May 29 2013 in Pulchowk


I have now been here for two weeks, and the time has flown by.

Early sessions

The idea in 2011 was to get here in mid-May and spend two weeks doing last minute things, then start teaching June 1st. This is a good idea because so much of the organization can only be done while I am present in the country. But it’s two weeks   when I am not teaching, so this time I organized two 3-day sessions right away. I am pleased to say that those two are done, and they went off quite well. The feeling is analogous to that of being on a sports team that goes out and scores right at the beginning of the match. Ahh, I have numbers on the scoreboard….

five hundred is within reach

I may actually be able to train five hundred this summer. given a desired class size of thirty, I need to schedule seventeen sessions. I now have fifteen. The heart of the schedule will be a Road Trip – a series of “away games” – just like a sports team.  I will also squeeze in a few other activities not related to ACLS-type training, such as talking with graduate students in nursing and the like.

One thing that has been great has been my two sidekicks, Amanda and Sonya. I plan to write a specific blog about each one, soon. They will not be here the whole time, and I will need to cobble together a new teaching team by July, but they helped this whole shebang get off to a good start.

the stampede

In 2011 we did not anticipate the large number of nurses who tried to register for the Big Wednesday Circus class, the one with 75 seats. it was not orderly. I met with the LNC campus chief and she reminded me that it needed to be as well put together as possible, and so I have taken steps to think out the process. it began with an announcement that the registration will take place at a coffee chop closer to the main bus lines. I have made out the forms in advance and spelled out the specific instructions on this blog and on the FB page. When people arrive they will be given a post-it note with their number on it, and we will use that to decide first-come first served. we have a registration form and they will get a receipt for the fee and fooding costs. My UH colleagues would be surprised I think, to see this level of systematic organization coming from me. i beg your pardon. I am perfectly capable!

In other news

I am enjoying things here. Yes, it’s hot and humid and there are challenges related to the infrastructure. we have driven across town a bunch of times, and there are large neighborhoods where every road has been torn up. It makes travel worse then ever. I have got to do a YouTube video of it at some point. But I love what I do, and I find the area I live in to be fascinating. I am on the edge of Kumaripati, a sort of large neighborhood with no main thoroughfare, just a maze of one-car-width alleyways that has a vibrant Buddhist culture and street life. I estimated that two-hundred thousand people are living in Kumaripati, but then I look on Wikipedia and there are far less. It’s the density of street life, that makes it seem denser than Brooklyn, maybe denser than Manhattan even. This is what the Lower East Side would have been like in 1910. It  is not in the guide books. maybe it should be. maybe I should write the guide book. But any such guide book  would be full of simple scenes of people just leading their lives in a different way than Americans. Maybe I don’t want you to discover it.

In it’s own way, my summer is like those of the more hoytie-toytie folks who rent a villa in Provence. My flat is a kind of penthouse. The town has a history going back 2,500 years.

In the evenings I hear kids playing cricket in the nearby paved alleyway; in the morning there is a dawn chorus ( it is spring) and there is a young lady who begins her day with singing Buddhist devotional music. She has a beautiful voice. I feel happy to wake up to her singing hymns around dawn.. I really do. I don’t think I will ever figure out which flat she lives in , let alone meet her. But every day I wish her well.

Okay well it’s not perfect – I was having a bout of diarrhea but I am now taking cipro and it is much better.

i now have fifteen of my seventeen batches scheduled. I may reach my goal. On the trail of the five hundred.

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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