This week was one of the busiest weeks so far (and that is without checking email and such due to the internet being down all week). It’s definitely good on one end because the week flew by, but I was so tired, I just couldn’t shake it. Ah, such is life here on the Ranch. Here is my week in review:
Things are going as usual there. I am definitely getting more used to the routine and the going-ons in the clinic. My understanding of Spanish is getting better and better, but my ability to speak is still a struggle. I am getting to know my co-workers more and more, as well, which is really helpful and encouraging. The patients are still cute and so appreciative of the little that we can do for them.
We also had another meeting for the entire health department on the ranch. Meetings here in Honduras are interesting. We met right after misa general (general mass, meaning the entire Ranch. They happen the first Thursday of every month and on Holy Days), and thought it would be a quick one, so I had said the external clinic would open at 10am. Well, 10am came and there was no end in sight, so I had to leave early. I already felt bad that we were keeping the patients waiting. I get to the clinic and was there for almost an hour by myself! It was really frustrating for a few reasons: there wasn’t much decided on at the meeting, and I was at the clinic with no help. Of course the girls thought I was mad at them when they finally showed up, but I wasn’t. I was just frustrated. But, meetings are like that here. You meet for hours and very little, if anything, is accomplished. And, that is just normal, so the girls couldn’t quite understand why I was so frustrated. I mean, it’s a culture change for me more than anything, and I have to learn to be more flexible in that way. At home, we have meetings for a certain amount of time, get things done, and we start our next tasks. But, that is just not what is done here, and if I don’t think it’s efficient, it’s how it is and I need to learn to adapt. This is the culture, I am the one who has to change, not anyone else.
Club de Diabetes:
On Friday we had our diabetes club. After about 6 months, Heather saw a need for diabetes education, and began a club for the patients who meet every 2 months. I was both a little nervous and looking forward to my first one. The day started at 6am, where we had pre-clinic (vital signs, glucose checks, weights) and provided a snack. When the doctor arrived, we had a charla (talk) about knowing the signs and symptoms of high/low blood sugar and what to do about it. Rebeca, the nursing student, gave part of the charla, and she did a great job! She was nervous about giving it and she was proud of herself when she was done. (I am also happy she did it because I don’t know enough Spanish yet!) It was also really awesome to see how many people came, and were eager to learn. After the charla, we resumed consults as usual, and the day became super busy with medications, IV fluid boluses, nebulizations and injections. We worked right up to lunch to see the last patient. It was a successful day, and I was proud to be part of it. The next one is May 2, if anyone has extra diabetes supplies, please contact me! :)
I was able to finally give my talk on service this past Thursday. It was a successful talk, albeit, not my best one. But, I am glad I did it. It was nice to have an open conversation about my faith. It was also a great reminder of the truth and why I am here.
Trip to Tegus:
Well, I (and Michelle) finally took a trip to Tegus by myself, without an older volunteer. We got on the bus, got off the right stop and found a taxi without any problems. It was an entertaining (creepy clowns got on the bus, I love people watching, etc) and slightly stressful (I feared for my life a few times in the taxis… driving is CRAZY in this city) outing. Our trip was more of a blip back to American life, as we went to one of the most American malls that houses Wal-Mart. Michelle needed to cash her check, so I wandered through Wal-Mart for a while, trying to get some things off my list. The store is a little disappointing, as it doesn’t have everything that a normal one does. But, I was able to get my mattress pad, so I think it was successful. We had lunch in the food court, and I stuffed my face with Chinese food. It was DELISH! The arroz Chino (literally Chinese rice, or fried rice) was amazing, way better than what the ranch makes. We then walked around a little more and I splurged on an amazing iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts (I even brought donut holes back for breakfast this morning!)! We headed back to find another taxi to make it to the bus, in the blazing afternoon heat. It was a successful day!
First trip to La Venta:
The closest little town to the Ranch is La Venta, and many of the volunteers will walk to the town and go to the bar to just get off the ranch for a little while. Everyone always has good stories to tell from their time there, so I finally decided to go on Saturday evening. It’s about a 25-minute walk through the woods to the little town, past a few houses, and you come to a little hole in the wall that ends up being the bar. It’s more of a garage or unfinished basement type thing, which happens to sell beer, chips and soup (Cup-o-Noodles). If you know me, you know that I am not a beer person, but I have to say, after walking for almost a half an hour, in one of the warmest evenings so far, the iced cold beer was incredibly refreshing! The few of us just chatted for a while and then walked back. It was a nice evening, getting to know more of the volunteers and being off the ranch.
I hope you all are doing well! I know I still owe you pictures of things... once I get curtains up in my room, I will take pics and give you a tour of the house. :)