Erin's Global Health Update: Part 5
Below are excerpts from a letter to my friends and family:
This little email group, more than 200 people now, means a lot to me and has given me so much support over the last several years. You are my family, friends, colleagues, and advisors and none of this could have happened without you.
I'm going back to Nepal this summer! This time I'll have just over a month and am bringing a fabulous crew of volunteers with me. We've got one naturopathic doctor, a deaf educator, a registered nurse, 2 naturopathic students, a nursing student and an international relations student. They'll be with me for 10 days, most of which will be spent in Karmidanda. We'll be joining two other Americans there - Ash, my partner in this project, and another dear friend of ours. That makes 10 of us - look out Karmidanda! Our primary objective is to educate, with the idea to introduce to the village the principles that will be foundational for the work I hope to bring there in the future. We'll see how they recieve it.
My goals for this trip:
1. Learn a lot. And collect as much data as possible to help guide the development of this project.
2. Remind them that effective medicine doesn't have to come in a pill. They used natural medicine for all time until the recent influx of foreign aid.
3. Plant some literal and figurative seeds for the future.
4. Strengthen existing partnerships and build new connections.
5. Engage a larger group of locals in this work.
6. So much more.
Since I returned last summer I've been slowly putting into motion different organizational aspects of this project. For one, I built a killer board of directors and began the long process of starting a non-profit organization (NPO), “Share Nepal Foundation”. But for the time being, I've stopped starting it. A 501-c3 NPO is necessary for me for two primary reasons - getting American dollars and having my student loans forgiven. I came to realize that if this is REALLY gonna be sustainble, I can't just build the thing here in America and give it to them. I've talked it and thought it inside and out and for now have come to conclude that that just won't work. They can do it, and I'll help them however I can.
Oh, evolution. Its a long and difficult process. Thank goodness it's one of my favorite things to do.
I'm also just wrapping up my third year of medical school, and feeling great about it. I passed my basic science boards in February and am finally dipping my toes into the clinic. My education from here on is nearly all treatment based, I have fabulous teachers, an amazing cohort, and I couldn't be happier.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for being there for me and the people in Karmidanda in just the perfect way you are. Also, don't forget that you know lots of things I don't. I'm always open to your advice, guidance and constructive criticism.