Stacia Birdsall

August 22, 2008

I spent a fabulous year in 2002 as a PiA Fellow at Save the Children's Himalayan Field Office in Kathmandu writing grants, collecting and analysing maternal health data, and learning jokes from a group of staff women who called themselves "the Haha's" because they laughed so much. A highlight of the year was a month in Bhutan, where I researched adolescent reproductive health, put together an extracurricular program for schools in Zhemgang District, and danced to Hindi and Chinese pop at All Star nightclub in Thimphu.  In 2003 I came back to the US to do a master's in nursing at Yale and become a midwife. During my final year of school I went to Pakistan to do relief work after the Kashmir quake (little blurb from the PAW) and quickly picked up essential Urdu for shopping, eating, and delivering babies.

Following graduation I traveled through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia (where I snacked on fried insects for the first time), and Vietnam, topped off with a jaunt back up to Kathmandu. Currently I'm working in an Ob/Gyn clinic in New Haven, and occasionally get the chance to bust out my rusty Nepali with a handful of Nepali patients here. I'm also still quite infected with the South Asia bug--I take my vacations in India, and after spending two weeks in Afghanistan last December, have decided to move to Kabul this January to work as a midwife trainer in a hospital there.

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