Garden of Dreams: a Retreat in the City

March 3, 2015

 

 

After a light morning rain, the skies opened up, and we were able to enjoy our first blue-sky day in Kathmandu.  The morning was taking up learning a new skill: emergency dental extraction!  Not something docs do in the US very frequently, because we send patients off to dentists, but in the Khumbu, it may be necessary to extract a tooth from a local who has been suffering from dental pain.  The description and practice on models makes it look remarkably easy, but we’ll see what happens when and if I get the opportunity to practice my “mad doctor” dentistry skills.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After dental training, we travelled back to the Himalayan Rescue Association headquarters to meet with staff regarding clinic procedures, rationing, and equipment.  It looks like there will be plenty of Tang, in 3 different varieties.  If it’s good enough for the Astronauts….

I was also able to coordinate delivery on the 150 spirometry turbines that I missed being able to pick up in Salt Lake because the guy at FedEx gave me bad advice, and they were delivered 3 hours after I had to leave for the airport.  It just required meeting with an “importer / exporter” and paying an additional “import tax”.  Thankfully these small, and by now very expensive, cardboard tubes are now safely in my possession!

As a shout out, Stephen Kreuer from Medical Equipment Resource, Inc. in DeWitt, Michigan has been extraordinarily helpful in getting these tubes to me, and I would highly recommend anyone else wanting to buy a pulmonary spirometer to work with this guy.  It’ll be a popular item this Christmas, I predict!

With a few hours left before language class, I went to the “Garden of Dreams”, which is a restored neo-Classical garden built in 1920, and restored in 1996.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The garden had a small 200 rupee entrance fee, which presumably helps keep the facilities up.  It is an incredibly peaceful and relaxing place located at the intersection of two incredibly busy streets in the Thamel district of Kathmandu.  But once inside, you are transported back a century and time seems to stand still.

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Gardens and ponds are interspersed along the site, which also has an Amphitheater and three Pavilions.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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The site was obviously a popular place for couples to go within the city to relax and enjoy each other’s company.  The air was cleaner and had the fragrance of flowers, again amazing considering the amount of traffic just outside the Garden’s walls.

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The Garden was originally built by field Marshall Kaiser Sumsher Rana, and was donated to the Nepali government upon his death, after which time it went into disrepair.  From 2000 to 2007, with help from the Austrian government, the site was renewed, and is now restored to its original opulence, with modern updates.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne such update is the Kaiser Cafe, a wonderful little restaurant on the grounds.  While expensive for Kathmandu, prices ranged from 600-1500 rupees (again, approximately $6-$15 USD), the meal I had cost approximately $13 after VAT tax and tip, and was quite enjoyable.

 

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