Dr. Sr. Stephina FCC
On 7th of May 2015 a team of 15 members started from Camillian Provincialate Bangalore to Nepal under the guidance blessings and prayers of Camillian fathers. I was very relaxed and thrilled because it was the realization of one of my unfulfilled dreams to reach out for a disaster management. Of course I was not aware of what was awaiting expect the place would be rural and we might have to walk some distance. After reaching Kathmandu, we spent the night at Kamal Nivas Jesuit House where we were given a large hall. The next day we travelled towards northeast where the districts were badly affected. Reached in Gorkha District at St. Mary’s School, spent another night there and the sisters had given all the instructions, helps and moral supports. Bro. Madhu, a zealous Camillian and Mr. Royce Abraham, an engineer full of enthusiasm who went ahead of us, had planned everything for the medical camps.
We started the real journey in two groups in the villages allotted to us namely Manbu and Kashigav in two vehicles. In the evening the vehicles reached at Soti by 5.30 P.M. We slept on the floor of a hotel and in the courtyard with sleeping bags. Early morning at 5.00 A.M we started walking towards Manbu Village. It was really tiring, as the way was narrow and steep. Though we had some provisions of glucose packets, biscuits and water, it was nothing for a team of 20 members including the guides. The first two – three hours were enthusiastic and I felt proud and grateful to God for this wonderful chance He prepared. Slowly I felt tired and suffered from strong muscle cramps which hindered my walking. I had mixed feelings that I would be giving trouble to the whole group. I prayed earnestly and I could feel the strength of it in each and every step I took. Of course my team members, specially Frs. Shiju, Teji and Mr. Royce were always at my help in holding my hand, pulling me up and caring patiently all throughout. After 7hours of walk I just felt miserable and helpless that I stretched out myself under the shade of a tree. I was feeling hungry, thirsty, strength less and helpless. But then it rained heavily, and the situation made me alert. So we started to climb another hill and I made up my mind to reach the destination at any cost. By 6.00 P.M we reached Manbu about 7000 feet high above the Sea level. Slept in tents prepared. It was a blessing that we had good water resources.
Nepal has 75 Districts of which 14 are fully destroyed and Caritas Nepal was entrusted 7 districts among which we focused on Gorkha District. In 5 locations of this district we conducted medical camps and we treated about 2000 patients. 20 percent were disaster related cases like contusion, abscess, wounds due to fall, disturbed sleep due to shock, and 80 percent were general cases some indirectly related to disaster. The people are very tolerant, many illiterate and not keen on health issues but worried about their basic needs like food and shelter.
I believe that natural calamities shake our human nature. I was astonished the way the people tolerated pain and illness in the medical camps. At times we lacked materials to treat a few patients with cuts and I had to stitch without local anesthesia as we had no such provisions in the 1st camp. Later we were more equipped in giving them necessary treatments including i.v fluids, antibiotic injections etc… A woman of 23 years old, with her 3 days old new born baby attended our camp after two hours of walk from a hill, and she came for three consecutive days to drain her breast abscess . The smile on her innocent face still enlightens my heart. The children have no schools, no place to play, nothing to eat they wander in the hills eat fruits from the wilderness, drink water and play with stones and mud, still they are happy. While we were preparing food near the tent, the children used to bring firewood for us .The army men were also very helpful. They were placed in many villages. They provided us with rice and vegetables and they were very helpful in the medical camp. Away from home, the young army men were nostalgic and anxious. Three days were spent in distributing shelter and blankets, and in preparing the family kits in the Caritas Nepal god owns. The team work was very much appreciated by Caritas Nepal.
When we parted from Nepal we did feel the strength of the bond we created during these adventurous days.
Download the PDF, n.2 Year 2015