Where to Find a Speech Language Pathologist in Nepal

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nepalThe title of this post is a big misnomer because the answer to this question is: I don’t know! I’m writing this post with the hope that someone who is a speech language pathologist (A.K.A. SLP or speech therapist) in Nepal might someday see this post and reach out. 

As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, I am a speech language pathologist. I live and work in the Boston area in a K-8 public school. I think what I do (help children improve their ability to communicate) is one of the coolest jobs in the world. I have received several emails over the years from fellow SLP’s connected to Nepal. A few years ago, I received an email from an Australian SLP who travels to Nepal to provide therapy to adults (how cool is that!?). I also remember receiving an email from a student who is studying to be a speech therapist in Nepal. I have heard from other sources that there is a graduate program in Kathmandu that trains speech language pathologists; however, I don’t know which university hosts this program.

Over the years, I have also received several emails from parents in Nepal looking for SLP services for their children. Friends and family members from Nepal have also mentioned to me that they know of children in Kathmandu who are in desperate need of speech therapy.

As I mentioned above, I am writing this post in the hopes that someone who provides speech therapy in Nepal will see it and reach out to me. I would love to be able to provide parents with a name of a school, private practice, a hospital, or an individual who can provided services to children in need of speech therapy.

Here is some potentially helpful information for those looking for speech therapy in Nepal:

  • I have heard from a friend that there is a school for children with autism in Kathmandu. I don’t know the name of the school, but some internet research reveals that there is an organization called Autism Care Nepal that provides some services to children and adults who have an autism diagnosis.
  • A quick google search revealed that there is something called Nepal Hearing and Speech Care Center that I assume provides services to children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing. You may want to contact the center if you are interested.
  • As mentioned above there seems to be a graduate program in Nepal that educates speech language pathologists. Many graduate programs in speech language pathology have clinics where graduate students provide free or reduced cost services to children and adults. It might be worth doing some research to find out where this graduate program is hosted.
  • In the fall I learned that the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at George Washington University hosts an international trip for its speech therapy graduate students in Nepal every two years. It is possible that members of this program may provide assessments for those in need when they return to Nepal next.
  • (Just a quick disclaimer that I have no affiliation with the aforementioned centers or universities).

If you are an individual in Nepal looking for speech and language therapy, definitely start by doing some online research. The American Speech Language and Hearing Association’s website is a good place to start.

I really hope that in the future I will be able to spend my summers in Nepal. I would love to provide assessment and therapy when I am there for longer swaths of time, although that’s not a possibility in my life right now. Good luck to all of those individuals looking for a speech language pathologist in Nepal. Although I can’t diagnose or treat communication disorders online, if you have any other specific questions for me, I can try my best to answer them via email at nepalijiwan@gmail.com.

If you are a speech language pathologist in Nepal or know someone who is, please reach out by commenting or emailing me.

Our Hindu Priest

Tri and I are not religious people, so when it came to finding a Hindu priest for our wedding, we asked around our communities to see if anyone knew of a good officiant. We didn’t want someone who was going to make the ceremony too serious or too long. We also obviously wanted someone who was willing and happy to officiate an interracial/intercultural marriage.

Some of our family friends in Washington D.C. happened to know a fantastic Hindu priest who often officiates weddings in the Nepali communities up and down the East Coast. When we were down in D.C. last summer, we got the chance to meet him, and we immediately felt put at ease.

He spoke both Nepali and English, he had lived in the US for many years, and he was totally fine with officiating an intercultural wedding. Score! He was also willing to accommodate our wish for a “short” (read 1 1/2 hour long) ceremony.

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Some of the items that the priest brought with him for the ceremony

On the day of the wedding our lovely priest showed up with all of the goodies needed for the puja. He kept trying to get us to do a rehearsal before the guests started to arrive, but because our photographs took longer than expected, we didn’t do the rehearsal until about 15 minutes before our ceremony was supposed to start. ha! But our priest was totally chill about it. Tri and I were both on cloud nine that day, and we really weren’t worried about timing. It was great to have an officiant who was on the same wavelength.

