Wednesday, July 22, 2009

During our last week and a half, Melissa and I came across a super cute bar with a fantastic happy hour and volleyball court. We ended up spending almost every night from there on our playing volleyball with a bunch of the locals and some of our friends from the clinic. Here's the view from the court.
This is Dr. Raymond. He basically runs the clinic. He's born and bread on the rock, as they say, and his people love him.

Melissa and I were the only twovolunteers allowed to give our medications. It was mostly because of our knowledge of pharmocology and our ability to explain the medications to the patients in either english or spanish. Medication compliance is one of the biggest issues at the clinic because when people don't understand with their medication is for, or how important it actually is, they stop taking it and end up back at the clinic.

One of our favorite days/ nights on the island, we headed out to a hotel called Land's End. It has a sort of infinity pool and is surrounded by lava rock. We had some good sunset chats there.

Here's some pictures of the beautiful people we go to meet and squeeze and hug while we triaged patients last week. We spent a lot of time with the little kids cause we didn't want to let them leave. Some didn't want to leave while others, like the one Melissa is measuring, couldn't wait to get outa there.
This poor boy had a fever. It took all his strength to muster up a smile for the picture.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Since the last time I posted, weve experienced many new exciting adventures. Heres some pictures to help document our travels.

Heres a picture of Dr. Raphael seeing one of my favorite patients of the day. The little girl was seeing the doctor because of an infection she had on her knee. She also had a small rash and cough. Many of the pediatric patients here come in with a cough or cold but weve had some scabies, chicken pox and today we had a boy who got kicked in the face by a horse. He had to have a tooth extracted by the dentists who happened to get here today.
Heres the hall of the clinic. Once the patients walk in the go to the first room on the right so we can check all their vital signs. I was able to be in the triage room all last week and Im doing it again this week. This is probably my favorite place to be so far because you get to see every patient at least once and its been a great place to practice some nursing skills. I also love that i get to hold and snuggle with some of the babies. Today we had a 20 day old little boy who was a little jaundiced who I couldnt stop starting at. The first little girl we saw escaped from her mom after we sent them back into the waiting room and ran to me so I could hold her. She was incredible.
Heres Melissa in the pharmacy. Most of the medications here are donated by the volunteers that come. Some of them are bought from some European country. 50% of the people walking through the door are here for a simple medication refill but still wait for quite some time to see a doctor. High blood pressure and Diabetes are the two biggies with the middle aged population and if you{ve ever tasted the food on the island youd understand why. Theres a ton of salt and sugar in EVERYTHING. According to one of the doctors here, Honduras has claimed that Coke is one of the five essential foods to the Honduran diet along with rice, beans, wheat, and something else I cant rememeber. Crazy huh.

Here we are getting ready to zipline through the jungle. This was amazing! We all made it safely through the jungle, over the river twice and even ate some termites along the way. They taste like carrots. No lie.

The Lago de Yojoa is beautiful. We rented a boat to row along the river and we got a small boy and a boat. What a deal! He was about the size of my thigh and sweat the whole time. We gave him a big tip after we were all done and he just about lost it. I think he´s good to buy ice cream for the rest of his life.
Spelunking is one of my new favorite things. This journey was intense, dark, hot sweaty and amazing.
When we were in Copan, something bit me and I developed an allergic reaction to it. I was itchy and red for days. I tried going to a natural healer and all she gave me was soap so I ended up going to a dermatologist a few days later. I ended up spending $70 for a consult and six medications. An unexpected cost but well worth it in the end.
In Copan they have small Tuk Tuks. Same as the ones in Thailand. We fit all five of us plus the driver in one cramped space. We also almost tipped it over.
That´s mostly it. Hopefully soon I can post some pictures of our new place. It´s incredible with some good ocean views.
The political tensions are rising over here but the island seems safer than the mainland so they keep telling us not to worry. Keep praying for us though. I can´t seem to kick a cold I got while in the clinic and every few days we still feel like we ate something bad. We are finally setttling into a groove over here and know almost everyone on the island ... or so it seems.
Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Before Roatan...

We´ve finally arrived in Roatan after days in the crazy jungle. I mean really. The jungle has been kinda crazy.

I developed an alergic reaction to something that bit me in the Copan Ruins which has caused much chaos and thre different ¨doctors¨ to deal with. I´ll hopefully post pictures soon cause no words can explain the ugly that grew all over my body.

