Posted on 25 March, 2014

Namaste family & friends!

Where to start…The flight over was long – it was 24 hours from the time we met at Sydney Airport at 6am on Saturday morning until we crawled into bed in Kathmandu. The flights were good and on time, but the 6 hour wait at Kuala Lumpur airport was a killer! Needless to say we emerged from the terminal at midnight to be met by Marilyn Lewis from ADRA Nepal and the three vehicles for our team members and supplies.

After we crawled out of bed on Sunday we headed off for a couple of hours into Thamel to do a bit of sightseeing/shopping for the new team members. In the afternoon all the nurses headed off to the Nepal Nursing Council for an interview which would allow us to get registration.

teamwaiting cherieandchristine

We were able to do this as a group which was a lot of fun. The members of the board included the chief nurse for Nepal, Nursing council registrar, nurse educators etc. – five in total. They were very friendly and welcoming. They wanted to find out about each of our medical experience which turned out very funny – as we went around the table it was 40 years’ experience, 35 years, 40 years, 41 years etc. and our “babies” with 5-10 years’ experience.

They also wanted to know more about Open Heart International and our program: the type of surgery we do and what our future plans are (in particular working in remote areas). They asked a lot of questions about our Dadeldhura program from last year. Over all, it was not at all daunting and we really enjoyed it and so did they. We are all now registered nurses in Nepal!

volunteerandlocal team giriandrebecca

After we had done as much as we could in Kathmandu we headed for the Scheer Memorial Hospital where we were literally welcomed with open arms. Like us, they have worked tirelessly to make this happen. Even though it was Sunday night, a group had gathered to greet us – a wonderful experience for us “oldies” and for the new team members it showed them what a wonderful relationship we have with our colleagues at this little hospital which is so special to so many people.

Monday – What an enormous day it was! The morning was filled with unpacking our supplies and setting up. But to do that, we had to make our way through the enormous number of patients and their families who were waiting for us. Any thought that we might have enough patients went out the window immediately! We now started to think how on earth we were going to help so many women!


Assessments then begun, we came planning to do about 80 cases, and yesterday 147 patients registered – You could not move!!! We could not get out the door of the ward without two security guards clearing a path for us. This is a tribute to the wonderful work of Pralhad (Nepal local project liaison), the field workers, and all the staff here at the hospital. We assessed about 50 women yesterday and nearly filled out Theatre lists for the first week! We are aiming to assess at least 60 today and then the rest tomorrow. On top of all that we started operating and managed to do five cases amongst the chaos!

atdoor op

We are well under way again today and everyone has settled in a little more. All in all – just another day at the Scheer Memorial Hospital in Banepa, Nepal and loving every chaotic minute of it! With much gratitude to everyone at home who support us in so many ways!

Tags:  Nepal,