Written on: 25/01/2012 by abubakrhussain (1 review written)
‘It is 6am and I am awoken by the sound of a women ringing a bell to mark the time of sunrise, with the sound of a Buddhist monk meditating in the monastery opposite the guest house I am staying in. I am in the village of Pharping, located high up in the mountains 20km south of Kathmandu in Nepal. What an amazing and beautiful place I am in, I thought to myself”. I can remember thinking that often during my Nepal Medical Centre placement. It was simply an amazing adventure.
Working as a doctor in England, I had always wanted to volunteer abroad. A month placement in a Nepal Medical Centre with Frontier was a fantastic experience which allowed me to gain a rich experience of medicine in a rural village and also help the local people with my skills and experience. It was more than I could ever have asked for and an experience I will never forget.
I can remember landing in Kathmandu Airport and feeling quite nervous about the next month ahead. Our placement officer, the host family I stayed with, and the local Nepalese people were all so welcoming. We spent the first week learning some basic Nepalese, visiting the main sites around Kathmandu, enjoying the food and culture as well as spending time in Thamel (a very cool part of the city which is a must see for anyone visiting).
The medical centre in Pharping was very well managed, despite being completely self-funded by charity donations, it is the only access to healthcare for over 80,000 people. The doctors, nursers and all staff were very friendly and welcoming. I felt privileged to be able to see patients, offer advice on treatment, perform investigations and help with procedures such as suturing or manipulation of fractures under anesthesia. I also helped with medical and dental check ups which the medical centre organised for children in the many monasteries in the village. So there was plenty to see and do.
Nepal is one of the most beautiful and picturesque countries in the world. From fast flowing rivers, to dense jungles and from beautiful lakes to the dizzy heights of the stunning himalaya mountains - Nepal has it all. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend some time trekking through the Annapurna Himalaya Mountain range, the highlight was watching the himalaya mountains come into view at sunrise from a place called Poon Hill - simply breathtaking!
I would highly recommend the Nepal Medical Centre Volunteer Project to anyone wanting to gain a rewarding volunteer experience. I would happily relive the whole experience all over again, one of the best things I have ever done.