Updates from Nepal Earthquake Relief and Health Camps 2016

We are finally back from the remote villages and into the land of wifi (at least momentarily, hah) during out month-long service trip in honor of the Nepal Earthquake. We are wrapping up nearly a month in Nepal! Below are just a few photos from our trip with captions to help bring you along. All in all, this has been such an incredible trip. The health clinics have been an extraordinary offering to these communities. Between acupuncture treatments, bodywork sessions, ER referrals for serious medical conditions, herbals medicine prescriptions, teaching classes, and simply taking the time to be with these wonderful, resilient people and their communities, we have had a tremendously successful trip. The health camps in the Kathmandu valley we averaged about 150 patients in a day. Then while out in remote regions, we calculated having seen 768 adult patients and countless children between the 3 of us practitioners and a few translators/helpers.

There is such great need for this kind of healthcare (and the emergency kind, too!) in this valley where the Nepal earthquake has hit hard. We simply did not stop working between hosting health camps and hiking up and down the steepest mountains I have ever stepped foot on. We are resting today and tomorrow and then have 2 more health camps before returning home on the 10th. Thanks for following our journey, and enjoy the photos below. Please stay tuned for a more thorough update when the wifi and electricity are in more of an abundant and consistent supply!!!

Cant believe it has been a year and the damage is still so evident. Every single day in Kathmandu we met someone who was directly impacted by the quake. Family members gone or businesses wiped out. This quake damage is visible all over the city.

This dog was resting on the pile of bricks and dirt, not moving even when we walked by. We had to wonder if these were the remains of his owners house…

This is an example of some of the temporary shelters that were erected for families who lost their homes in the quake. In this instance, they simply placed the shelter in the same footprint where the house once stood. The shelters look nice, but after touring them, they are like mini ovens. The tin just collects the heat from the sun and cooks everything inside. Some communities have covered the tin with clay in an effort to reduce the heat inside.

About 771,000 homes were destroyed in the quake. The government promised 200,000 rupees ($2,000) divided up into 3 installments to each family in order to rebuild. So far, only 600 families have received the first installment of 50,000 rupees ($500). Many families have given up waiting on their government to do anything so they are taking matters into their own hands…like this family.

Here we are packing our jeep with all our medical supplies before heading into the remote areas. The jeep ride was about 5 hours and then we were to trek for 8 days. We had a crew of 15 support staff carrying water and supplies for our health camps! Beebal, on the right, is our main guide and has organized nearly all of this program for us!

First health camp only gave us a mild flavor of what was to come…an endless sea of patients every single day. We never turned a single patient away. Little did we know that this particular clinic would be the only place with an actual facility to be treating patients over the next 9 days! From this point on it was tents and hillsides and foam pads!

Patients receiving bodywork and acupuncture. We treated everything from dehydration to goiter to broken backs to dysentery.

Jonathan teaching the men in the clinic who all complained of crippling back pain. They had never learned to stretch or to massage themselves (let alone each other) to reduce their pain. Jonathan taught several of these courses over the next several days.

Patients, patients, patients.

This was the valley we called home for this part of the journey. This area is known as the Sindhupalchok region and it was the second hardest hit district in the country. And yes, that tiny little river at the bottom of this valley is where we began and ended our journey. Calves will probably be in recovery for the next 10 days!!!

When there were too many patients at once, we shifted gears and began offering NADA treatments (ear acupuncture protocol for pain and stress relief) in order to treat everyone, especially the children! Some patients had walked more than 2 hours to come to our clinics! Kneeling is Dr. Shyam, our Nepali practitioner, giving NADA treatments.

Line of patients waiting for treatment…

Moxa burning on ginger for dysentery….we probably gave hundreds of these treatments. We decided to train one of the local health assistants to do this treatment because so many people complained of gastritis. And since the Nepal earthquake, the water quality is even poorer and gastritis is on the rise.

Learning to say Namaste 🙂

Aside from being able to see how dirty my feet are in this picture, we actually captured a sweet moment. We had brought gifts for the children with us: these beautiful handmade dolls from a donor in California (thank you so much Judith! They absolutely needed these dolls!)

Hillside clinics…you offer treatment wherever you can!

Happy children make for happy parents 🙂

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