The Oda Project

Essential healthcare and education - giving Nepali communities in extreme poverty a fighting chance

Kendall is Here!!!

I am back in Surkhet for a quick couple do days before heading back to Kalikot!  The reason for this exciting albeit very surprising trip is because we have a special guest Kendall Massengill!  Kendall went to Washington and Lee with me and just concluded Medical School at Wake Forest. Before spending the next seven years in her Pediatric Surgery residency, Kendall had a trip planned to head to Angola to help a local surgeon.  Unfortunately (fortunately for us), her visa situation did not work out due to turmoil in the Angolian government.   That visa fiasco resulted in a conversation with Kendal about one week ago, where she asked if she could come and work in our clinic for 3 weeks.  Of course my answer was an ecstatic YES! While Kendall likely won’t be performing any surgeries like she would of in Angola, we are thrilled that she is here.  Both Doctor Karki & Sarita (our doctor’s assistant) are extremely enthusiastic, and excited to pick Kendall’s brain on a range of topics.  Kendall is also excited to learn from our team.  I will report back on this experiment in a couple of weeks, but I am beyond excited and feel extremely blessed to have Kendall helping out. Outside of the clinic, things are going very well up there.  Bobby has been a Godsend, and I can’t say enough good things about all of the work he has been doing.  Every morning he wakes up and diligently studies Nepal for two hours, followed by an hour or two of class planning, followed by an afternoon of language teaching.  Beyond these contributions he has been an amazing sounding board, helping me develop my thoughts and ideas for the future of the project.  His thoughtful and sincere responses are invaluable, and I’m so lucky to have him by my side up there.

Kalikot with Bobby 102As for me, I am happy as ever.  While I enjoy my trips down to Surkhet…seeing friends, using the internet, and eating good food its getting increasing challenging to leave Oda.  With every trip my relationships continue to grow deeper and more genuine with the people I am working with.  Our team in addition to the communities is incredible and while I’ve had my share of headaches as a result of language issues, for the most part things are running well.  In many ways the miscommunications I’m experiencing now, are beneficial, as I slowly but surely improve my Nepali language skills.

Kalikot with Bobby 245I leave in the morning, but I will do my best to throw up another quick post before I leave!

I hope everyone is surviving polar vortexes and snowpocalpyses.