And another big step in planning May 23rd


So today was a bit anticlimactic in a way. The bandh was cancelled, which I discovered through overhearing some workmen joke about it in Nepali as they were starting their day fixing the driveway of annexe 2. Yippy!

Higher Ground

That meant I could go to a wifi place, transact some internet business, and go to LNC as well. The wifi place is called Higher Ground and it’s a coffee shop run by Christian Nepalis. Christian videshis hang out there, today was no exception, some YWAMers from Dallas showed up. Third floor, cappucino, comfy chairs – you’d swear you were in Camden Maine. I mailed 10 postcards. Checked my bank account. Reorganized my database.

Meeting with Campus Chief

Took a taksi to LNC to meet at 11. Now, I have corresponded intermittently with LNC since November, but there have been difficulties due to prolonged Load Shedding, the fact that I dc’ed my prexar.com email, and a change in email address they also had to make when their server went down. Also, they have a new Campus Chief, and she spent three months in Holland being mentored on educational leadership. So, communication had not been the clearest, and I was worried. High stakes for me.

Books Being put to Good Use

To make a long story short, the conversation began with an acknowledgment of the significance of the books sent by SNEHA to the LNC library. LNC took it a step further and has collaborated with all the schools of nursing in Kathmandu to make these available to all students and nurses. There is heavy use of these books and lots of collaboration. They feel strongly as to the value of these books in supporting nursing education here. As you may imagine after all the hassle, I loved loved loved hearing this. All the members of SNEHA need to know what a difference this has made, many of them helped bring these to KTM. I was happy to hear it. Humbled.

The dialog went quickly uphill from there. The upshot is, we discussed ways to advance nursing in Nepal, fix the brain drain, build a way for Nepalis to take over this content, improve the health outcomes of the country, and address the immediate challenges of last-minute organization of a course. I was impressed with Radha Ma’am’s forward thinking and vision.

I will do the Wednesday course – the Critical Care Nursing focus – starting June 1st as planned; I will give LNC my outline this Wednesday the 25th and we will start registration. I used FaceBook since February to publicise this, developing a database of participants over a five month period, and we will see whether this use of social networking lives up to it’s hype as a social organizing tool. If so, we have a fair shot at a full class. We will see.

LNC will help me get my Nepali RN license ( for which I brought all the paperwork) and I will talk more with the BN chair, about ways to be involved with teaching the 18 BN students. LNC made a call to Patan Hospital to initiate the credentialling process there for me.

In the tourist guidebooks, Patan Hospital is generally listed as the one hospital in Kathmandu to which a foreigner should go. It’s the main clinical site for LNC. Sandi Miller’s Nepal trip in 2009 was to help establish a pedi-ICU at PH.

I’ll try to get some video of it to give you the feel.

This was a big relief and eliminates a “wild card” for me.

In the afternoon I went to Patan Hospital and met the Matron. Now, on FB there is a video I took there in 2008; the guy who gave me a tour that day was still there and we recalled that event. Nice.

I’d briefly met the Matron two years ago as well, and we recognized each other. As I expected, the Matron told me I needed to compose a formal letter of application before I would allowed to serve there. So I will compose a letter tomorrow and deliver it. More paperwork, but I expected this. It’s similar to what a USA hospital would require; entirely reasonable. Tomorrow I will compose. I plan to be very specific about my goals, to work within the existing structure, and to use Nepali references. What is there not to love?

So I am making good of this early organizational time, chipping away at things. Watched the news in Nepali again.

“There’s Only two things that money can’t buy – that’s True Love and Home-grown Tomatoes”

On the way home I bought ek kg of vine-ripened tomatoes for 50 nrs and ek kg of cukes for 30, doing the transaction in Nepali. The saudji (shopkeeper) was good-natured about it and corrected me a few times. I’ll get my veggies there from now on, and enlist her aid in naming the vegetables. This will be fun.

I now can plan the dates for my Terai trips. Hoo-ah! The calendar will be filling up soon.

So – a good day here.

About Joe Niemczura, RN, MS

Experienced nursing educator and problem-solver. I have fifteen years of USA nursing faculty background. Add it with fifteen more devoted to adult critical care. In Nepal, I started teaching critical care skills in 2011. I figure out what they need to know in a Nepali practice setting. Then I teach it in a culturally appropriate way so that the boots-on-the-ground people will use it. I travel outside of Kathmandu Valley as well. When the recent violence happened, I knew the cities - I had trained people in those locations. One theme of my work has been collective culture and how it manifests itself in anger. Because this was a problem I incorporated elements of "situational awareness" training from the beginning, in 2011. Global Health Nursing is not all sweetness and light; not solely milk & honey and happy moms and babies.
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