Monday, March 4, 2013

Back To Reality

March 4, 2013 Monday
Place: Evanston, Wyoming
Time: 7:00pm MST
Song: Overjoyed-Matchbox 20

I'm home.  Barely coherent.  After 18+ hours of traveling I'm surprised I'm still functioning.  Allergies and asthma are already kicking in.  My skin is dry.  But I'm glad to be home.  I'm seriously contemplating a hot, steaming bath, it's cold here!  But to wrap some things up, here's a list of random phrases and words that came about during the past 11 days.  There's a great story behind each every one so if interested, ask away.

Phase 10

"What's my objective?"

Same-sex partners

Reading rainbow

No take-backs, no changies

Monopoly Deal



Dora, like the explorer

Non-seminal event

Turn left at the cow.

Did you see the size of those things?!

All Good Things Come To An End

Saturday March 2, 2013
Place: Montrouis
Time: 4:35pm EST
Song: Beatles-Can’t Buy Me Love

We spend the morning lounging by the pool and getting one last dip in the ocean.  Breakfast is great with made to order omelets and fresh fruit.  I love coming here because I love all the fresh fruit.  You can’t get mango in the states like the mango here.  That’s pretty much all I eat for breakfast, fresh mango.  Be jealous, be very jealous.  I’m jealous because after Sunday I won’t get it anymore. 
It’s our last official work day.  We head back to the orphanage to do a clinic for the people in this town.  As we drive up we’re met with, well literally a mass of people.  We set up and get down to it.  Over the next 4 hours between 3 nurses, 2 MD’s and a nurse practitioner we see and treat 98 people.  Headaches, backaches, cold’s that have lasted for months, even years according to the patient.  By then end of the day we’re all very exhausted, sweaty, and thirsty.  We say goodbye to everyone at the orphanage and head home to the guesthouse where we have one last team meeting and commence with packing. 
Leaving is always bittersweet.  I’m usually ready to get home.  Be back with my family and friends and return to my normal, everyday life.  And if we’re being quite honest, be back to all of the simple comforts that I so often take for granted.  A warm shower, a continual supply of water, and sadly even, yes my blow dryer and flat iron.  But I hate to leave these people.  They’re an incredible reminder to me of what’s truly important in this life and that to be truly happy doesn’t require the material luxuries so often associated with the concept.  Family, friends, health, faith; these things that can’t be measured in monetary terms make one truly happy in this life.  And let’s be honest, I’m going to miss the sun!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Opposites Attract

March 1, 2013 Friday
Place: Montrious (prounounced Mo-wee)
Time: 11:07 pm
Song: Friends-The Band of Skulls

Today was glorious.  We awoke as usual, had a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs and fresh fruit then loaded a bus, yes bus-there are 24 of us including our interpreters, headed for Montrious (Mo-wee).  We arrived at the Work of Art Orphanage at around 9:30am.  I believe I’ve spoken of this orphanage before.  This is the third year we’ve come to this particular orphanage and done this particular work.  This orphanage houses children and caretakers and to raise funds they paint.  The teachers and instructors teach the children to paint.  They’re paintings are very beautiful and fun.  So we arrive this morning to complete well children checks on the children in the orphanage as well as see the workers and caregivers.  We treat any illnesses we find and leave vitamins and various supplies with them.  Lots of ear infections this year.  Our family medicine doc taught the workers how to clean the ears regularly, especially after swimming.  The children are overall healthy and excited to see us.  In about 2 1/2 hours we saw 34 kids and a few adults.  Pretty impressive.  One woman came with her 3 month old baby girl. The baby only weighed about 10 lbs.  The mother told us that she'd been hexed and that her milk had never come in as a result so all they had been giving the baby was juice.  Voodoo is a a very real religion to these people and they truly believe it.  We gave her about a month to two months worth of formula and taught her some nutritional information for the baby.
Then it was off for some every important mental recuperation.  After working very hard all week, we hit the beach.  We arrive at Club Indigo.  It used to be an old club med back in like the 70’s.  It’s not your average 4-star, but it’s comfortable and the water is actually warm! As I lounge by the pool getting my tan on they play oldies like Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons.  Makes me think of dirty dancing actually haha.   But don’t fret, as my luck would dictate, I did not meet with a Johnny Castle type.  The sun feels magnificent on my skin.  I let myself relax and soak it all in.  We have wonderful afternoon lounging by the pool, playing in the ocean, sipping pina coladas, and teaching our interpreters to swim.  Most of our interpreters grew up in and around Port-Au-Prince and have never had the opportunity to learn to swim.  Some of them are actually a bit scared of the water.  They do well though.  They’re hilarious actually. 
By dinner time we’re all starving, as we haven’t eaten since breakfast.  The food isn’t too shabby.  We eat, joke, and laugh for 3 full hours.  I wish I could recreate the atmosphere and conversation we had that night.  It was incredible.  Hilarious may be the better word for it.  We spent the better part of the 3 hours joking about various things that have happened on the trip, funny things people have said, and just telling stories.  Not only this but one of the other nurses on the trip, Jessica, keeps filling all our water glasses from the picture.  It becomes a game, we keep drinking, and drinking, and drinking, trying to see if someone will break and go to the bathroom.  And they keep refilling our water picture.  We must have drank somewhere between 12 and 15 of them.  Sad part? None of us had to get up and pee, we were all that dehydrated. I’ve loved every trip I’ve been on and the people that I’ve been on them with.  I’ve always tried to have fun.  But I have to say, maybe it’s just because I’ve really needed it and really made the effort, but I have laughed so hard on this trip.  I don’t believe I’ve laughed harder on any other.