Saturday, June 30, 2012

Is it really that time??

Well, first let me just say that I had an interesting week this past week.  My weekend started off really hopeful, with a day last Friday at the city dump (where literally all of the trash goes and is burned, and people make a living off of it, and there are multiple little towns around/in it... yes, in it) for a brigade with the Catholic University.  It was a nice change of pace, working with a ton of people to provide a little medical care, food and hygiene materials for the people of that area.  Even though I didn't have very much interaction with the people that lived there, I was still happy to help out in the little way that I did.

That afternoon, after a couple of beers with some of the girls (yes beers... what has happened to me?), I was really not feeling very well.  I ended up just resting in bed for the afternoon, trying to fight off the bouts of nausea I was having and then ended up throwing up for the whole night.  It was rough, and annoying b/c I was supposed to have a Skype date the following morning with Morgan (who is in SPAIN) and a friend I made in Copan was going to visit.  Poor timing, body, poor timing.  Well, suffice it to say, I did nothing really for the rest of the weekend other than sleep and eat a little.  That's the sickness for the month of June (for those keeping track!).

The external was closed this last week, and I was actually not looking forward to being in the internal the whole time.  I am still struggling like I belong and have a place within the clinic world, so it's hard sometimes.  But, it ended up being a blessing in disguise... I was able to get the de-parasiting thing all finished, finished up stuff for the new nurse coming, and all that jazz.  So, it was nice.  It was also really nice to get up in the morning and eat with the other volunteers and take my time.  I will miss that when I return to my regular schedule.

And, now all of a sudden it's time for the new volunteers to get here.  Is it really that time?  As we speak, I am sitting at the internet hut with 3 newbies (2 from Spain, which is so fun!).  I can't believe it!  The rest come this weekend.  I just don't feel like I am ready for them to be here... I am still new.  I still don't feel like I know what I am doing all of the time... I just GOT here. :)  But, asi es.  It's part of the volunteer life here on the Ranch.  It will be nice to get to know new people, and watch them go through this process, as well.

I think that's about it for recent events.  This next month will probably go by pretty darn quick... which is great... b/c my MOM IS COMING! :)  I am excited... is it obvious?

I hope you all are well!
Paz, Amor y Bendiciones!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Things are just... normal

It's been a busy few weeks.  For a while I was incredibly stressed about getting fingerprinted, b/c I needed them to renew my nursing license.  I had tried once, sent them in and they were rejected and had to start at square one.  But, unfortunately, it's a hard thing to find here in this country.  Somewhere to get fingerprints.  Finally, after asking the people at the Embassy (again), they were able to give me a suggestion, and it worked out!  It was a hilarious experience.  Ask me about it sometime. The same day, Hunter, Christina, and I needed to go to Immigration (this was my 4 trip) to see if our residency was ready.  Right when we get there, I get a text from my mom saying that my nursing license was renewed, and I don't have to stress about the prints!  WHAT?!  I couldn't believe it... so much stress and running around, to finally get those things, and then... my thing was renewed already!  Oh well... it worked out and that's what counts.  To top it off, our residency was NOT ready (again), and we will have to return yet another time.  Oh, Honduras...

Last week the external was closed, due to the employees having off, so I worked in the internal clinic.  There is another wave of Chicken Pox running through the Ranch, and has only seemed to affect Casa Suyapa.  So, in the internal clinic there were about 8 of the youngest kids on the Ranch being quarantined.  I had a few turnos (overnight shifts), and they were crazy.  It's hard to keep track of that many kids in general, but add the fact that they don't really know me very well AND my Spanish sucks, there was very little listening happening.   I had some help, thank God, so I was able to get through it.  Not without a few freak outs (normal, yes?) and questioning my ability to be a mom one day.  Ha.  But seriously...

We have had well over 50 patients every single day this week in the external.  CRAZY.  It makes for longs days, working until 4, when I still need to work on de-parasitizing stuff (yes, I am responsible for giving the entire Ranch meds for parasites, which happens about every 6 months)... and going to Hogar until 8.  Ugh.  But, asi es.  I had some nice moments with patients which reminded me that I really am doing a cool thing.

Other than that... things are just... normal.  It's kind of weird.  I wanted to write about everything all of the time when I first got here, b/c it was so new.  Almost being here for 6 months, I now have this sense of home and normalcy in a way, so it's hard to pick out the things to talk about.  I don't really know when that even happened... but it did, and I think it's a sign that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.

I hope that things are going well for you all!
A shout out to all the dads our there... Happy Father's Day!!  Especially to mine. :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Oh... how am I feeling?!

Well the last few posts have been about things, good things, but I haven’t really talked about how I am doing these days.

We volunteers just got back from an AMAZING weekend, spent in Tegus at a pretty swanky hotel.  Every 6 months we have a retreat, where we go somewhere to spend time together off the Ranch and regroup.  (We lucked out this time with a small group, so we were able to stretch our retreat budget and stay at the said swanky hotel.  This might be the only time it happens.)

This retreat seriously came at a great time.  The last few weeks have been a little crazy.  I feel like every day I am struggling with something.  Recently, I have realized that people (basically, everyone outside of the volunteers) have expectations of me, but I don’t really know what they are, so I am constantly failing.  Yes, this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but to an extent, not really.  Because there is still a language barrier, and it seems that culturally, people don’t really let you in on things anyway, there is indeed some things that I don’t get, or miss, or what not.  And, of course it’s my fault (please note sarcasm), so people get annoyed with me.  And, let me tell ya, it’s frustrating.  I am trying to let things like this roll off my back, and to focus on the little things (like actually getting told that I am “in charge” of the internal clinic this week, while the external is closed b/c all employees have off, BEFORE the week has started… crazy, huh?) that have worked out well.  It’s not easy, but I am trying.

Inside the house, we have had some interesting changes in our group dynamics recently.  With any type of unexpected change, there are some frustrations, awkward moments and resentments that if not controlled quickly, will overrun us and become a poison inside our community.   It was getting to that point, but we have talked about things as a group, and feel confident to move on and not dwell on the past.  Again, our retreat this past weekend helped solidify us as a group, reminded us how much of an influence every person has on our community and that we are in constant need of each others support and love.

We all had to set some goals, as well.  One of my goals is to really look at the positive things that happen everyday.  I am still struggling with feeling content and happy everyday.  As you all know, I was so, so, SO excited to come here before I left, and beat myself up for not feeling the same everyday.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not sad and depressed everyday.  But, I just don’t have this overwhelming joy that I thought I was going to have while I was here.  My work is hard, the language is rough, and people are not as accepting as one would think.  And to deal with those things everyday, really clouds the things that really are going well.  One of my friends here told me that it’s really ok to not feel happy everyday.  It’s not something that I am doing wrong or not doing enough of.  I have felt a little encouraged by this, and other volunteers saying up until their 6ish month, they still struggled with feeling like they belonged and that everything was great.  So, here is to trying to look at the positive things, relying on the other volunteers, and relaxing a bit more to enjoy the moments here.

Now, here are a few pics of things from the last little while.  Seriously, sorry I have sucked so bad about blogging lately! :)

All of the clinic staff at Heather's despidida (good bye party).

Most of my boys one random night... some being silly!

A little birthday present for my mom, back in May!

The amazing pizza that the Italians made us. :)

Me and Julia... one of the newest babes! :)  How cute is she!?

The pool at Hotel Maya!

haha, Caroline and Hunter enjoying the Peruvian restaurant.

Hunter, Michelle and I hamming it up. :)  
(Please look how long my hair is!)

Last day of retreat, enjoying the pool!