Giovanna DeLuca’s Chisang Clinic Experience (Vol. I)
The Road from Biratnagar to Chisang Clinic
As I’m waiting at baggage claim, and by baggage claim I mean a room about the size of my living room where a man comes and drops your bags on a table for people to sort through, a small man named Kewal comes up behind me and says ‘Chisang Clinic?’ “Yes!” I found my driver, or he found me, which was probably more difficult than he imagined because my brown skin and Asian eyes have allowed me to blend in quite well. We load my backpack and my suitcase full of medical supplies on the back of his colorful little van and drive off.
If anything will make you fall in love with Nepal, it is the road from Biratnagar to Chisang Clinic. Along the sides of this national highway are cows, goats, chickens, people carrying hay on their heads, bicyclists, school children, palm trees, bamboo trees, huts, pastel houses, women in beautiful colorful dresses, all set in front of a mountainous green background where the clouds are so low you’d think you could reach up and grab one. I had learned in India that is it polite to honk a couple times at each car, some buses and trucks even have “Please Honk” painted on the their backsides. It seems to be the same here. Although it is a two way street no one seems to pay attention to the divider line and vehicles swerve all over the road. The only rule there seems to be is ‘don’t hit anything’. I guess that’s where the honking comes in…to let everyone know your coming. Through the madness I feel calm and much less frightened than I should. Kewal seems to know what he is doing and I imagine he could troll the streets of New York better than any New Yorker. I’m so fascinated that the the supposed hour long ride seems to go by in 5 minutes as Kewal pulls off onto a dirt road and the cars seem to lessen and the animals seem to grow in abundance. Eventually the car slows down and then comes to a stop. We have arrived.