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Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.

Staying Healthy and Happy in Nepal!

Hello and Namaste, Students!
As you are aware, staying healthy in Nepal requires some extra vigilance, so we are sharing some things you may want to bring now that you are in the packing process. No need to stress out about it – we will be reviewing all that we know with you at orientation – but there are a few preventative supplements and other items you may consider to give your system a boost to reduce chances of getting sick.

The Packing List in your Course Manual is amazing, and we carry an extensive first aid kit so it is not necessary to bring over the counter medications. These are readily available in Nepal anyway. Also, we will provide you a healthy well-rounded Nepali diet over the course of the semester that consists primarily of rice (bhat), lentils (daal), vegetables (tarkari), greens (saag), yogurt (dahi) and occasional meat (maasu) for those who partake, which will likely meet your dietary needs. Not to mention it is delicious, all natural and often grown nearby, meaning it is very local!

That said, you know your body best, so understand that these are only helpful suggestions – you are not required to bring any of this with you:

Pro-Biotics! Please begin to take pro-biotic pills and consume a pro-biotic rich diet: yogurt, kombucha, kefir, apple cider vinegar (with the “Mother”), etc., starting 2 weeks before departure: which is now! Take 1 or 2 per day with water or milk, 30 minutes before a fiber-rich meal. We have observed that regular use of pro-biotics reduces stomach issues. These are also available in Kathmandu, bring a good supply to get you started.

Travel SOAP (not hand sanitizer) for your daypack in a small plastic container (This is in addition to your toiletries soap), so you can wash your hands in any circumstance. Soap and water is more effective than hand sanitizer – though you’re encouraged to bring a small bottle of sanitizer as a back-up (refills are available in Nepal). EO carries a .33 ounce travel bottle of organic lavender sani that is amazing. Dr. Bronner’s also carries a 2-ounce organic Fair Trade sani spray.

ANTI-BACTERIAL WIPES for a dry shower when you need one. Burt’s Bees carries nice ones.

Gummy VITAMINS taste great and keep you healthy & GINGER chews for those with sensitive stomachs on windy roads.

Vitamin C / Emergenc-C / Airborne, Zinc, Echinacea, or Ginseng– you may want to consider taking this as a supplement before you board your flight to fight off colds.

Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) – acts like a natural antibiotic (nutribiotic).

Herbal teas you like: chamomile for tummy ache / stress / insomnia, mint for tummy, etc.

Rhodiola herb (for altitude).

Activated charcoal pills act to absorb bacteria and toxins in the intestines and help to pass them easily.

Good extra insoles. These are unavailable in Nepal.

Bring a travel-sized INSTRUMENT if you play: harmonica, travel guitar, mandolin, ukulele, mouth harp, etc. Everyone loves music! It’s a great way to make friends quickly.

Small CARABINERS to clip items like water bottles to your backpack so they don’t fall out.

EARPLUGS & SLEEPING MASK (3-4 pair of the cheap foam ones are fine) Some of the places that we stay can be quite noisy or bright. Having the ability to zone out when needed regardless of the environment is a great way to stay healthy in body and spirit.

As mentioned above, we do our best to provide the healthiest food possible, but sometimes on the village stay and trek the nutritional content can be low and so you may want to bring special snacks you love, or super-food powder.

A few paper face masks – with an N95 rating – for bus rides in dusty areas and walking around Patan, if you think you may be sensitive to dust and pollution. You can find these at hardware / home improvement stores.

These are some of the things we have found beneficial.  Anything which promotes a healthy immune system and makes you happy is great.  There is a huge range of options and we encourage you to learn more about what makes sense for you.

Once you arrive in country, we will have a more extended conversation about staying healthy in a new country – we have tons of tips and tricks to share :-)

Thank you and Happy Packing!

Your I-team