Purka Dunga – A Quick Upate from Oda
It is very fitting that I’m writing this brief update from a rock known by everyone here as “Purka Dunga”. For anyone that has been to the project – arriving at Puka Dunga mean’s you’ve made it - it is a welcoming site on any trip to Oda, and marks the end to the final ascent into the village.
Just moments ago, as I was finally sitting down to reflect on my first week back two of my favorite students, Jowla and Kalasha stopped to say hello. They were on their way up the Mountain with sugar and salt for their family, and were very excited to catch up. It was a conversation similar to many others that I’ve had this week –like reconnecting with an old friend– and while four months have gone by since I was last here I feel like I haven’t missed a beat. Despite the many big differences between my life in Nepal and my life in the US I feel blessed that I am able to seamlessly transition back and forth between the two - and am thrilled to be back on the ground.
I often equate these two parallel lives to books on a shelf. You can put down one book to start an entirely different story, and for the most part as you move from one to the other, things will remain where you left them – There are obvious exceptions to this rule, including major milestones in the lives of family and friends, both happy and sad. But after four years in these very different worlds, both feel like home.
While I miss everyone back home, I am eager to turn my attention back to my Nepali life as we work to expand our reach and impact in the months ahead. We have a number of exciting initiatives planned for the fall, in addition to three new fellows who will arrive later this week. On behalf of our students, patients, and everyone else here – Thank you to everyone at home and abroad who continues to make this progress possible.