Bipin Belbase, Nepal

01.12.2013 I am really thankful to IPPNW Germany and Ulla Gorges, the program coordinator of “Practice and Engage program ”for providing me with the opportunity to participate in the program, the preparation to which was almost always disturbed by miscommunications and misunderstandings…Sorry for that… Thanks for bearing with me… 

I am really thankful to IPPNW Germany and Ulla Gorges, the program coordinator of “Practice and Engage program ”for providing me with the opportunity to participate in the program, the preparation to which was almost always disturbed by miscommunications and misunderstandings… Sorry for that… Thanks for bearing with me…  
Amid all these, I finally landed on the Deutschland, at the home town of the Champions League holders, Bayern Munich. Almost an hour of a train ride followed to drop me at Regensburg. Thanks Julia for picking me up and taking me to my room – my room for a month. My room had one of the best views of the town- a stone bridge – one of the oldest of its kind in Europe and a front page cover of Regensburg guidebooks! I was privileged to be invited for the dinner the same night with the members of IPPNW- Germany and it was that very day I felt my stay in Germany would be fun.
The very next day was my first day at the hospital. I was posted in “Nuclear medicine” department, which dealt mostly on the patients with thyroid carcinomas, where my colleagues and the professors helped me learn a lot about the scintigraphy, radiotherapy and many more along with some German language – of course. It was really interesting and informative to me as we don’t have much access to this branch of medicine in my country.
After around 10 days at the Nuclear medicine department, I got to do my internship in the “Endocrine Medicine” department. Although I could not make out the exact conversation of my professors with the patients, the empathy could easily be felt; the politeness and friendliness of the doctors with the patients could easily be seen. After examining every patient, the professors used to explain me about the patient’s complaint, the inference and the advice and treatment for the patient’s condition.
Thanks Prof. Dr. Chr. Eilles(Nuclear Medicine) and PD Dr. C. Girlich (Endocrine Medicine) for helping me learn the new things. I am really obliged to you.
After being at the hospital, and more or less understanding the health policies, I was left with a feeling that if and only if we had a policy of health insurance in Nepal, the lives of thousands who die of preventable and curable diseases could easily have been saved with a minimal health intervention. Had we had such policies, no one would have to return from hospital untreated due to lack of money.
I got an opportunity to participate in the ‘street action’ against the nuclear weapons organized by IPPNW Germany which had a pretty good public response. Yes, I could not understand much of it though and smile was the only thing I could offer to the program.
One of the things that really got me interested was that there would be almost a day left for going through the city after the day at hospital and it was interesting (actually depressing!) to hear that one ought to go to college at dark and get back in darkness during the winters. Lucky me – got there at the right time! A walk through the bridge, going around the town and enjoying the very popular German beers in the evenings became almost like a daily routine to me. It also was a good experience for me to have 2 day-weekends as I was able to utilize those days to visit places.
Thanks IPPNW for helping me meet my friends in Germany – and lucky me – they lived in the renowned cities so I enjoyed going through those places too… Really enjoyed with Dipesh Adhikari at Frankfurt, Amrit Adhikari at Berlin, brother Saroj Chudal at Recklinghausen and Dortmund, with Ramesh Baniya at Munich and many new good friends. Thanks guys – you never made me miss my homeland…
It felt like being in a big European city when I got out of the train station in Frankfurt, where Dipesh was waiting. The walk through the bank of river Main with the skyscrappers at the other side of the river at sight was really mind blowing. The view of the skylines from the top of one of such kind was also really pleasing to the eyes. The city transportation system was really appreciable as regular local trains reached even the remote parts of the city.
Thanks Dr. Maggie Braun for hosting me and taking me through the city of Nurnberg – a place much talked of with regards to the World War II. Walking through the town and knowing the places of different events was fascinating.
The picnics and barbecue by the side of the river Danube will really be missed - missed too will be those party-times. Really enjoyed the Jazz music with Ludwig and the crowd – crowd of 1000s- with no security personnel was surprising to me and equally inspiring - an exemplary society!
I really have to admit that I could not get on with the German foods. It was good in way that I got to try my hands in cooking after a long time!   
Didn’t really want a month to end so fast … but it did end - had to bid a good bye to very good friends and Regensburg – hoping to meet again.
And I was equally excited for the next month in Munich.
Thanks Dominik for arranging my stay and a social work in Munich. Thanks Julia for the room and taking me through the city of Munich and helping me get accustomed to the city.
At the start of the second month, I was lucky to have some days’ break when I visited brother Saroj at Recklinghausen. It was worth a walk to a hillock at Recklinghausen to get an overview of the town and of Dortmund. A walk through the streets of Essen and watching a concert was fun; fun too was time at the swimming pool. It too was a nice feeling being at the Signal Iduna Park, stadium of Club Borussia Dortmund. It was a wonderful time there.
The visit to the capital was also worth capturing in the memories for long. The history relating to the East and West Germany - The Brandenburg gate, the Berlin wall, the boundary lines on the road were interesting to hear and see. Interesting too were the visits to the Potsdamerplatz, railway station, museums, victory tower and TV tower. With German drinks on hand, the glittering of lights on the water and the cool breeze at night, talking the past and future with Amrit one could hardly think of any better to be in than at the bank of the River Spree – I really miss it now. And obviously going through the capital city on the top front seat of a double storeyed bus was equally pleasing experience.

