NEPAL: (cont.) More violence and killing by the Maoists in Nepal. We were also following the newspaper reports from India regarding the increased murders and torchings right where we had been just hours before.
Sunday morning Anna Marie and I spent some quiet time together in devotions at the Summit Hotel. Our verandah looked north toward the majestic Himalayan mountain range. I tried to point out to her where I had been at the village camps near the foot of the great Mt. Everest and also on a map where I had crossed over the scary summits of the Himalayas when I traveled from India’s Kulu Valley over into Tibet.
At 10 a.m. Anna Marie and I arrived at the Patan Hospital to perform Project C.U.R.E.’s needs assessment study. Their little “palace hospital” had grown up to be a full-fledged 300 bed facility with eight specialty teams in surgery, pediatrics, medicine, OB-GYN, ICU-anesthesia, outpatient/trauma, orthopedics, dentistry, radiology, and pathology.
There were other hospitals in Kathmandu, but Patan Hospital had earned a splendid reputation and was doing some great medical work. Last year they had treated 266,000 outpatients, 33,000 emergency cases, 20,000 dental patients, and cared for 17,000 inpatients. I told the CEO, B.B. Khawas, and other staff members just how very proud Project C.U.R.E. was to be considering working alongside the Patan Hospital.
The way Project C.U.R.E. had become involved with the Kathmandu project was so very typical of how we became involved in projects all over the world. We never advertised and we never went where we had not been invited. Now, that still meant that the word had to get out some way.
In the Nepal case, a wonderful couple, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Hecht who lived in Denver, had been introduced to the Patan Hospital and traveled to Kathmandu to visit. Montview Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado, had gotten excited about the work of the hospital and raised $160,000, which they sent to Nepal for Patan Hospital to build a pediatric department. Even the women of the church got busy and quilted blankets to be sent.
It just so happens … Jim Hecht was a good friend of my good friend, Jim Peters, with whom I traveled to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Project C.U.R.E. pumped about $500,000 in medical goods into Yugoslavia and Serbia. You are smart enough to figure out “the rest of the story.”
The Patan Hospital was a natural for Project C.U.R.E.’s involvement. I went away from the needs assessment really excited about what could be done in the future to help 22 million Nepalese in the only country in the world that considered itself an official Hindu state. We pledged together that we would start immediately to work on the possibilities of getting Project C.U.R.E. involved with the Patan Hospital on a long-term basis. Anything that Project C.U.R.E. would put into the Patan project would pay great dividends both now and forever more.
Monday, March 25
Anna Marie and I were both exhausted. I needed some time to complete all the paperwork that had resulted from the days in India and Nepal. Monday morning was spent trying to catch up.
That evening we took Dr. Zimmerman and Deirdre out to dinner in Kathmandu. There we heard the story of how she was born and raised in Ireland and eventually had decided to go to Africa on a mission. But providence dictated otherwise and she ended up going to the Patan Hospital as their dietitian. Of course, she met this handsome young doctor from the US who was the medical director at the Patan Hospital. He got a taste for the dietitian, and she figured the union would make for a well-balanced program, so they got hitched. It was a beautiful love story.
Tuesday/Wednesday, March 26, 27
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent traveling back home. Our trip had taken us completely around the world from Denver to Frankfurt to India to Nepal, to Bangkok, to Tokyo, to Seattle, and finally to Denver and Evergreen. As you know, we had the privilege of living March 27 twice on our way home. But sometimes you need that when you are slow learners and need another day to play catch-up!
Having Anna Marie on the trip had been as wonderful as I had imagined it would be. She was such a trooper and every day God had allowed me to be with her made me appreciate all the more every single day of the past 42 years that we had been married. Faithfully following God was paying great dividends and as everyone in the world with half a brain and one eye would know, we certainly did live a privileged life.
Next Week: Project C.U.R.E. never goes anywhere unless invited.
© Dr. James W. Jackson
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