Buy “The Sacrament of the Goddess” as a Christmas present for the #globalhealth aficionado in your life.


The back cover of the USA edition was a short synopsis. By the time we printed the Nepal edition, there were some reviews to quote and they were more colorful. In a bookstore, people make decisions to buy based on the first page and back cover, or so they say.

If there is a person in your life interested in #global health, this is the perfect Christmas present for them.

An aficionado?

Is a person who has aficion for something. Hemingway used the term in The Sun Also Rises to describe that feeling when a fan of bullfighting finds another fan whose passion runs deep.

Yes, it’s a novel. But the stories are based on true-life medical situations encountered in a rural hospital of Nepal, the Himalayan country.

There was a civil war in Nepal for eleven years and it is part of this book. Nepal is considered to be a spiritual country, and many visitors view it only through that lens. It is an unfortunate truth of global health that you get to see behind the curtain to experience life in a new way.

It’s set in the foothills, not the actual Himalaya. Very few people live in the actual Himalaya.

I tried to capture some more sophisticated cultural issues of the average Nepali person. There are no western rock jocks in this book.

You are at the wordpress blog that goes with the book. Take a look at the page titled, “Glossary of terms to Accompany the book, annotated” for just a hint of the mystery that awaits.

In USA you can find it on Amazon.



The worst possible fear for every #Nepal woman, part one

What is the one thing that makes a Nepali woman wake up in a cold sweat at night?

If you think you know the answer to that question, add it to the comments and you may get a free copy of my novel. My book, The Sacrament of the Goddess, is about women’s issues in Nepal.  Early on, there was a choice to make: how to write it. I wanted to be able to give an idea of the lives of women in Nepal today and the challenges they face, but – I don’t want to sit down with any kind of a book that looks like the report of an NGO. I wanted to give western audience the idea of Nepal culture, but I was well aware that this book would be read by Nepali persons, especially by friends and colleagues whose respect I value greatly.

So – the format is a novel. Fiction.

I created a set of characters;

I used a setting in Nepal and a time period in which known historical events are documented.

It was easy to create a heroine that Nepali women could identify with. All I needed to do was to think about, and talk with, and spend time with, some of the strong women I know here. And describe a composite of those persons.

But then – things happened. To her and to people around her. She had to deal with relationships and events that would test the very fiber of her being.

And in weaving the fabric of her life, I needed to learn about the day-to-day lives of Nepali women. The readers will be able to tell how well I did. In Thamel, you can buy this book at Vajra Books on Jyatha, or at Tibet Books. In USA, you can get it via Amazon. Maybe it will be a motion picture someday!

What I learned:

I realized that the heroine, whose name is Sushila, needed to overcome fear in order to return to a normal life. And what were the fears? what was the greatest fear? I don’t think Nepali women are afraid of death. Or being sick, or being old. I don’t think they are afraid of spiders or snakes, or the number thirteen. I do know what they are afraid of, what wakens them in the night with the worst possible terror…… and it’s not what you think……

The answer is in the next blog, not this one!

I will give the answer in a blog next week…. in the meantime if you can guess what it is, give your answer below. Anybody who can guess correctly will be eligible for a free autographed copy of the novel….


So – stay tuned…..please subscribe to this blog… and take a look at the FaceBook Page for The Sacrament of the Goddess.

What is The Sacrament of The Goddess about?

A writer makes a contract with every reader, to take them on a trip, and also to bring them safely back.

From the Amazon page:

Nepal is a Buddhist country that fought a brutal civil war for eleven years. Sushila was raised deeply Buddhist, and needed to confront the vicious war head on when it came to her village and her house. She crossed paths with Matt when she was nineteen, then disappeared from his life…..

The Sacrament of the Goddess is an international thriller set in the last absolute Hindu kingdom on earth at the time the monarchy was ending. Under the shadow of the Himalayas and a dazzling multicultural background, a small group of doctors deliver care at a missionary hospital where there is only one missionary left. The Sacrament of the Goddess reveals events of the Nepal civil war in layers, as we meet the medical team of Beni Nepal and see it through their eyes.

Superficially, it is a classic story of star-crossed lovers, but the events unfold partly in real time and partly as flashbacks – memories that may or may not have happened, meanings that only reveal themselves through anguish or tears.

At it’s core The Sacrament of the Goddess is about the choices people make in a civil war where the moral virtues of each side is ambiguous. On a daily basis the doctors confront the clash between western-style individualistic culture and eastern-style collectivist culture. As we learn how they cope with difficult events we ponder how people’s actions express their conception of God and the infinite in a culture with plural religions. And the meaning of love.

thinking of a trek in Nepal in 2014?

watch this if you want to see some nice things about Nepal

Next school year?

There is the likelihood that I will spend the 2014-2015 academic year in Nepal. I feel privileged that this is on the radar. I’m still working on the dates and activities. If I do, I can work to develop my past project, and really create something bright and shiny. It’s a lifetime opportunity for me. Stay tuned!

Video documentary

For me, I go to the places that are not quite on the tourist map unless something goes horribly wrong.  I have a Nepal RN license, and when I am there I go to hospitals to teach and work (volunteer). Yes, I post short videos of the hospitals and such, but I have not really organized them into something longer. My motivation in documenting what I do is to make it less forbidding to other foreigners who may wish to contribute in the area of global health nursing. The more you know before you go, the better off you will be.

Anyway, on YouTube I found this hour-long gem of tourism in Nepal.  It shows the main touristic spots of Kathmandu, then a detailed explanation of the trek to Everest Base Camp, then Chitwan, etc.  along the way, you get lots of scenes of street life in Nepal. I recommend this one. If you go to YouTube, you can find a playlist of mine titled “Essential Nepal Cultural Info” that covers more of the culture and little quirky things, such as the proper way to drink water out of a shared pitcher.

Trek in 2014?

I harbor a fantasy of inviting my daughters, as well as some friends, to come visit me in Nepal if I do go there for the entire academic year. If I am there, and they do visit me, we will go on some sort of trek. Maybe Annapurna Circuit as opposed to EBC. All of my trips until now took place during summer break from the University. Summer is monsoon, not the time to be hiking!  the best trekking weather is April-May or else September-October.