as i was saying….
tuesday afternoon, Mesa sur, about an hour (that probably means 7 miles or so)* from matagalapa (you can find Matagalpa on the map. You will not find mesa sur).
early breakfast at 7am at the CEPAD offices in matagalpa. everyone seems to love pre-toasted bread. you buy it in the store pretoasted (you can probably find it at the price chopper — which is right across the street from the aldi — on 18th near i-35). i think it’s particularly good when you break it into tiny pieces, mix it up with your egg over easy and the queso fresco (but people look at you funny when you do that).
after breakfast, bruce, bill, carty, jamie, jeff and harold all headed to the village of siares where they began the process of prepping a plot for a water filtration plant to be built. historically, american and european industrialists have come into nicaragua and contributed to the deforestation of the country. today (head bowed in sadness) we did too. but we apparently cut down two trees the nicaraguan way…dig a big hole around it and then everybody pulls….really hard. the village leaders were so glad to see our team that after they were done with the trees (boy are tap roots killer) they were paraded through a nearby school house, entering a variety of classes to wild applause. (bill: “they all clapped. what the hell did we do? all we did was walk into the room.”) jamie loved it so much that wednesday, she’s back on work team duty instead of clinic. in the end, needless to say, they were all a bit dirtier than the clinic team.
we arrived at the clinic and it took mere minutes for a line to form. dashing-debonaire-darling-doctor doug (he’s really big when it comes to adding a new adjective to his name every day) (and by the way, this guy’s great. he’s calm and caring with patients, has worked like crazy with everyone else to get the supplies ready for the clinic and home health kits and he carries a soft-sided water bag instead of a bottle. he hangs it from his belt which gives him an even more [and unfortunate] medical look.)…i think this is the first time i’ve written so much in paretheses that i don’t remember what i wanted to say on the back side of them.
it was a long day in the clinic that didn’t seem as long as it actually was — it went quickly. sandy and vanna (bart) gave almost 100 families their home health kits during presentations that sandy does entirely in spanish. (by the way, galletas is the word for cookies.)
in the clinic, doug, sue, cindy and kevin worked their medical magic on about 33 patients…not bad for what was basically a half-day clinic. most of them get treated, at the very least, for intestinal parasites that come from drinking unclean water (insert another “how lucky are we?” comment here).
some of the highlights of clinic day one:
-the local leadership is great. they prioritized patients and kept things flowing efficiently.
-one of the most intereting cases of the day was by far the most serious. a woman with severe (dire) circulation problems came to clinic only after her pastor and a community leader begged her to. her reasons for not wanting to come…she had been told (and apparently believed — at least a little) that her medical difficulties were the result of a curse. d.d.d.d.doug’s words reassured her that she had not been cursed, but indeed was blessed. we will see her each day this week and see what else can be done. prayer never hurt anyone either. please include her in yours.
-and then there was the corn grinding. no it’s not a rash, it’s what goes on in the room adjacent to the waiting/pharmacy/in-take room. they grind toasted and boiled corn into meal to make tortillas. holy cow does ground, toasted corn smell good. the screeching of the corn grinder is not exactly what you’d expect to hear in a hospital…unless, i suppose, you happen to be in rural nicarawa. in the end, keep grinding corn because we’re lucky to have the rest of the building for our work. it offers plenty of space and privacy for the work that needs to be done.
on the way home, we only had to get out and push the bus once.
dinner. group time. more home health kit preparation. blog. sleep.
good night and god bless.
* check * on the monday blog.