Two months Trampling Around Kavresthali for Two hundred Interviews
I have spent a little over two months with VIN working on a public health care project. I lived and worked in Kavresthali, a village 9 kilometres north of Kathmandu city. My task was to study the status of mental health among women over the age of 19 in Kavresthali. With the results of my data, VIN can determine the need for health promotion programs in Kavresthali that target women’s mental health and any potential negative consequences in their daily life. When doing preliminary background research online, I found that data collected on this topic in Nepal is very sparse and decided that my study needs to be both broad, while still serving its purpose to VIN. To do this, I designed an interview that collected data on demographics, what women do everyday, and what their opinions on mental health are, how they rate on the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist – 25 (a checklist used worldwide to determine whether, and to what level, someone has anxiety or depression), as well as problems they have encountered or struggle with in their daily life (troubles with in-laws/husband, personal/family health problems, consequences of earthquake).
After translating the consent procedures and the interview script, three local volunteers and I conducted 200 interviews with women in 12 of the sub-villages in Kavresthali. The interviews were conducted in Nepali, and after completing the interviews, my local volunteers arduously translated all of the interviews into English. I am at the last stage of my research now, data analysis and writing the final report. My two months at VIN were filled with so many learning experiences; it was exactly why I came to Nepal, so I can say that I am very satisfied. The research experience I gained will be so valuable to me as my career progresses. Equally important to me were all the people I met when living in Kavresthali. My life with my host family and with other international volunteers gave me so many experiences, that as cliché as it sounds, I will always treasure. From evenings spent talking with women who come to the parlour next door (run by an inspiring woman, and entrepreneur and a mother), to buying my bananas from the same uncle who had taken to offering me discounts, to my life with my host sister Jyoty, and her mother Ruku, eating breakfasts together, and cooking dinner together sharing laughter and recipes, and of course the view of the valley from their home, everyday of my two months and a bit spent in Kavresthali were filled with so much meaning. I am so very happy to have come to Nepal and stayed in Kavresthali.