I have finished packing and now am waiting and trying to rest before they long journey ahead.
What a whirlwind it has been preparing for this trip. In just over 1 weeks time I made the decision to go and now will soon be on my way. I am overwhelmed by the amount of support Midwife Pilgrim has received in donations of supplies and funds to assist with this project. It feels like a good start for our long term goals ahead.
I have a feeling I will arrive in Kathmandu Monday evening (early Monday afternoon EST) and not only will I be exhausted, but I will be wondering if I am really there at all. The last time I was in Kathmandu it was like an oasis after the hustle and bustle of parts of India. I worry that the changes that have occurred since the earthquakes will be emotionally devastating - to see a city I grew to love so well, suffer so right now.
This trip is more than helping assist with the midwifery needs of the country during this difficult time. It will also help Midwife Pilgrim make connections, learn first hand the reality of disaster relief, and assess to see how we can be involved in the future. Already midwives have been asking about traveling there to help so this feels like a scouting mission as well. I have no idea where I will be working or what my role will be. I may be based solely in Kathmandu or I may head out to the villages. I may be assisting women in their births, or I may be doing prenatals/postpartums or reproductive health. I love all the work I do so no matter what I end up doing it will be rewarding for me.
I will also get to spend time with our Nepali son, Dhindup Tsering, who I haven't seen since he was a small boy in his village. His parents too will be coming to visit and I am looking forward to seeing them all and rekindling our friendship. When the earthquake hit we had no news for over a week and were relieved to hear they were all safe - they had lost everything, but were alive and unharmed. We hope that soon Dhindup can come visit us in Vermont for a time and get to know his brothers here in person instead of via Facebook and letters. So, while this trip is clearly about doing the work that needs to be done for the women of Nepal, it also will be a personal trip for me as well for a small part of it.
Tonight fireworks and then I am off in the wee hours of the morning. I will check in whenever I can.