Tired! That’s how I would describe myself on the other side of 264 patients over 10 days. Yesterday we had a lovely closing ceremony and we were treated to marigold necklaces and some heartwarming speeches about the impact we have had on this community of Ghandruk and the surrounding districts. Everyone appeared to be grateful for our visit and what we were able to do for the dental health of the community.
For those following the tally of work over the 10 days, of our total of 264 patients, we saw 114 children, 29 youth and a further 166 adults. I did 175 fillings, 117 extractions, 7 cleans, treated 1 emergency fracture and drained 1 abscess. On top of that I saw a further 30 patients for check ups only. So, I am a little fatigued, but very happy.After the closing ceremony we jumped in a jeep and lumbered off down the track. On the way we stopped at a little community called Kliu, where I wanted to revisit the pre-school we visited during our last trip. At that time, the children had a dirt floor on which they sat, bare walls and minimal supplies. Thanks to a small donation from my brother Dr Tran Lam, the classrooms now have the floors covered and there are chairs and tables for all the students. There is also a room set up now with a cooker so that the children can have a nutritious meal while at school.
Afterwards, we headed off down the track and eventually made it to Pokhara. This is where things started to go wrong! At the airport we waited and waited to be told that our flight was cancelled – come back tomorrow they said! We went back to Pokhara and found a hotel and had a nice meal at the lake side of the town. Next morning we rose at 5.30 to get to the airport for our 7.50 flight. We got boarding passes and waited and waited. Kathmandu was closed because of fog … and we waited. Kathmandu airport opened … yay! Then Pokhara airport was closed because of fog. At around 2.30pm we got on a flight to Kathmandu. Luckily our flight to Singapore was at 10pm from Kathmandu so we were lucky. Phew!
Now, John and I are in Sri Lanka for a few days break. Shelly stayed back in Nepal and is leaving for Australia tomorrow.
I would like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to the success of this trip. The three of us who undertook the camp had a great and fulfilling time and we really do appreciate your support. I am back in Australia on 7 December and I’ll start seeing patients at my clinic in Braddon from 10 December 2018. Of course I am happy to regain you with further stories about this trip if you’d like to know more.