Since we left off
Hi everyone, I hope all is well with the world and everything is more or less how I remember it. To that end, one of the major goals of this trip for both the project and my own sanity to keep in touch better with the outside world. The road between Sarabarah and Manma (the District Capital), has improved greatly since my last trip, which combined with our motorcycle being up in Kalikot allows us to travel back and forth from the Capital with much more ease. For some more background on Kalikot, there have been recent developments with regards to the “Karnali Highway” which is due in large part to contracts associated with Hydro-Electric projects in the Upper Karnali Region. Very recently, India signed a power sharing agreement with Nepal to reap some of the benefits of the hydro potential. To accommodate the need for advanced machinery and man power reaching the region, we have seen a huge uptick in work on the road. We were the beneficiaries of these recent investments on our last trip to Kalikot. For the first time in more trips up than I count we were able to make it all the way to Oda in a day...I was planning to post pictures of the road progress, but unfortunately I left my iphone cord in Oda...I will next time!
Outside of the progress on the road, we have made considerable progress on our new medical building, which is the most exciting thing going on at present. Just yesterday, I was working with about 20 people carrying stones to and from the project site. The closer the building gets to completion the more excited I am about the future of the project. The last 11 months have been great, and the headway we’ve made while living in a cowshed has been remarkable, however, there is so much more we can accomplish in our own space. With a clinic room, pharmacy, office, and patient hall we will be able to treat more people to a higher quality. Outside of the structure, we have started to train our staff on best practices which will help put them in the position to succeed for years to come. One example of this is data collection, which we are starting to digitize. In order to do this, we’re training three staff members in basic computing and data entry. The excitement surrounding computers is great, and we’ve had several staff members staying up well past office hours, working through Mavis Beacon.
Additionally, we are also planning to build a small outdoor learning space to help facilitate English classes in the community. One of the challenges we’ve faced while working in the government schools, is sporadic attendance by some of the students. As a result of this the punctual students are forced to rehash lessons, as the more inconsistent students come and go. Since we do not have authority at the government schools, we are somewhat powerless in these situations. With the construction of our new “tuition” space, we will be able to have complete control over pupils and curriculum.