Jon Crispin's Notebook

Dogs / Thanks / Home

Posted in Animals, Dogs, Jon Crispin, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 05/06/2017

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I walked Cris to the World Ed office every morning, and back to the hotel at the end of the day.  Kathmandu has a lot of street dogs, most of whom don’t seem attached to any particular person, although the ones we  regularly saw were in the same areas every day.  You would never want to try to pet them, and they mostly ignore you anyway.  We got used to seeing this pup twice a day near a shop, and she was one of the few leashed dogs that we encountered.  She clearly belonged to someone who cared for her.

Thanks to everyone who passed along good wishes in regards to my eye thing.  I really appreciate it.  We are home now and I see my retina guy tomorrow morning; I am really eager to see what he has to say.  The huge black blob is beginning to resolve a bit, which is encouraging.

More suitcase uploads coming soon.  Thanks for following.

Back in Nepal / Eye

Posted in Institutions, Jon Crispin, Medicine, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 31/05/2017

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Cris and I are back in Nepal where she continues her work on the UNICEF funded early grade reading project through World Education.

It has been an interesting trip.  I developed a problem with my right eye when I landed in Dubai, and by the time I got to Kathmandu last Tuesday evening it was clear that something was really wrong.  Cris took me directly to CIWEC travel medicine clinic where they set me up with an ophthalmologist early the next morning (Wednesday).  Dr.  Meenu is a cornea expert, but she wanted me to see the retina guy at the Triphuvan Teaching Hospital. She immediately put me in her car and drove me there.  Dr Pratap examined me and saw two spots on my retina that were torn and bleeding.  He immediately took me into the laser room and repaired as much of the damage as he could.  I saw him this past Monday for a follow-up and he was really happy with the results.  Since this whole thing started I have had huge black floaters in the middle of my right (shooting) eye, but they should begin to resolve in the next few months.  It was all a bit unsettling, and I am so grateful to Dr. Pratap for caring for me.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

Here he is on the left with some of his students.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

And with a patient.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

I learned pretty quickly that Nepal has a great reputation for eye treatment in the developing world.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

Dr. Pratap’s notes.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

Here’s the clinic.  Officially the B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies.  Note the  word “Lions” in the name.  The Lions Club is famous for it’s support around eye issues, but I had no idea their reach extended as far as Nepal.

I debated with myself a long time about posting this.  Blogs like this are by definition self serving and ego based, but I have always tried to steer away from having it be about me, per se.  But weird things can happen when one travels, and I wanted to share my good fortune in getting such prompt and excellent treatment, and to give thanks to all the people here who have helped me.  Cris has been a brick through this whole thing and so patient with my worries.  I also really want to thank Peggy Ross for getting on the phone and setting up an appointment with my ophthalmologist in Springfield soon after I get back to the States.  Her skills at getting through bureaucratic systems are unmatched.

Sanphebagar Schools / Nepal

Posted in public transport, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 02/08/2016

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I have been all over the place this summer and posting here has been irregular.  Nepal was a while ago and I still have photos to share, but it is difficult for me to play “catch-up”.  I like being able to post immediately and when I put it off, I often lose interest.  But I do want to share some of this.

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Our second full day in the Western Hills started in Sanphebagar.  We visited two different schools and it was amazing.

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There are two types of education in Nepal; public and private.  Kids who go to the public schools wear blue uniforms.

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This  young fellow is at the Khaparmandu Primary School (Sanphe municipality-2, Goyal Pani, Achham).

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I often had to quietly enter the classrooms because the kids were very interested in my presence.  I didn’t want to disrupt the lessons, but there was always at least one kid who wanted to see what I was up to.

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They eventually got used to me though.  This little girl was especially connected to what was going on in the classroom.  She was really paying attention to the teacher and seemed to have an answer to any question that was posed.

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Males in Nepal often have a comfortable physical association with each other.  It is really nice to see this kind of connection.

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I like this photo of the bus.  It doesn’t really fit into the narrative, but here it is anyway.

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The second school we visited was the Saraswoti Lower Secondary School (Sanphe Municipality-2 Loli, Achham).

