The start to our mission trip was eventful to say the least. The first few days were spent dealing with various officials within the Department of Labour, the Nepal Medical Council and the Department of Immigration in an attempt to organise working visas for our time here. Since the devastating earthquakes in 2015, there have been many changes to the rules and regulations involving volunteers wanting to work in Nepal. This unfortunately created difficulties for our group in obtaining visas, and has set us back a few days. Finally we were able to obtain 7-day working visas, and departed Kathmandu for Pokhara on Friday 11th November to begin our trip.
Our time in Kathamndu was not wasted, however, as we were able to visit the local Health Clinic (supported by the Himalayan Medical Foundation), which supplies free health and dental services to the people of Kathmandu. Though small and quaint, the clinic is well equipped with materials and supplies that have been provided by foreigners over the years.
The dental service in particular is run 5 days a week from 8am to 5pm, with 2 out of the 5 days being a mobile clinic travelling to monasteries and schools in the surrounding areas. The clinic is run fully on solar power, implemented after the devastation of earthquakes making it extremely difficult to run the clinic with intermittent power.
Despite the fact that this clinic is fully functioning and has all appropriate equipment needed, there are no Nepalese health practitioners willing to work there along side the director, Chiring, and his daughter, which unfortunately may lead to an eventual closure of the clinic all together. Visiting the clinic was a wonderful opportunity to explore where our work could extend to in the future.