2 Week Specials, Medicine in Nepal by Odylia Kartadinata
First thoughts on Nepal
It was as if I entered a different world, stepping onto the streets of Kathmandu. It was like making your way through a maze with constant obstacles (the speedy cars and the endless amount of motorbikes) flying pass you at the speed of light.
The rush of culture was impossible to not welcome, as we were greeted with pleasant smiles and the blessing phrase, “Namaste”. The dramatic colours made my eyes long to absorb every single detail of the beautiful city. However, it felt too quickly that we had to leave this “organised chaos” for our placements in Chitwan.
I remember not being prepared for this unimaginable experience. It frightened me to think that I was going to an unknown country. However, everyone was so supportive to one another, accepting each other’s unique personalities, that these feelings quickly disappeared and the ambiance of being a family was created within the group.
Memories of my trip
There were so many memories of this great trip that if I wrote all of them here, I might as well just write a novel. None really stood out against the rest. However one seemed to feel as if it only happened yesterday.
It was during my placement at the Chitwan Teaching Hospital. I walked into the building, wondering what I would be observing and learning. I was placed in the maternity ward as this was my interest in the future. I was introduced to the nurses who taught me so much during my placement.
I was promptly told about the different rooms, such as the delivery room and the resting room, and its functions. After a short ten minutes, the nurses began to wheel a very pregnant mother to the delivery room. I was asked by a fellow volunteer if I would like to join them, and without any hesitation I agreed.
The birthing was very brief with few complications and within just an hour, a baby boy was born. Smiles flooded the room. I was both shocked and amazed at what I had just witnessed, but I still got to hold the fifteen-minute old baby in my arms, cradling him. I remembered him crying every time the light touched his eyes. It wasn’t until a good forty minutes had passed that I had to give the precious baby to his loving mother.
Travelling in Nepal
We didn’t spend all our time in hospitals; my time spent at Chitwan National Park will always be treasured. Elephants would walk the streets with their owners on their backs, like people would drive their cars to work.
Final thoughts on my time in Nepal
This experience is something that cannot be fully captured by words. On day one, I came with no idea as to what I was getting myself into, but by the time I said my final goodbyes, it was as if this trip has changed my views and perceptions on the world. I took my open-mind to this country, and came back with memories and friends that would last for a life time.