I´ll keep this short and besides the above, the last few days have been a blast!

- spelunked 600 meters into a cave in pitch black with only baby flashlights guiding the way
- rowboated through lake yojoa´s via 12 year old super cute little boy
- intentionaly dehydrated ourselves to ride on a bus for hours and hours
- ziplined through jungle at possibly hundereds of feet in the air.
- eaten termites.... they taste frighteningly similar to carrots.
- found the most amazing 2 root apartment for the next couple of nights with an incredible view, kitchen, deck and hammock.

Wé´re basicaly living the dream right now wishing all our closest family and friends could join.
Hopefully some pictures are to come to document the beauty of this trip!

Until then...

Saturday, June 20, 2009


We're here...ahhhhh.

So glad to finally be in Honduras after months of dreaming about it all. We met up with Bekah and Cynthia after waiting for a few hours at the airport in the hot hot heat. We took a 3 1/2 hour bus ride from San Pedro Sula to Copan earlier today and were able to spend all of today exploring this quaint beuatiful town. In the rain. We recently went on an exploratory walk and lost our way on the way back while trudging through muddy roads. A Tuk Tuk (famous in southeast asia and freaking awesome) came by and we got a ride back to town on their super dodgy streets.

Tomorrow we're headed to the runis early in the morning and then bussing it to Lago de Yojoa for a few days. There's a microbrewery there with supposed great burgers, unique beers and bird watching? It should make for some good relaxing time if I could get these damn mosquitos to stop biting me. Vitamin B1 and Lemon Eucalyptus oil are no match for the hungry mosquito. Bummer.

Love you all. I'll hopefully be back soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

survival international

I really love survival international. They were some of the first to open my eyes to the human cost of a diamond.

I'm also excited that tonight I will be blessed enough to go watch Brett Dennen perform a concert at his house in Santa Monica ... I know right?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Since I haven´t been the best about posting pictures, I figured I would make up for it by posting a bunch of super key important ones... here we go
I´m gonna start at the mountain school...

Buster welcomed us into our new home at the mountains.

Here´s me... in my familys kitchen... trying to make tortillas.... In other words, I´m tortillando (one of my teachers told me that in Chile, to tortillar is a bad word. I´m not so sure about it... can someone help me out here. Preferably my family)

The finished product. Not so bad. Also, not so round and a little too fat but it was my first one, what do you expect.
Wednesday nights is noche cultural. Basically a bunch of kids from the community running around in a room playing games. I have a story for this picture but... well, it´s kinda wierd. Ask me and I´´ll tell you. Also, the little kid in the red is flipping the camera off. Kinda funny if you ask me.
Here´s my host family in the mountains. Here we have Lili (10) Piedad (76) Adeliada (?) y Evelyn (7). My first day there I was talking to Lili about her age and birthday and stuff. She mentioned that they don´t celebrate their birthday because they don´t actually have money to buy cakes or pinatas or anything. She then told me that one year, a student brought her family some chocolate cake for her birthday and so she was able to celebrate. The school tells us not to give material gifts to these families because it causes a lot of jealousy in the community. they said that if you want to give a gift to your family to give something that will dissapear, like food. On thursday I went into town to buy a cake for the family. When I arrived, they were thrilled. They tried to make me eat some cake but I couldn´t do it. The next day, they were still thanking me and they told me that instead of eating dinner that night, they had a chocolate cake! I love it. Mom, I figuered you´d love it too...
Here´s my teacher Eunice. Shes little, beautiful, wise and brave. We had some really good heart to hearts in spanish over coffee in a hut. Really, that makes us BFF.
Here´s one of the huts I studied in.

Here´s the toilet that they use to make fertilizer for the medicinal herb garden. The pot on the second toilet is filled with chalk, it helps keep the latrine from smelling bad... and it works. I did my best to contribute to the fertilizer as often as I could. I think they´re stocked up for a while now.
A cute little old man on the side of the road. He would get tired and sit for hours... Santo Lopez... i love him.

Basically, the Guatemalan women here are incredible for a few reasons. One of them being, this woman is basically wearing jellys, with a stack of wood over 100 pounds heavy on her back being supported by her neck with a forehead strap. Oh and the road she´s walking is further than a mile long and starts off as super uneven cobblestone. crazy! On our way to buy the chocolate cake... in our taxi/ pickup truck.
Our very first superchivos game... yay superchivos! Super chivo and grandson mini chivo.

