I am a BGS-Public Health student at ECSU, and am very excited to have the opportunity to travel to Nepal as part of this health psychology class. It’s one thing to travel somewhere on vacation, where my primary goal has been to relax. This trip will be an educational adventure as my classmates and I will be visiting a hospital, a free health clinic, and a women’s shelter, and all the while learning about the Nepalese culture. We’re very fortunate to have Professor Pfau with us, who will be able to provide us with an inside look at life in Nepal. Professor Escoto has done a great job of not only organizing this trip, but also of developing my ability to view the many differences between cultures without judgment. This is the first step in becoming a global citizen.
Americans live in an individualistic society – we love our independence. Nepal is a collectivistic society that places importance not on the individual, but on the group. Members of both of these societies have daily stressors, which over time can lead to health issues such as cardiovascular disease. Much of the stress that Americans feel is caused by childcare issues and workplace demands. Also, everyone is so busy that they often don’t have time to eat nutritious meals or to relax. It will be interesting to learn what the sources of stress in Nepal are, how the Nepalese cope with it, and who they turn to for support.
Nepal is also a patriarchal society, so women may not have the same educational opportunities as men, so I would like to learn about how women are given health information and taught about preventive care for their children.
I look forward to sharing this experience with my professors and classmates, who are an interesting and fun group to be with. I think this will be a trip of a lifetime!