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Greetings from Chapagaon!

Jennie Treating Monk with MoxaWe are winding down our first week working in the clinic and have a few highlights to report.  Our team has come together nicely and we are having a good time together.  We had a lot of ideas of how we thought things were going to go but every day has been slightly different so we adapt to what comes up.   This week has been a bit of a wild ride because we are short on interpreters.  For a few days all of us were in one room with all of our patients (plus a few observers).   We had to share one interpreter, Satya Mohan, who was blessedly patient.  Amazingly, it worked but now we have two interpreters as one of the nuns from last year has graced us with her presence.  The past couple of days we have spread out over two rooms so in comparison it seems quiet.  We’ve now had a chance to see some of the patients a few times this week and are starting to get to know our clinic community.  A few of the patients are quite rowdy and like to tease us.  We are learning a lot and already feel like we are honing our skills to better meet our patients needs.  It takes awhile to establish a rapport with patients but as the week progresses we are getting to know each other which makes each treatment stronger.

Nikole treting in Nepal ClinicOn the home front (which is right upstairs from the clinic), we have a full house.  There are the four of us, Andrew, Nicky the clinic director, Joel from the gompa (monastery) next door, the two nuns Ani Yangchen, and Kolpana as well as rotating sick monks.  A couple of the monks from next door have had the flu so we quarantined them to a downstairs room so that we didn’t end up with a monastery full of sick boys.  The highlight of the week has been the moxa and herbs for rest of the boys.  We line them up to give them moxa on four points for the immune system.  They mostly tolerate us and do a lot of whispering and giggling as we go around.  If only we knew what they were saying.  It is quite the production.  

Allyndreth Taking a Pulse in Chapagon The food is fantastic as we have our own cook.  We even had cake for breakfast the other day.  Nikole’s birthday was on Wednesday so we surprised her with a banana and fig cake that Nicky made in the rice cooker.  It didn’t turn out like we planned so it wasn’t ready that night but with the time difference technically Nikole had her birthday for a day and a half.  You can justify anything if you try hard enough.  

Overall things are shaping up and we are starting to get the hang of it.  We are not as busy as last year yet (probably due to harvest) but this is merciful as we are getting up to speed ourselves.  All of us are learning a few key Nepali words and can now head bobble with the best of them. Tonight, we are treating ourselves to a night in Kathmandu with the B Team women, Sarah and Jackie who have arrived early to trek. 

Heidi Treating Monks in Nepal

Clinic Team is Ready for Action


Nikole Maxey, Heidi Stoeckl, Jennie King, Andrew Schlabach and Allyndreth Stead arrived in Nepal Sept 28th having successfully transported over 500 lbs. of clinic supplies and equipment half way around the planet.  We have spent the last week adjusting to the local time (about a 12 hour time difference), sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley, setting up our clinic facility in Chapagaon and conducting some team training. It has been very exciting to be back in Chapagaon and seeing many familiar faces in the village. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the clinic team this week and getting to know each of these gifted practitioners. I could not have hoped to bring a more delightful, insightful and hard working group to Nepal. I know they are going to be doing some great work here. The team begins clinic operations tomorrow (Oct 4th).

Practitioners Leave for Nepal this Saturday!

We are busy checking last minute arrangements and packing our bags for Nepal. Team A leaves Saturday September 26th and our clinic in Chapagaon will begin treating patients again on October 4th. Please stay tuned for updates and stories of our progress. In the meantime please enjoy this short "kick off" documentary. If you appreciate the work we are doing please forward this video to your colleagues, friends and family. Please ask them to sign up for our news blog at http://www.acupuncturereliefproject.org

Seattle Community Clinic

Andrew Diane at Seattle MarriotAcupuncture Relief Project practitioners Diane Wintzer and Andrew Schlabach had a great time treating patients at the Marriot Residence Inn on Lake Union in Seattle. During this one day clinic, Friday Aug 14th, we treated about 40 people (many recieving their first acupuncture expereince) and showed slides of our 2008 Nepal clinic. Our location was fantastic and we had the chance to speak with many people from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance about our project in Nepal. We also were able to refer several patients to local community acupuncture clinics in the Seattle area.

In the Portland area, if you are interested in finding out more about our Nepal project or would like to recieve a free acupuncture treatment, please attend our FREE COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC, Wednesday August 19th, 6 - 8 PM, HealthWerks Acupuncture Clinic / Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic, 16508 SE 24th Street, Suite 105, Vancouver WA 98661

We look forward to seeing you there.

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