Home' The Monaro Post : The Monaro Post April 5, 2017 Contents 14 Wednesday April 5, 2017
Your Voice on the Monaro
BOUQUET TO VOLUNTEER PRESENTERS
For many years 90.5FM Community Radio Station
has been providing music to suit all tastes as well
as news and community notices.
The station runs 24 hours a day seven days a week
and is manned entirely by volunteers and does its
own fund raising.
The Station invites you to become a presenter.
Training will be given. There is no age limit.
John Gill for enquiries on 6452 3380 or 0418 708 334
We would love you to join the Happy Team
In your time of need, nothing else but an established local trusted family funeral director will do.
You will be dealing direct with a funeral director
Alan Dodd Director (JP)
43 Denison St Cooma NSW 2630
Including Burial & Cremation
Contact: (02) 64522094
“The cars had no suspension and
had all the seats ripped out of them.
We couldn’t turn one off because
it wouldn’t restart. One had no
brakes so we had to carry rocks
with us and throw them in front of
the wheels whenever we wanted to
stop. I haven’t told my father that!”
This is how Bombala’s rural
emergency nurse, Kristie Reed,
likes to spend her holidays. Over
the past few years she has been
in Nepal and southern Africa
volunteering and working as a
Unreliable cars were not the
only challenge Kristie was faced
with during her time in Nepal.
She volunteered with Backpacker
Medics to assist with their women’s
health initiative, teaching six ladies
from a remote village how to be
women’s health nurses in their
“It was pretty full on; they didn’t
speak any English so it was all
interpreted. There are a lot of
subjects that are taboo and we were
teaching women’s health, so it was
reasonably difficult!” Kristie says.
The clinic is based in an isolated
village in Nepal’s Okhaldhunga
district, propped up on the side
of a mountain amongst terraced
farms. In terms of women’s health
and hygiene, the village is far behind
“These women were put in
menstruation huts up until a few
months before we got there,” says
Kristie. “We had to supply them
with toothbrushes, toothpaste and
soap to wash their hands and face.
Without that, their teeth would fall
out by the age of 20 because they
brush with charcoal, if they can
even get it.”
Many people in the village have
severe gastrointestinal issues from
poor hygiene and living in close
quarters with animals. When it’s
cold, the animals come inside with
“They’re on dirt floors and they
cook inside on open fires with no
ventilation,” Kristie says.
“Many have chronic airway
disease to the point where they’re
dying at 48 years old. I was listening
to a guy’s chest and thought, oh
my god, you should be in intensive
care, incubated. Their lungs are just
The most difficult part of the
program is deciding what supplies
to bring into the village. The nearest
‘big’ hospital (a cement building
with one doctor in it), is an hour and
40 minute walk away. The village
can only be accessed by four-
wheel-drive in the dry months and is
more of a fire track down the side of
a cliff, according to Kristie.
“There’s so many things you want
to help them with, but you’ve got
to be really, genuinely sustainable
about what you take in,” she
says. “You can’t take too many
medications because their bodies
aren’t used to it. We don’t even
give them full doses of paracetamol.
You’ve got to be so careful; if we
can’t carry it in on a regular basis,
we can’t give it to them.”
In a few weeks, Kristie is off to
southern Africa to help another not-
for-profit charity, Digger’s Rest. The
organisation helps younger returned
soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan
who are suffering from Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder. Once a
year they run a safari, driving and
camping their way through South
Africa, Namibia, Botswana and
“The guys get to drive through the
desert and go flat out on the sand.
We go through the Okavango Delta
to a waterhole where there are just
animals everywhere; hippos, crocs,
elephants, giraffe, impala, leopards
laying in trees, it’s amazing.”
The aim of the program is to get
the returned soldiers talking and
interacting again and to help them
rediscover direction in their life.
“These guys have seen some pretty
horrific stuff,” says Kristie. “They’ve
gone from having adrenaline
packed experiences 24/7 to
Kristie worked as a medic on the
safari last year and was asked to
return in 2017.
“If something happens, hopefully
it’s not too bad because we’re in
the middle of the desert!” She says.
“Last year I was trying to give an
injection to someone while a hyena
was walking around, so that made it
a bit hard to concentrate.”
This year, Kristie is allowed to take
one person with her on the safari.
“I told my Dad randomly and he
rang me a week later and said I
think I might come to Africa with
you, I nearly choked. He’s never
been out of the country before and
I’m taking him to Africa for four
weeks!” Kristie was awarded the
Lion’s Club scholarship for Further
Education through the Nurses
and Midwives Association. She
is currently studying a Graduate
Certificate in Leadership and
Management and hopes to further
her career to one day become an
educator or clinical nurse specialist
in rural nursing.
“The scholarship pays for about
half of the cost of the course, so it’s
a huge help,” Kristie says.
When she’s not overseas, Kristie
works at the Bombala Hospital,
studies Advanced Paediatrics on
top of the Graduate Certificate and
squeezes in the odd mountain bike
ride. She and her father fly out to
Africa on April 11.
“It’s exciting, but coming really
fast,” she says, “I’ve got a few
assignments to fit in before then.
And a sleep. A sleep would be
To Africa, Nepal, Bombala and back
Pictured, the variety of activities Kristie was
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