Monday, April 23, 2012

Feria de Salud, Brigada y Cedros!

Phew, it’s been a while since I have done this blogging thing, but I have also been pretty busy.  Let’s see, where to begin…

Ah, yes, right have Easter, Heather planned a Feria de Salud (Health Fair) in the school and middle school and asked if I could take a topic to discuss.  There were 8 stations, varying from all different areas of health from illness prevention to personal hygiene.  I had hand washing!  I chose this topic for a few reasons; 1) I had a poster already from when Heather and I did an activity in the school right after I got here, 2) b/c of the timing of said activity my Spanish REALLY sucked, and I wanted to redeem myself a little, and 3) the kids need ALL the help they can get to wash their hands.  The younger kids (especially in Casa Suyapa) don’t have any issues because someone is always telling them and then making sure that they do it.  For the older kids, everyone just assumes that they are mature enough to do it on their own.  Well, unfortunately, they are not.  Amazingly enough, all of the kids, young to old, knew so much about the importance of hand washing, when to do it and how to do it.  The thing is, THEY HAVE TO DO IT!!

It was a long (think, repeating the same thing over and over), but fun day.  There were only a few moments where someone had to correct my Spanish, or I had to ask for help because I didn’t know what someone was saying.  All in all, it was a successful day for everyone, and I am sure the kids learned a little something, too. :)

My awesome poster.

The ladies I work with everyday... from left, Dra Sandra, Maria, Me, Rebecca and Dra Irina

The cool hand inspection box 
(used with a special gel that represents germs and glows with a black light)

The Thursday after Easter, the brigade started in full swing with consults both in the surgery center and the external clinic.  I was looking forward to the brigade for a while, so I was happy to have it started!   The days were long, the nursing was still different, and I realized that my Spanish still needs a lot of work.  There were 4 specialties (Ortho, Gyno, ENT, and General), we saw over 700 people and had almost 100 surgeries.  Even though those numbers are impressive, it’s not about the numbers.  As Kate (the coordinator of the brigades) summed it up, it’s about the 2 Ranch kids who got ear surgery and will be able to hear better, it’s about the men and women who had hernias and weren’t able to work b/c of the pain and will be able to support their families again, it’s about those people who were living in pain because of orthopedic issues who will now (I hope!) be pain free and live their lives better and more fuller.

It’s about the patients and making their quality of life a little better so they can move on and live that life the way they were meant to.  It’s good thing to try to keep in mind, especially when the day-to-day frustrations, or overwhelming desire to crawl back into bed clouds the focus of why there are 50 extra people on the Ranch, all working towards the same thing.

Here are a few pictures I gathered.  I don’t have many, but Hunter has some that he took, and I will share those when he is finished.


Heather taking her turn scrubbing in and helping out the surgery.

Yup, mine turn.  Of all things I scrubbed in for... a foot.  An amputation for a toe.  
(and yes, I still don't like feet)

Rebecca was able to watch some surgeries, too!

Hunter working hard on that knee.

This past weekend, I worked a little differently.  Usually when it’s my weekend to work, I work Friday evening, and then Saturday (and, of course, I am on call the whole weekend).  Well, the entire ranch was going to a town called Cedros on Sunday, so because of that, I could go with them!  I loaded up the first aid kit (you just never know!) and was ready.  I wish I got to see more of the town, but I hung out with Casa Suyapa mostly, and we went to one of the Tia’s houses, and relaxed there for a while.  Everyone had lunch (rice, chicken, salad and tortillas made by the tios) on one of the fields, while we waited for the soccer games to be over.  It was a longer day than I anticipated, so I was so ready to be back home!

I wish I was able to see inside that church.

All of Casa Suyapa chillin' under a tree.

Cute Alberth. :)

Enjoying their treats!

I currently have this really obnoxious cough, am a little stressed that Heather is leaving soon, and worried that I really won’t be able to handle all of this here.  So, if you have a few extra moments, say some prayers for me!

I hope all is well in your neck of the woods!


  1. Hi sweetie...thanks for sharing your world with us. I feel you and I get to see pics of all of your experiences! Hope your cough goes away and that you catch up on your rest. My neck of the woods is great, although a bit empty without you here! Missing and loving you a lot!

  2. NEJ! Love your posts. Thank you for the details and the pics and just painting such a vivid picture of some of your experiences there. Miss you so much! <3

  3. You looked so cool doing that thing you do to a foot. I am happy that you are able to experience the other facets of your profession. Keep the pics coming... everyone loves seeing the great work you and the others are doing.

    Love ya....