After being back to Munich after a few days, I was really glad to be a part of ‘Doctors of the World’ for the project “”– the project which provides primary health care and social-legal consultation to the ones not having access to regular health care system in Germany. Thanks Ms. Suzanne Bruins for helping me know about the organization and letting me assist the doctors and rest of the team in whatever way I could.
I was really impressed by the enthusiasm of the volunteers in the project and wished if we too could start a project of similar format and goals in our country. I was happy to find out later that this organization was working in some parts of Nepal to help women generate income for their living.
I was really amazed by the politeness of the people in Germany – with ‘Danke’ at the tip of their tongue, as well as by their helpfulness in their deeds.
The walk through the Alps – the mountain range much heard of during our geography classes - was also a memorable one. Enjoyed every bit of it and really liked the way the trip route was managed.
The trip to Prague was a memorable one too – thanks Dr. Saroj Chudal again for helping me find a nice place to stay with Nepali brothers Manoj Dhungel and Sagar Dhakal, who own a Nepali restaurant there – was privileged to have a typical Nepali food in a restaurant in Europe. The Dancing building was really an amazing piece of architecture. Charles bridge and Prague castle were the stand out historical beauties – eyes would never tire there!
Munich, the capital city of the state Bavaria, gave a good month of experience at a big city in Europe. The visit around the Marienplatz, the Nymphenberg palace, the golden Friedensengel, universities, churches, and museums were exciting. Walking around the Olympia Park, getting on a BMW at BMW headquarters, listening to the goal chants at the Allianz arena, seeing people surf in river Isar, playing football with Ramesh, Dipesh and friends were some of the moments to be cherished in Munich. Sad to have missed the Octoberfest but nevertheless had a very nice time in Munich.
I really cannot stand not thanking (car sharing) for helping me travel across those places. I was really happy to meet new friends during travels and found all of them really helpful and cooperative. What surprised me during the trip to cities was the greenery –so well preserved- by the sides of the entire highway and it really changed my perception of the industrialized Europe.

The time in Germany taught me a lot, changed my way of thinking, in fact, changed me. Yes, I was feeling happy to be going back to my country, my family and friends but I was equally sad to be far from the very good friends and time in Germany. Memories won’t ever be forgotten. The enthusiasm won’t get diminished. A changed me won’t be reverted.
I  would like to use this opportunity to thank all who have directly or indirectly helped me in one way or the other for making my stay in Germany pretty homely and making the memories worth remembering throughout my life. Sorry if I did commit any mistake or disturbed you at any time! Thanks everyone for bearing with me and my deeds. Thanks for not making me a stranger at a place totally new to me.
Hoping to meet you someday…