Opening video from Dr. Beels: The challenges of traffic in Kathmandu.
Take home message: the streets are very crowded, and traffic laws are more like traffic suggestions. Recommendations: cross with a group, maintain eye-contact with drivers, and never move backwards.
What to bring to Nepal interim:
- Up to 50 pounds on Turkish Airlines. Try to bring things that are light and collapsible.
- Students should take only 1 checked suitcase (60”); this is easiest to carry around. Pack light and little, to leave room for hospital equipment.
- There will be laundry in Tansen, but it may take a few days to complete.
- WARM CLOTHING is a must. Layering is important. Down jackets are recommended.
- Close-toed shoes are good for warmth, preferably ones that are easy to slip on/off. Slippers are also recommended.
- A small day pack/purse is highly recommended.
- For sun protection, bring adventure hats, sunscreen (zinc-based), sunglasses, water bottle (can fill with UV-purified water), light hiking shoes, socks (wool recommended), and a headlamp (petzel or black diamond recommended).
- Odds and ends: Bible, paper/pen, possibly computer/phone along with charger, converter plug, Kleenex (not available in Nepal)/bandanna, Iodine tincture, sleeping bag (possible, can rent, for around 30 degree weather), pillow (if needed), camera, safe place to carry passport/money (essential to prevent pick pocketing), musical instruments (to lead devotions/worship), small gifts related to Calvin (like t-shirts, Michigan calendar) and giveaways, small hand sanitizer, small face/hand towels, feminine hygiene products.
What not to bring
- Non-essential medications; Nepal medications can be cheaper than U.S., however there is a blockade which prevents some inflow of supplies to Nepal.
- Expensive jewelry.
- Toilet paper—widely available across Nepal.
- Large shampoo and soap-can buy locally or bring small hand sanitizer.
- Alcohol (for consumption). Drinking is highly frowned upon by the Nepali Christian Church. No alcohol may be consumed during the trip, especially in Tansen.
- Towels—they are usually available.
- Bring around 2 pairs of pants, 4-5 shirts, undergarments.
- Packing list was provided by Prof. Sinniah; he will later provide strategies for managing jet lag.
- Grace volunteered to be a clothing consultant.
- When on the ward, jeans are not permitted. In the hospital, women are dress very modestly.
- There may be snow—be prepared.
- Nepali medication is sold at pharmacy without prescription.
- There are a 500 steps that we will need to climb in Tansen. The mountainous terrain requires a large amount of climbing when walking.
- To counteract jet lag, we are flying eastward, so shift bedtime 1-2 hours early, Prof. Sinniah will supply melatonin.
- To purchase trinkets, souvenirs, don’t use credit cards (they don’t work in Nepal). Bring US dollars. Recommended to bring cash–$100-200 dollars, clean and unmarked bills, to exchange in the airport. There are a few ATMs in Kathmandu, Tansen and Pokhara, but they are not guaranteed to work.
- Dressing for church is fairly casual.
For students to do (later):
Online visa program needs to be completed within 15 days of departure, money will be handled by Calvin, digital picture-homemade attached to an email, but also get a hard copy of the photo. Address is on the packing handout.
Notes on Current Nepali Situation
Borders are closed, limiting supplies entrance to Nepal. New constitution, issue of ethnic division, and India-Nepal conflicts, all contribute to issues of instability in the country. Country has not collapsed, but there is limitations within the country. Please keep this in prayer. Recommendation from Dr. Beels: Pray regularly and diligently.