Anshu is a young Nepali girl from the village of Gati who I met and fell completely in love with last year. She lost her dad in the 2015 earthquake after their house collapsed. This left her mother with no income and so she went to go find work in Kathmandu two years ago and has yet to return. This is often the case after disasters, leaving these children alone to roam around the village and get their needs met from extended families or other villagers.
When I met her last year, while she was friendly and outspoken, she was isolating herself quite a bit from the other kids. They called her the equivalent of a loner which is so very odd for a village like this. So we took her under our wing last year and she received several treatments from us. We focused on healing trauma and repairing the nervous system. Seeing her again this year, she is like a completely different kid.
Anshu is an incredible young girl, trying desperately to learn and speak any english that she hears! She has a boisterous and extroverted personality and so she became the star of the clinics when she could make it past all the village boys and into the front door. She is no longer isolating herself and she has a sparkle to her eyes that all children that age should carry!
I share this with you because this is the heart of our work, no matter where we are or who we are working with.
Healing Trauma, Restoring Health, Building Resilience.
Sometimes photos can speak louder than words…please enjoy some of these pictures from our recent health trek to Nepal.
Katie Molloy, acupuncturist and herbalist having a brief check in with a patient before treatment. This young man is from a village called Yarsa and he is expected to work the field as soon as he is able to carry a basket on his head and neck. Many of these young guys end up with pretty serious back pain fairly young. Dr. Shyam Maharjan doing intake with patients, not a single person is turned away. Intake is quite extensive. We check all vitals, do any range of motion tests or palpation necessary, rule out any potential red flag cases, and then also do a Chinese medicine diagnosis, looking at the tongue, listening to the 12 pulses, etc. Bonnie Keller worked her magic in the health post of Gati. This is one of those bittersweet clinics where an international NGO built this beautiful clinic, stocked it with some high quality supplies, but then there was no one who knew what to do with it all. Bonnie is an amazing nurse and she cleaned, organized, threw out all the expired supplies, and created a whole new system for them! A view of the village of Anthali waiting for the supplies that never came! Beautiful water buffalo wandering around. Our patients receive the BEST of care. Especially with this incredible group of women we were able to offer allopathic care, massage, acupuncture, herbal medicine, allopathic medicine, reflexology, cupping, gua sha, essential oil therapy, and to make tailored topical creams and rubs for patients with muscle aches and pains or skin issues. A traditional Nepali market, SO much fresh food! After a very long night of monsoon-like rains and hunkering down in a leech-infested, smoky, cattle shed, we awoke to 360 degrees of Himalayan mountain views…absolutely 100% worth every chill and every damp piece of clothing! When the clinics get busy, patients are everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you are from an upper caste family or a lower caste family, all patients are treated equally in our clinics. Yet another view from one of our camp sites…making all the trekking of stairs worth it a million times over! Right? This camp site was up at 11,700 ft. In an effort to stay dry, we had to put tarps on top of rain fly’s, and then on top of our tents. Otherwise we would be looking at a very wet tent and sleeping bag in the morning! The shamans of Mandra and Yarsa held a ceremony for all of us on our final day in the village. They sang and danced and prayed for all of us and for their villages. It was a beautiful sending off as we trekked to the other side of the mountains.
Just a glimpse of the terrain we trekked during our 9 days out in Sindupalchok. Kids sometimes just come and hang out while their parents are getting treatment. Most everyone enjoys a rare midday break from field work! When we said stairs, we meant stairs, Here is Chris Janaky working her way through a very steep part of the trail with the shaman and B’Neil, one of our sherpas pulling up the rear. We were huffing and puffing during some of this! 38 hours of travel time. It makes you forget the day, the time, or anything else that usually guides you as your point of reference. On these kinds of adventures, it’s just buckle up, eat when you are served, and stand in the very long lines at China’s new airport, mildly regretting having saved a little money on this ticket in exchange for so many hours of standing in lines! The town of Bharabise; i.e. the last stop before the wilderness! We stocked up on nearly all of our veggies and picked up many of our sherpas from this place. Bonnie, working her magic with all the children. We saw SO many infected wounds on the children post-monsoon. A view from our tents in the morning including “bed tea,” the hot cup of plain black tea that arrives each morning around 6am (thanks to our beloved sherpas)! More pictures of the shamans during their beautiful ceremony. Our base camp in Yarsa where we hosted health clinics for 2 days. Homes that were swept away during the landslide. Kristi Plucker, our amazing photographer and videographer, receiving blessings from this monk in the form of a prayer necklace before we head out on our trek. Katie Molloy getting marigold blessings from the children in the villages! We were so well adorned by the end of our trek! Another picture from Bharabise with the beautiful river that flows from Tibet to Nepal running right through it. Beebal Singh Limbu, our guide extraordinaire, taking a rest on one of the trails! Beautiful photos of the Kathmandu valley. Kenna Pinkard, our incredible herbal pharmacy coordinator and clinic director, snapping playful photos of Chris Janaky during our trek. The beautiful women of Anthali and their children. We are just as taken by them as they are by us!
(Photo by Katie Molloy)Patients waiting for treatment on top of the hill at Anthali. (Photo by Katie Molloy)
From our hearts and their hearts to yours, thank you and namaste!
(All photos are credited to Kenna Pinkard unless otherwise mentioned! Thank you, Kenna!)