Going to Nepal for a month has been one of the most exciting parts of my life so far! Nothing could quite prepare me for what to expect when I got there though.
I had a very bumpy ride getting to Pokhara, but it was lovely. I arrived later than expected, so arrived whilst induction was already taking place. This wasn't a problem - Sunil and Renu made it very welcoming for me, and my first few hours into Pokhara were very relaxed with no pressure.
As part of orientation I was shown around the rangi change (colourful!) town of Pokhara, which was lovely. I am from Asia, so it wasn't too much of a culture shock - I quite expected the bumpy roads and the business of the centre!
Whilst in Pokhara my placement was taken at the government hospital for 3 weeks. I really enjoyed my placement there. I was on General Medicine ward, which had a lot going on. The lack of resources really made me understand how lucky we are in the UK to have the NHS and all the resources we do. There are many shocks that you're likely to see, but this is mainly due to the lack of resources! They reuse their gloves and make their guaze swabs which was all new to me!
The nurses spoke good academic english, so they explained the patient's condition and this made it much easier to get involved. The doctors were keen to teach as well.
I also undertook a Village Healthcare Experience in Lahachowk on my last week. Now this WAS a culture shock for me, after a long two/three hour trek we finally reached the area we were staying. The family were so welcoming and really enjoyed having us there. The health post itself was a surprise - it was very different to the way our community services run in the UK, particularly knowing that some of the patients were 2 hours away from the local hospital.
The actual doctor at the health post spoke a lot of English, he explained each procedure and what was going on with each patient, and was keen to get us involved. I really feel I learnt a lot about the culture and managed to get involved with the community. I even milked buffalos!
Work the World were amazing to go with, they literally have everything organised - they're so supportive whilst out there and really do look after you. In fact all the staff were approachable and supportive. Prem's language lessons twice a week were a highlight! We had many giggles in his lessons but actually picked up many Nepalese words that helped us during placement and generally while we were out and about! Krishna's food was absolutely amazing, it was so nice to wake up to breakfast and to come home in the evening to an amazing meal. Not to mention the lush barbeques on wednesdays!
Apart from placement itself, Pokhara is a lovely area to explore! Trekking to Sarangkot is an absolute must, the view was astounding! With so many cafes down Lakeside you'd also be mad not to explore the local culture and food. Not to mention all the shopping areas! We were there during the celebration of Holi, which was amazing - all the colours and the fun!
The month I spent in Nepal has made a huge difference to me. I've had such an amazing time and would recommend anyone to go! I’ve met some amazing people, seen amazing sights and wouldn’t take back anything I did that month!