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On Thursday I joined some others on a medical outreach project to the outskirts of Guadalajara. We were in a community centre in a poorer area of town, for people to come and receive free healthcare. It was mostly things like taking their history and vital signs, which I got to do for the first time, after being shown how to take blood pressure and listen to lung sounds a bit, as we haven't really studied that at uni yet. The doctor I was sitting with was good at showing me how to do it, even though I didn't have a clue what to do to begin with! The hardest thing was the language, being able to ask patients things and just generally chit chat to them as I would do in an English speaking situation. After a while we worked out a system whereby he wrote down in Spanish what questions to ask, so then I would ask them and he would note down the response.
I had explained to me how the healthcare system works in Mexico: from what I gathered, those who can afford it pay for it, and for those who can’t there is some free healthcare provided by the government, however this does not include medications, they still have to be paid for. And the quality, I was told, is not quite the same. In this situation those who needed it were able to receive advice and medications for free. I had more questions about how it all works, but we got busy with other patients at that point so my questions will have to wait!
You could tell that the doctor I was shadowing really liked working with kids, he said he wants to specialise further in paediatrics. For example, to one girl he gave some medication and then wrote down how and when to take it, and got her to read it back to him to make sure she understood. She was only about 9 years old and had come by ...
Het is nog geen twee maanden geleden dat ik bedacht dat ik eens wat anders wilde doen met mijn vakantie. Uiteraard dient het vullen van de batterij ook te geschieden, maar het tot in het lamlendige hangen onder een parasol, danwel op een terras of op een bankje in een park in één of ander warm Europees land prikkelde mij deze keer niet zo. Weten wat ik niet wilde was één ding, maar wat wilde ik dan wel?
Ik wilde wat doen voor anderen. Vooral voor mensen die niet het geld of de middelen hebben om uit hun positie te kunnen komen.
De volgende gedachte was: waar? Één eenvoudige zoekopdracht bracht mij bij Nepal. Een prachtig land waar -zoals jullie ongetwijfeld weten- vorig jaar één van de zwaarste aardbevingen in tijden heeft plaatsgevonden. Niet alles is ingestort, maar een groot deel van de huizen die nog staan, zijn door ingenieurs niet-bewoonbaar verklaard vanwege instortingsgevaar. Een groot deel van de bevolking is daardoor ontheemd en leeft in tentjes. Ik ga samen met andere vrijwilligers helpen met het ruimen van puin en het bouwen van een nieuwe school met nieuwe sanitaire voorzieningen. Indien nodig helpen we met het opzetten van noodlokalen, zodat de schoolgaande kinderen droog en veilig lessen kunnen volgen. Ter afwisseling zijn er ook nog dagen waarop we met de schoolkinderen Engels gaan oefenen. Nepal kent voornamelijk toerisme als inkomstenbron en is daarom voor de jeugd erg belangrijk om zo snel, zo veel en zo goed mogelijk Engels te leren spreken.
Ik ben op dit moment in ieder geval klaar voor de 1e etappe naar Kathmandu; De koffer is gepakt, De accu's zijn opgeladen, het weer is gecheckt (warm met iedere dag regen, maar ja wat wil je als je in het moessonseizoen ...
To start off the week, we had a lie in and didn't have to go anywhere till mid day! I have never felt so lazy before, I literally laid in bed for 3 hours doing nothing. Well I did attempt to read Frankenstein but I began to fall asleep again (haha), its a fantastic book... When we finally were picked up on monday we got to go to the anatomy museum and play with a dead body. Well that sounds nasty, it was actually really cool. The first thing we did was to go see a disection of a middle aged women who had died on the streets and was not claimed by anyone, so it was used for science. Everything was very academic, but of course some people were uncomfortable, so they made jokes about it, that I didn't quite agree with. But kids will be kids. We spent the next hour stuck in a room with body parts from all different types of people at all different stages of life. It was quite intriguing, especially, there was a disected brain, spinal cord, and eye balls (all connected). It reminded me of the brains in a jar from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
But the next day was even cooler. Tasha, Kara and I went to the children hospital on the outskirts of Cordoba. We witness a double disection of tumors from both kidneys on a two year old boy. I kid you not, the tumors were bigger than my fist. We were there for 3 hours watching and they had just began taking apart the first tumor. It was such an intricate, tedious process to sew up and close off all of the blood supplies. It was absolutely amazing, they probably had about 9 more hours to go. After spanish class we went cosmo bowling which turned into a dance party in the lanes, it was a whole lot of fun! By the time we got home, all of us just fell into our beds, but unfortunately had to get up early the next day....
I slept 14 hours last night!!!!!!! I have never slept past 11:45am. It was incredible. I can’t believe I slept so long. I was sleep deprived all week. Today was a super chill day, I read a book Connor lent me called Yes Please by Amy Poehler. It’s pretty good. She can be funny. And I danced for like 2 hours in my host mom’s backyard (so hipster and cute!). It was a one person dance party. So it was a fabulous day. It was 70 degrees and sunny. I couldn’t ask for a more relaxing day. Angelica was out of town so Leah and I had the house to ourselves! Well, Simon of course too. Simon is Angelica’s blind, deaf, and mute dog. He is thirteen years old I think and he is too stinking adorable. Angelica is an angel and made us lunch and dinner because she knew she was going to visit her parents for the weekend. I have the best host mom ever. Not going to lie it was really nice to have the house to ourselves today though.
I just love life!!!!
It was tough waking up today. I shadowed the doctor in ultrasound, but honestly yesterday was more fun. The doctors talked to me and had fun personalities. This doctor was serious and didn’t teach me much at all. I saw her do ultrasounds on a few children. On a girl who had some liquid in some organ and as far as I understood, the other children were healthy. Her male counterpart was cooler. He was funny, made all his patients laugh, sang, and had a booming voice. But he wasn’t a good teacher either, to be honest. He listened to the children’s hearts and that was awesome to hear them beat. The kids were too adorable.
After my day at the hospital I went to the Projects Abroad office because I would be teaching my first Spanish lesson to some women! I am co-teaching with this guy named Christopher from New Jersey. His Spanish is awesome. We had a great time. The women were asking each other questions in English. One of them asked a woman, “Do you work?” We were practicing “do” versus “does.” The woman tried to say, “No, I am retired.” But it came out, “No, I am retarded.” Which is not politically correct either. But all the women burst into laughter. I couldn’t help but laugh. Then, the woman corrected herself after she laughed at herself and asked for help in the pronunciation of “re-tiii-erd.” I’m so glad I know English. I never realized how difficult it is. There are way too many rules. I would never understand when to use do or does for certain pronouns.
(I taught them every form of the most important sport!)
That evening was another despedida. Stephanie who went with me to Mendoza and Iguazu would be leaving on Sunday to go back to France. She is so awesome. ...