festival things!!!
Kathy Ma'am:  What are the festival things?
Kids:  The things you do at the festival!!!
(They shake their heads.  I just don't get it.)

So I looked it up on the internet.  The best way for you to find out what it is will be to read this article I found and copied and pasted from

 Janai Purnima – Raksha Bandhan
By pilgrimsbooks
Nepal is a country of varied religions and occasions. Janai Purnima, mostly know as Janai Purne and also known as Kwati Purne, Srawani Purnima, Rishi Purnima and Raksha Bandhan is one such festival which very magnanimous. This festival falls in the full moon of Bhadra (August).
janaiOn this day Bhraman and Chhetri communities in Nepal change their sacred thread called Janai or Yajnopavita; sanctified by the Bhraman Priests after taking a holy bath or dip in the river. And the other communities tie Janai or Doro or Tago on their wrists from the Bhraman Priests.
NEPAL-RELIGION-HINDU-FESTIVALThis festival is very much popular among the Hindus. People have belief that if some one ties Tago on this day by the Bhraman Priests; and offer them donations; they will earn virtue and blessings from the God for auspicious life. The sacred thread Janai and Tago is venerated as a feature of Lord Vishnu and it protects us from being and kind of spiritual sickness as well.
And on this day sisters tie Rakhi on the wrist of their brothers. and it is a unique bond between a brother and a sister which celebrate to show love and affection shared between a brother and a sister. Sisters tie a delicate cord of Rakhi on this day and pray for their brothers long life. Brothers, in turn, give them Rakhi gifts and vows to protect and care for them life long. So it is called Raksha Bandhan.
KwatisAnd on this day mainly the Newar community cook a special food called Kwati a mixure of sprouted legumes and eaten with wheat-bread (chapati). Kwati is the Newari word and the literary meaning of it, is hot soup. It is a soup of nine-mixed-beans – Black-eye Peas, Cow Peas, Black Lentils, Mung, Peas, Rajmas, Chickpeas, Soybeans, Favas. Some mix more beans too.
Janai Purnima signifies the end of the rainy month and beginning of the cold season in Nepal.
Newar farmers offer different food items to frogs on this day. Belief holds that worshiping the frog, which is considered an agent of the God of rainfall, by making offerings of different food items help to increase the production of crops.
Thus all celebrate Janai Purnima or Raksha Bandhan with great enthusiasm.
Today is Janai Purnima and we wish you all Happy Janai Purnima and Raksha Bandhan

It's been a very wet morning, but I did hear some music from the street earlier (around 6:30 a.m.).  When Ramon gets home I hope we can wander around town and see if we can see anything!  

There are more than 50 yearly festivals here I've heard, so there will be more posts about them!  

Have a nice day, whichever calendar you use!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Our little Seventh-day Adventist church is filled with beautiful and brave people!  The first Sabbath we were here was a very emotional one for me.  Nepal is about 80.5% Hindu, about 10.5% Buddhist, about 4.5% Muslim, about 3.5% Kirat (an indigenous religion) and less than .5% Christian (with the last .5% being "other").   For many people, being a Christian is not easy.  (Christmas has only been a public holiday since 2008.)  Still, I only see smiles on everyone's face!  They're so happy to be in church.

Here is the view from the fence by the gate that we enjoy every time we go to church:

Here is an inside shot:

Some teens from a home for foster children came and sang for us--they did a great job!

They also later gave a concert in town, which we really enjoyed. 

Here I am with some of my new friends:

...and Ramon with one of his new friends:

The ladies are beautiful:

...and so are the kids!  Here are the Primaries waving to you:

The Kindergartners are enjoying their craft time:

The finished results:  (They're so cute aren't they?!)

Sometimes we have a potluck dinner after church.

The Canteen terrace has great views: 

...that go on and on:

..and on:

...and on:

Here is one of the young men (on the left--the one of the right is his brother who is translating) telling his experiences when he and a friend went to a mountain village to meet with some church members.  Man!  What amazing things happened!  There's a real shortage of people available and able to go to the villages.  It's so nice to see the young people out there helping and doing what they can.  

Even the kids enjoyed the testimony and listened intently:

Well, that's all for now!  See you later!