My host family , Alejandro and Blanca Perez. They were such a great host family to stay with, we laughed a lot, they (alejandro) told really not funny jukes... and while somethings could have been lost in translation, i don´t think that was the case.

Here´s Blanca and Alejandros nietas. Melanie on the left and Emily on the right. Emily turned one last wednesday... and I´m missing her pinata this coming weekend. Both girls are so freaking beautiful and Melanie is a little spanish firecraker. Saying ¡no hombre! and other things that I always thought were bad words... I guess they aren´t.
Here´s Erin learning how to shake her caderas. We had a free salsa lessons at the school and you know we were all there trying to learn some O.G. salsa.
Here´s our friend Fedelma. We went out dancing one night and unfortunatley all we got was crazy ranchero music. Don´´t worry, the next night was all salsa (and a little YMCA.... not too sure why but it seems to be a big hit at ¨La Rumba¨here in Xela.)
Mi maestro Estuardo. He took us to a SuperChivos Futbol game and watched us yell things that... I´m pretty sure are foul and vulgur. Okay fine, I know they are but it was still loads of fun. We also spent some of our school days telling jokes and laughing on the roof with Ruth and Milton (her maestro).
the view from the roof of the school.

Fuentes Georginas... look at her pose ladies and gents!

Ok the end. Miss you all and we´ll be seeing you soon! ... Too soon I´m afraid.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

i am still alive. sorry

Things here have been awfully crazy and I know I've been a bad blogger. We've arrived here at the mountain school...aka the most beautiful place I've been to in Guate. I'm also not as organized as Ruth and forgot the cord to hook úp to the computer so I can post some pics. (so lame... i know)

Basically, we took a one and a half hour bus ride up the mountains towards the coast through the forest/jungle. Once we arrived, there was more green than I've ever seen... ever. Our first day here was lots of sun and exploring and walking around. Yesterday though, I sat in a thatched hut (also the place where we have our one on one spanish lessons with our teachers during the day) and read a book. In an instant, we found ourselves in a tropical storm. THE loudest thunder THE brightest lightning and THE hardest rainfall. AWESOME! It was perfect temperature, not too hot and sticky and not too cold. I'm pretty sure somewhere in there the lightning hit the school too. It lasted all afternoon and I just couldn't get enough.

I'm fairly sure this school was made for people like me. That is, the captain planet type. They have an outdoor toilet where they collect poop and make fertilizer with it. I{m thinking this is a good idea for good old 1317. Any takers? There's a chuk? a traditional mayan hot(ish) steam bath type thing... anyways erin and I did it yesterday and even though i took a shower today, i still smell like i spent the night INSIDE a campfire. There's a bunch of banana trees on campus, tons of chickens running wild (no i haven't squished any of them) and a medicinal herb garden also super awesome. The first day here they had a guy, Jorge, come and talk to us about his experience and training as a natural health promoter in the communityHe also gave us some recipes for some natural teas he makes for a lot of the students here. So if anyone has the -reah or ameobas, i got you covered.

My teacher is a 23 year old mother of two. Her name is Eunice Maria Merceded. She has a daughter whos name is Fernanda (3), and a son who's name is... you guessed it Fernando(1). I love it. No really... I love her. She's this super strong feminist who's working to try and do the Vagina Monolouges here in this super small rural farm town. I love it. She's also probably one of the best teachers I've had here.

Tonight we're having Noche Cultural and you guessed it, we're the "cultural." Who knows what's gonna go down tonight. I think we just sit and play with a bunch of the kids that live in this community. My family was telling me how much help the students are here. That sounded kinda funny to me because all we do is eat with them. We don't help them cook or clean or anything. She told me that because 75% of this community is unemployed, the students bring in a lot of extra income. She also told me they eat a lot better and a lot more when there's students staying with them. When it's just the family (which in my case is a single mother, 10 year old, 6 year old and the mother's parents.... the mom is the only one who works and it's only a few days a week, the grandpa is 75+ and everyday he has to take a pickup into town to try and find work which is really hard to find so he has to wake up at about 4am) all they eat is beans and tortillas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Crazy.

Thats all for now... I should head back to town before heaven's faucet opens on us while we're on the back of a pickup truck. ... which around here is a taxi.