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Rehearsing before the wedding ceremony started

Once the ceremony started, he did an absolutely fantastic job. Although he said all of the prayers in Sanskrit, he translated the ceremony into English so that all of our guests could enjoy it. He was also incredibly kind to my family. He incorporated my parents, brothers, and grandpa into the ceremony and gave tikka to all of the guests who wanted it.

Our priest also had a great sense of humor. I thought that the ceremony would be quite serious, but I was laughing for most of it 🙂 There are several games that the bride, groom, and siblings/friends of the couple play during the wedding ceremony. Rather than just going through the motions, he really got everyone invested in the games.

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Throwing rice into the fire during the puja

I’ve been to a number of religious event in my life, whether they be Nepali, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, or Jewish, and I’ve rarely had fun. They’re often quite serious. This was probably the first religious function in my life that had me enjoying myself. I don’t know why my expectations were so low, but I was totally not expecting to enjoy the ceremony part of my wedding. Luckily, I think that we were able to please both families and have fun while doing it.

If anybody needs the name of a great Nepali Hindu priest on the East Coast, you can comment here or email me at nepalijiwan@gmail.com. I swear he didn’t pay me to write this post! 🙂

 

We’re Married!

Tri and I got married Nepali style on July 3rd, almost 5 years to the day after we were legally married. I’ve got about 101 posts I want to write about the whole experience, but that’s going to take me a while, so I thought I’d post one of my favorite photos from the day:

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With the love of my life :’)

An earthquake, a Graduation, and Starting to Blog Again

Tri and I hate getting calls at odd hours because they usually mean that something bad has happened in Nepal. On April 25th, we got a call in the early morning from Tri’s dad, telling us that there had been a terrible earthquake. Tri’s dad, step-mom, and brother all sounded terrified but reported that they were okay. We immediately checked facebook and looked at the news – the devastation we saw broke our hearts.

We are still trying to make sense of it all. Tri’s family’s apartment was pretty much destroyed. However, they are very fortunate to have another home in which they can stay, and I am beyond happy that everyone we know is safe. From what I’ve read, it was the poorest families and those in rural areas who were hit hardest. I know about a great organization called the dZi Foundation that does work in rural areas. If you are thinking about donating to the relief effort, consider them. I met the founder of the dZi Foundation back in 2009 through my study abroad program; he’s a really good guy and has done some amazing work in Nepal.

Grad Day

Me and Tri on graduation day trying to figure out my gown and hood.

The other big thing that has happened in the last few months: I graduated from my master’s program. Finally! In September, I start working as a speech language pathologist/clinical fellow in a middle school. I’ve been working so hard for so long, and I feel really darn lucky that I made it through my program, got a job, and get to work in a field that I love. It was just about 4 years ago that I found this awesome career, and I can’t wait to finally start working! I still dream about working as a speech therapist in Nepal some day, maybe during the summers. I’d absolutely love to get in touch with some schools over there especially ones that
serve children with autism and/or multiple disabilities. We’ll see where that dream takes us…

The last couple of years, I have been so focused on trying to get through school that the rest of my life kind of fell by the wayside. I’m slowly trying to rekindle my old interests, so I thought I’d do a bit of blogging and continue to reach out to others who love Nepal as much as we do!

And We’re Back

After almost 40 hours traveling, we made it Nepal! Trilok’s dad has actually been in the US for the last few weeks for work. We weren’t able to make it down to New York or DC to see him, but we knew we’d be meeting soon in Nepal. He flew into Kathmandu the same morning as we did (on a different flight), and Trilok’s brother, uncle, aunt, and cousin were all there to pick us all up.

I still can’t believe that we’re back. It seems so strange but entirely normal at the same time. In some ways, I feel like we never left Nepal in the first place, but, of course, things have changed. The city feels just a bit more crowded, and Trilok’s brother has been telling us that the government has been busy building new roads around the valley. Bua’s home is also different now. Things have been moved around and there’s a new room that’s been added on the roof. We also have a new member in the family since Trilok’s dad remarried last year. She is a wonderful women who is doing so much to make us feel at home.

