The doctors made me feel a part of the team
The doctors made me feel a part of the team

“Waking up and sitting on a balcony, sipping my first cup of chai for the day, looking out into the beautiful lush green valley and mountains that surround the small village of Okhaldhunga. Watching the mist and cloud, typical of the wet season, lift as the day begins. This is one of the memories of my time doing placement at OCH that I think back on often.

I was lucky enough in my final year of studies to spend a 5-week placement in Nepal, and was put in touch with UMN to organise a placement at Okhaldhunga Community Hospital (OCH). Okhaldhunga is a small town, about 8 hours jeep drive from Kathmandu. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, both within the hospital and outside the hospital.

Outside of the hospital, the people of Okhaldhunga were so welcoming and friendly. I was always greeted with a smile in the mornings, I enjoyed going to the markets to test my limited Nepali and buy some fresh fruit and veg for the week, and I felt very welcomed worshiping amongst Nepali brothers and sisters in Christ during fellowship times. During days off, I braved the wet and leeches of the wet season to explore small walks and trails amidst the rice patties and houses around the village. I loved learning more about the culture and diversity of the Nepali peoples I met, and I always looked forward to the delicious food that I still crave since returning to my home country!

My time in the hospital was equally as interesting. I was able to see a variety of conditions and cases due to the range of services that OCH provides to such a large area of rural Nepal. This included time in paediatrics, maternity, medical and surgical wards, theatres, the emergency department and the outpatients clinics. It was enlightening to experience firsthand not only the challenges faced for healthcare in Nepal, but in a rural area of Nepal where resources and funding are even more limited. The doctors of the hospital quickly made me feel a part of the team, and I was often invited to share meals and tea with them during our breaks.

Overall, I thoroughly recommend my time at OCH, and only wish I could have spent more time there!”

Rachel DavisonNationality: Australian
Date of placement: August 2023
Location: Okhaldhunga

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