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The classrooms are only illuminated by window and door light, and it is amazing what digital cameras can record in such low light.  This is a pretty typical room with fabric covering a dirt floor.

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Everyone leaves their shoes outside.

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The classes featured a bit of participation by the kids.  Often, one child would come up to the front of the room and be asked to recite a lesson.

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The kids were so sweet.  As I noted earlier, they were very interested in us, and quite open. It is likely that they haven’t seen any Westerners at their school before.  Sanphebagar isn’t particularly on any trekking route, and especially during the recent Maoist uprising there wasn’t much contact with outsiders.

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The monsoon began in earnest as we were heading back to Dhangadhi.  Driving is always interesting in Nepal, and in these conditions was quite thrilling.

There will be one last post on the trip, which I hope to get up soon.  I spent a day in Sindhupalchowk, which was devastated in last year’s earthquake.  There are some very interesting projects there that World Education Nepal is supporting and I am eager to share them here.

Thanks for following.

Pourakhi Nepal

Posted in Community, Health, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 22/06/2016

Since my last post, I have been busy shooting, and  just got back from 5 days in Achham District (more on that later).  I didn’t have my computer with me out there, and as we just got back late last night, I am only now getting to an update.

Nepal / Various Pourakhi projects

I am really grateful to the folks at World Education Nepal who connected me with a wonderful organization called Pouraki who are doing  work with Nepali women who have been exploited and abused as workers in foreign countries.  I spent some time on Thursday photographing at the shelter for women who have managed to return to Nepal after suffering serious abuse abroad.  Most of these women arrive at the Kathmandu airport late at night with nothing more that a small carry-on, and many of them have only temporary travel documents.  This woman did manage to still have her passport, but not much else.  Pourakhi have people meeting these late flights who screen for women who are in an obvious state of distress.  They are then taken to the shelter where they receive attention relating to their physical and mental health.

Nepal / Various Pourakhi projects

In addition, once they are settled, the women are given vocational training which helps them get back on their feet and eventually return to their families, if that is possible.  Because of the nature of the shelter, and the stigma that is attached to this issue, I can’t publish faces of any of the women, but the shelter is totally amazing and I am so grateful to have been made to feel so welcome.

Nepal / Various Pourakhi projects, Temporary Housing camp at Chuchepati

After the shelter, Shanti Thapa Magar who works for World Ed took me to a temporary housing camp in the Chuchepati area of Kathmandu.  It is basically a tent city in the middle of a large open area. Pourakhi is running SEEP classes for the residents.  The Self Employment Education Program helps those who have been displaced by the recent earthquake.  We dropped in on a math class, and this fellow was really happy to have a bit of an audience.

Nepal / Various Pourakhi projects, Temporary Housing camp at Chuchepati

Here’s the class, who were nice enough to take a break and come out for a group shot.

Nepal / Various Pourakhi projects, Temporary Housing camp at Chuchepati

After we left the SEEP class, Shanti took me around the camp and introduced me to several  residents.

Nepal / Various Pourakhi projects, Temporary Housing camp at Chuchepati

I was amazing how open people are in the camp.

Nepal / Various Pourakhi projects, Temporary Housing camp at Chuchepati

People were curious about seeing me walking around with a camera, but were so nice to chat with.

Nepal / Various Pourakhi projects, Temporary Housing camp at Chuchepati

Here is Dhalak Kumari Dotel with her grandchild, standing outside of her family’s tent.

Nepal / Various Pourakhi projects, Temporary Housing camp at Chuchepati

And here they are inside where they live with her son and daughter-in-law.

Nepal / Various Pourakhi projects, Temporary Housing camp at Chuchepati

Here is Shova Khadka sitting outside of her tent working with wool. /  A vast number of Nepalis lived in villages that were more or less destroyed in the earthquake, and many of them are now living in these temporary camps in Kathmandu.  The day after I shot these photos, I went to another camp in a different part of town.  I hope to get a post up about that visit by Friday.  Tomorrow, Shanti and I and another World Education staffer are off to Sindhupalchowk to photograph an area where over 95% of the houses were destroyed by the quake.

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