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An apple a day…

While you are getting your bags ready it is important to get yourself ready too! Here are some suggestions to help you stay healthy and comfortable during your stay in Nepal. We will be discussing this much more in-depth once you come to Nepal.

  1. Set yourself up for success by following healthy habits in these upcoming weeks. Simple things like staying hydrated and getting enough water can make a big difference to the start of your program.
  1.  Taking preventative measures and remembering to prioritize hygiene will help prevent you from becoming sick. This can include little things such as washing your hands, scrubbing your nails(bring nail clippers on the trip, and keep nails short, not touching your eyes/face with your hands, etc. These habits may seem small but they will play a very important role in keeping you healthy while in Nepal.
  2. Even if you are on top of your hygiene game, you may still get sick and that’s okay. You will be in a new environment with new people, new bacteria, water, and different air. It’s okay to get sick and if you do you will be cared for properly. Just be aware of yourself and what’s normal for you.

General Supplements –

We will always travel with a fully-stocked medical bag that includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines. This includes Immodium, Pepto-Bismal, Ibuprofen and Advil, nasal decongestant, cold medicine, and many, many other things. Consequently, there isn’t any need for you to bring your own stash of these meds, unless it makes you feel more comfortable to have your own stash. If you feel more comfortable bringing your own then feel free to do so. However, students are not allowed to hold over-the-counter meds and administer them as needed. We will hold onto the ones you bring and will give them as needed. It is very important that we develop clear and open communication between students and instructors about any health and medicine issues. That way, we instructors know what is going on with student health so that we have the requisite information to make informed health decisions when the need arises.

For any prescription medicines, please remember to bring the prescription AND enough of the medication to last for the entire duration of your time away from home. Also, please try to bring the medication in its original bottle and have the directions, side effects, contraindications, and other relevant information.

Here are some supplements that you can feel free to bring on the program that may help you stay healthy. Note that these are not requirements, but you are welcome to bring them if they are helpful to you.

  1. Pro-Biotics- helps strengthen your gut.
    2. Vitamin C – overall immunity boost. It is available in Nepal too.
    3. Echinacea or Airborne- to fight off colds.
    4. Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)- acts like a natural antibiotic
    5. Charcoal- acts to absorb bacteria and toxins in the intestines.
    6. Vitamin supplements- We try to make sure that most of the meals we eat during our stay in Nepal are healthy and wholesome. But if you think you might need extra vitamins you can bring it along. (Omega supplement is available in Nepal)
    7. Additionally, you could bring 1-3 paper face masks – with an N95 rating – to use while walking around Patan, if you think you may be sensitive to dust and pollution. Some instructors and students in the past have found them handy. You can buy these at a home improvement store in the U.S. (like Lowes or Home Depot).

General Health Tips:

Our hands are our greatest cause for disease. Because of this there are two items we suggest bringing along with you.

  • Nail clippers – this is to keep your nails short so that no dirt or bacteria can build up
  • Dr. Bronners 59 mL soap bottle – These will be super useful everywhere, anywhere

Menstrual Hygiene:

We strongly suggest that if you are someone who may menstruate, you bring reusable pads (like these: http://lunapads.com/) or a menstrual cup (like the Diva Cup or Moon Cup). Thinx is also a really great company that makes underwear with sewn-in sanitary pads. They are comfortable and easy to clean. Disposable pads are available widely throughout Nepal, tampons sporadically so. However they may be different than the ones you prefer to use at home. At times it can be very difficult for students to find appropriate places to dispose of used pads and tampons, especially when we are on a trek or staying in villages (and even in some urban home stays). Students have found it much easier and cleaner to use reusable pads or cups.

A possible downside is that sometimes while trekking, it may be a little challenging to find clean or boiling water to sanitize the cups.  However, there will be certain times, like during rural home-stays or on trek, when disposing of menstrual waste can also be challenging and may require carrying used pads or tampons for up to a few weeks, so bringing reusable items may be logistically easier as well. Two other great things to bring along are some extra zip-lock plastic bags, as there are times we may have to carry out menstruation waste, and an extra bandanna to help keep clean.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out and ask!