I picked Nepal as my placement site because it has a reputation for being laid back and friendly with great scenery. I specifically picked Pokhara as I am not too sold on big cities like Kathmandu and the pictures of Pokhara with its mountain backdrop looked amazing and it didn’t disappoint! (Although this being the rainy and cloudy season we only saw the odd morning glimpse-but so worth it).
I was in the first group of post-earthquake (only two of us) so there was a fair bit of backwards and forwards communication, we only found out we could definitely come a week beforehand! That said the UK head office kept me well informed and were helpful with any enquiries made.
I got the tourist bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara (well worth it if you want to save money and gaze at very pleasant scenery) and was promptly met by Karuna and brought straight to the house, the house is lovely-big, clean, light and relaxed. The food that night was amazing! Dherai dherai mitho chha! And the quality never lessened. The breakfasts were varied and filling and the dinners had so much food you had to try, you over-eat at every meal. The city and hospital orientation were good. We were shown how and where to get the bus to the hospital, shown around the hospital and introduced to key people and shown useful places around the city.
Placement at the Hospital in the radiography department was good. I had a slow start, but once you get used to the new environment and new people you start enjoying it more-just like placement at home! I spent time in CT, MRI, Ultrasound and X-ray. In the first three differences with the UK were slight- hand injections, a general lack of cleanliness/infection control and no manual handling. However in x-ray it was quite different. Some positions varied but most were the same, but radiation protection was virtually non existent. X-rays were constantly taken with multiple patients and family in the room with the doors open. Once the shock wears off and you get used to it they are pretty good at letting you have a go. (And I tried to shut the door when possible!) The level of English in general x-ray was low but they were really friendly. Elsewhere it was good. The doctors and radiologists were usually willing to explain things.
There is opportunity to see other things if you seek it out. I went to radiotherapy for a morning, something I could not do at home. You have to be fairly pro-active as people don’t usually suggest you to do things, but are usually happy for you to do them.
Free time is spent relaxing in cafes on lakeside or sitting on a bench gazing at the scenery. There are lots of short walks with great views nearby the house. Then there are longer hikes and countless activities to do in the nearby country. I did paragliding which was amazing. There was also rafting, canyoning, bungee jumping and the world’s longest zip wire (apparently). The only thing limiting you is your budget!
All of the staffs are amazing, Deepak and Binu cook amazing food, Padma keeps the house super clean and is always here if there are problems and Karuna is great if you have any questions about anything else. Not forgetting the ever present and friendly guards. You are very well looked after here!