My First Day — Volunteer experience in Nepal

Isabel Scharrer, CC BY-SA 4.0

(by Isabel Scharrer)

Since I went to sleep quite early last night, I wake up at around 6 and start my day with some jogging, running in circles around the football field in front of my room. The sun is not even fully up but it is already very humid and after only a few minutes I am sweating.

After my workout I enjoy a cold and refreshing shower, put on my scrubs which I brought from home and go to have breakfast. As I am late, all the Roti (also called Chapati, flat Nepalese bread) is finished already and I get offered normal bread. This happens only rarely here in Nepal as most people eat only Chapati and don’t know how to make western bread. While enjoying my breakfast, I continuously hear the word Didi being directed towards our cooking lady and, because I don’t know what this means, I assume it is her name and start calling her Didi too.

Just after breakfast, at 9, all the hospital staff come together for the morning meeting. All the nurses are dressed in white, wearing the traditional loose Aladdin pants and everyone else is wearing blue-greyish dresses. It comes as a surprise to me but, before talking about the previous night and the health of the patients, we start the day with singing and guitar playing — followed by prayers and reading verses from the Bible.

I notice that many patients start to come closer to the room to witness this beautiful ceremony from close up, standing outside the door or looking through the window. The whole room is lightening up with this extreme positive energy, which is spreading outside, throughout all the hospital — it is almost magical. I simply love it and believe that this is a great way to start the day. After the shift handover, we get introduced to the team and everyone welcomes us with a big and heart-warming smile.

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