I expected changes in Nepal and in our home life here, but what I didn’t expect was the flood of emotion I would feel after arriving in Kathmandu. For the last year or so, I’ve tried so hard to put Nepal out of my mind. I think that part of that has been a desire to mitigate the pain I felt about leaving, but it got to a point where I wasn’t even sure I wanted to come back this summer. However, since Tri was traveling here and I wanted to be with him, I knew I would go. I expected to feel sort of indifferent when I arrived, but instead I have felt incredibly relieved. I had forgotten how much Nepal feels like home to me. Of course I also have a home in Philadelphia, where I’m from, and now a home in Boston, where I live, but I can happily say that Nepal is on that list.

I had also forgotten how much meaning Nepal brings into my life. I can’t say for sure whether it’s the family that we have here, the people in general, Nepali culture, or the physical beauty (maybe a combination of these things), but there’s something about this place that makes me feel content and at peace and loved. I am very happy to live in the US, but after being in Nepal for just a day, I feel like I have a renewed vigor to work towards a life that allows us to live in Nepal for a month or two out of the year. I don’t want to get my hopes up! But at the very least, it’s nice to know that I will always have a second country to come home to.

For the next few weeks, Tri and I will be meeting up with friends, visiting our old haunts, and spending lots of time with family. We’ll be jetting off to Thailand for five days in the middle of our trip, and my parents are coming to visit us here in late July, so it should be an interesting month 🙂

About

I haven’t addressed what I’m doing with this blog, so I wanted to take a post to write about it. I started nepali jiwan to keep in touch with family and friends while we were abroad. But it also became a way for me to document our time in Nepal and a place to discuss and think about issues that I’ve been trying to understand better. Best of all, it has allowed me to connect with others and hear their thoughts on and ideas about topics that are important to me. I’ve learned so much from blogging and gotten to know so many interesting people that I don’t want to stop. So at this point, I’m going to keep going with the blog. I still have a lot I want to write about Nepal, and it’s such a big part of our lives that I imagine a lot of posts will continue to have something to do with Nepal, but I’ll probably be posting about other things in our lives as well, which brings me to my next point…

I want to give an update about what’s going on. Tri went up to Boston last Sunday to start work. I’ll officially being going there next weekend, although I’ll be in Boston on Tuesday night as well. Next fall I’ll be applying to grad school, and I’ll figure out where I’m going in the spring (if get in!). This coming year I’ll be taking the prerequisite courses that I need, hopefully finding part-time work, and exploring a new city 🙂

On Our Way Out

On April 21st it will be nine months since we arrived in Nepal. Some days I feel like we’ve been here forever and other days, I feel like these months have passed in a second. Now we’re headed back.

Last month we found out that Tri needed to be back in the US for work by summer, but we weren’t exactly sure when. Recently the date was pushed to May 1st, and our flight is in less than a week and a half.

I feel sad to be leaving Nepal. I faced some health issues here (namely asthma) and certainly dealt with culture shock but there are things about Nepal that I absolutely love and am going to miss. I’ll put up a post about that soon.

However, I am looking forward to being able to ride public transportation, have electricity all hours of the day, and buy milk in a gallon container that will last the whole week. I’m looking forward to moving to a new city and starting classes for my masters. In many ways, I’ve loved living with Tri’s family, but I can’t wait for us to be on our own.

Buwa calls the US my ama (mother) and Nepal my sanima, which literally means “little mother,” but is a word for “aunt” in Nepali. I know I’ll always have a home with my sanima. Hopefully Tri and I can visit before too long, and someday we’d like to live here for part of the year. I don’t know if that will ever happen, but I can dream 🙂

The frantic search for apartments in a new city and a suitable car has begun, and there’s so much shopping to do and so many people to visit before we leave. But despite the chaos, we’re trying to relax and enjoy our last week too.