TADA! The Berkeley-UCSF-UP gang has arrived, and today we had our all-team orientation to the upcoming week. Look how many of us there are!! I can’t tell you how much I love this. Some of the field staff joining us this week are from villages where our program has been closed down for a year or two and is soon to be restarting, and I haven’t seen them in a while. Seeing them walk through the door with smiles and hugs was glorious. There is nothing like watching our team leaders and technicians and clinic assistants trickling in to a hotel in Lakeside from three districts, and then sitting interspersed with international students as the expert parties on rural oral health promotion in Nepal. Just the fact of seeing all these people in one place makes my heart soar.
We’ll be running five concurrent projects this week:
- Four-day Clinical Training for JOHC technicians and clinic assistants with Dr. Bethy
- Oral health focus groups in rural areas
- Observations of schools and shopkeepers in rural areas to assess nutrition habits
- An oral-health status survey conducted by a British student joining us from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
- A promotional camp where students will do a survey on maternal and child health and nutrition, and technicians will treat patients to demonstrate our rural dentistry model and finish off winter clinical training
At our orientation, Dr. Karen shared the results of last year’s study, and I presented our program model to the visiting students. We played games to get to know each other and went over the plan for the week. In the afternoon, we divided in to groups according to project stream, and the technicians began their first half-day of clinical training with Dr. Bethy.
And, the shirts fit. PHEW!