Bhutan is a small nation, slightly larger than Switzerland, in the Himalayas just east of Nepal. Its economy is largely agrarian-based with more than 90% of the workforce employed in subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Its population of 1 million is scattered thinly over mountainous terrain. This population faces a shortage of healthcare workers, with only 109 doctors serving the entire country.
While in Bhutan, Bill will be working with Health Volunteers Overseas, teaching anesthesia students at the National Referral Hospital in Thimphu , the capital. Health Volunteers Overseas is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the availability of health care through education and professional development of providers in resource-scarce countries. Volunteers not only train new health care workers, but also create a sustainable healthcare workforce such that students, in time, evolve into trainers.
The girls and I will be visiting a local school, helping the students with their reading skills. We will also visit the Pediatric Department at the hospital Bill will be working with, to visit the children hospitalized far from their homes in the country. I will also be providing yoga to a preschool next to the hospital. The girls will also have the opportunity to assist a Veterinarian in the care of cats, dogs, and monkeys.
This adventure is quite an undertaking as a Bhutanese visa for non-tourist volunteers requires an in country stay of 36 days. This translates to a 5 week unpaid sabbatical for Bill.
In this season of giving we would appreciate any offering you could share with our family to help offset this expense. Your thoughts and prayers during our time abroad will also be greatly appreciated.
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