Thursday, 2 August 2012

Smiles and tears as UniBreak students wrap up Heath Outreach Programs

PROJECT: Health & Teaching
WRITTEN BY: UniBreakers, Kathmandu, Nepal

In our final week of our time in Chapagaun we continually found ourselves
noting experiencing things for the last time. Some for the best, like cold showers and Nepalese squat toilets and some things that I’ll miss like Grandma’s cups of tea and her blessing Mary and I with a tika in the mornings, my family and spending time with the best group of Antipodean’s volunteers (not that I’m biased) and of course all the friendly Nepalese people who always greeted us with a warm smile and a ‘Namaste’.

Most of us chose to undertake a Health Education Outreach Program for the
last week where we went to a local school that had classes from Nursery to
10. To start off with, we performed hygiene assessments on all the students
assessing their hair, teeth, eyes, skin, nails and clothing- it was
alarming the state that the majority of students teeth were in. We also
assessed the students lunches for level of healthiness and measured the
older students BMI.

We then got the chance to teach the younger students how to brush their teeth properly and how to wash their hands and why both are so important. All the students were so cute and well behaved (and they loved having their photos taken)! The whole education experience was extremely rewarding and an experience that I really enjoyed.

It was one of mine and Mary’s brother’s birthdays this week and this brings
with it a range of traditions including everyone in the family getting a tika and eating a boiled egg in the morning. At night we went with our brothers and Grandparent’s to light 100 candles- this was so moving and made us really feel a part of the family. We had a birthday dinner of buffalo sausages and buffalo with chilli which our brothers were crazy about after eating dal baht for every meal!

Saying our goodbyes to our families was so sad! Our in-country guides where picking us all up and as the rest of mine and Mary’s family was at work or school when we left it was only Grandma and Grandpa home and we had the fun of trying to translate to them what time we were getting picked up because Grandma was cooking us a going away meal of Newari pizza. After a tika for safe travels from Grandma and a warm hug and tears later we were on the road to Kathmandu where we were spending the night before flying home the following day.

The past month has given me the most amazing experiences that I will never forget! From the eye-opening cases at the Health Centre, the health education, the weekend adventures and the construction work at the orphanage.

We also visited the orphanage on our last day to say goodbye to everyone there and to see the completed toilet cubicle, it was amazing to see how far our money went compared to how much it would be able to do in
Australia. However, the most amazing memories came from the cultural experiences I gained from the time with my second family that I hope to keep in contact with in the future.

Thank you Antipodeans and thank you Nepal for the trip of a lifetime!

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