Thursday, 12 September 2013

Thursday in Nepal: a day of strikes and signatures

Ruth and Tracy, UK Midwife Volunteers, helping to prepare 300 delegate bags for Nepal's first midwifery conference, being held this weekend and supported by our project.

Me signing three hundred conference certificates of attendance!

Today there was a national strike to protest about the increase in fuel prices.  It was eerily quiet on the roads; no vehicles except emergency services, and very few motorbikes.  Our hotel is on a main road so breakfast seemed so peaceful compared to the usual cacophony of horns, whistles and trucks. No taxis or buses were running so we had a lovely walk to the Midwifery Society Office, about 30 minutes away from the hotel.  It was all hands on deck to prepare for the conference - finishing the programme, signing all the certificates, packing all the delegate bags, and writing speeches.  The MIDSON staff also had a small welcome ceremony for Gillian and I, presenting us with beautiful scarves, a folder of information, and an apple for good luck!  They bought us Momos (savoury dumplings with a spicy sauce) then shortly afterwards also gave us each a takeaway lunch box which was enormous - rice, curries, dahl, spinach, poppadums, chutney, yogurt...   Couldn't possibly eat it all but thankfully the Ruth and Tracy (UK midwife volunteers) arrived back from the maternity hospital in time to help us out!

I had time for a short chat with the Kiran Bajracharya, president of MIDSON, planning the rest of our 10 day visit here and making sure that we set enough sufficient time for everything that needs to be done. 

Tomorrow morning we will go to Tribhuvan University to observe a 'Saving Mother's Lives' workshop on Post Partum Haemorrhage being run by UNFPA before the 2 day midwifery conference starts on Saturday.  The conference is at The Shanker Hotel so we are moving there tomorrow to stay for the rest of our time in Nepal.  I have just looked at the website and realised that we're definitely going up in the world http://www.shankerhotel.com.np/.  This is certainly not the project's usual style but I will enjoy it whilst it lasts!

Still writing speeches and planning evaluation tools so time to sign off for today.  Thanks for following the Blog and lending your support.

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