Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Updated: Jan 8, 2019

I flew back to Kathmandu the same day I was discharged from the hospital. Flying out of Biratnagar felt like a huge weight was lifted off my chest. I stayed with the family of someone who worked for my fellowship and a friend in the same fellowship as me, Caroline in Kathmandu. When I arrived at the airport I was welcomed by Caroline who carried my bag and arranged for a taxi to take us to our host families’ home. These wonderful people along with other fellows staying in Kathmandu, Lara, and Komal, who came to visit, helped me heal mentally and physically! My host mother’s food played a big role in my healing process! She made delicious meals for me daily. I will forever be grateful for their warm hospitality!

After I settled in and rested my next decision was if I would continue my fellowship with another partnering organization in Kathmandu, Nepal or go back home to the United States. I consulted other fellows that I had made friends with and people that know me the best about my decision. In a moment of silence after eating another delicious meal cooked by my host mother (ya’ll her food would lift anybody’s spirit) something in me asked the simple question; do you trust the fellowship to send you anywhere else. My gut without hesitation said no. Although no one could control the sudden illness I experienced the ball was dropped when I was sent to work without a translator. The ball was also dropped when I initially was not able to reach anyone to handle the logistics side of my emergency. I followed my gut and decided not to continue my fellowship and return home to recover mentally and physically.

I spent a week in Kathmandu before returning home. Before exploring Kathmandu I needed to follow up with a local doctor to make sure that my incision was healing properly. It took me two days to build up the courage to go see the doctor. I was suffering from something I call stoop kid syndrome (severe anxiety). Just the thought of leaving my host’s house made me extremely fearful. Knowing that I needed to see the doctor I decided to start small and walk to the nearest bank. I expressed my struggle to my buddy Caroline and she volunteered to accompany me to the bank 6 minutes away from the house. The walk helped me get over my fear. The next day I decided to go to the doctor. My host sister volunteered to take me on her moped. At first, I was very nervous that the bumpy road would be painful. But as we weaved through the streets I felt good. Actually the best I had felt in almost a week! My experience at the doctor’s office was very comforting. The doctor confirmed that the surgery went well and that I was healing. I was also advised that I could fly back to the United States after my staples were removed (one week after my surgery). I was fighting tears of joy from the good report. I also really appreciated the quality of care I received at the facility! What a privilege and blessing it was. The only severe pain I had was from the bed soars on the heels of my feet. The result of not having anyone at the hospital to assist me in and out of bed regularly. I was advised to keep pressure off of my heels and to just let them heel.

After my doctor’s appointment, I returned to my host’s home and got ready to go shopping. The goal of my shopping adventure was to purchase a saree for a friend’s wedding taking place in the United States. My host mother and sister along with my fellowship buddies accompanied me. I said yes to the beautiful saree pictured here. This was my 'I survived' gift to myself! The rest of my time in Kathmandu I slept, handled flight change logistics, shopped in Thamal, and of course, ate! My favorite Nepali dish is Momos (dumplings). The mangos in Nepal are also out of this world good! I got my staples out the day before my flight back to the United States. The doctor gave me the all clear to fly home. It took about a day to get back to my hometown in North Carolina.

Saying goodbye to my host family.

Although I did not complete my fellowship I learned a lot especially about myself. I expected my trip to be life changing and it was! Check out my podcast pilot for more on my trip takeaways:

Quick Q&A:

  • How are you doing now? I am much better thanks to all the support and listening to my body. My surgery site has fully healed and I am back to normal activities. The heals of my feet are still painful at times but the bed sore is gone.

  • What happened to the money that was raised for my fellowship? I donated it to my fellowship. Thank you everyone that supported my campaign!

  • Will you travel again? Oh yes! Traveling is in my blood! This was the 5th continent I have been to and I have 2 more to go! My next trip will be next month.

  • Is this line of work for you? YES! One day I would like to try working in the field again! My experience showed me that this field of work needs me! 

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