11 March 2011

Faith in Practice Trip #1

Well world, here's the next update from my very very busy 4 weeks...

The day after getting back from Belize, I went on my 1st Faith in Practice trip to Jalapa in Eastern Guatemala. It was a really great trip where we saw almost 2,000 patients in 4 days.

We went to 2 fairly rural villages (2 days in each) and took over a school / church. We had abotu 30 group members, half nurses and half doctors- including dentists, Ear Nose and Throat specialists, pediatricians, gynochologists, pharmacists, and general medicine.

So the day startd at 5 when we awoke because devotion was at 5:30, and breakfast at 6. At about 6:45 we'd drive for 1 hourish to the village. My job was to help triage patients in the morning (aka listen to their problem and tell them which doctor they'll see / which line they'll have to wait in), and then I translated for one of the gynos from about 10:30 on. Did I chose this? No. Did I see more than I ever wanted to see ever in my life? Why yes, yes I did. Did I have to ask uncomfortable questions in my 2nd language? Yep. Did I learn new vocabulary words? You better believe it. Did I hate it? Surprisingly, no-- it was cool to get to talk to so many women about their kids, familiy life, how they're planning their families now, etc... And I got to see some ultrasounds! ((And re-confirmed that I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be having babies any time soon....))

After patients were triaged, waited (usually for a LONG time), saw the doctor and got any blood/urine lab work done that was needed (I stayed faaar away from that table), they could go to the pharmacy that we broght with us for their medicine -- all free of charge.

Each day we finished about 4 in the afternoon, packed up a bit, and then headed back to the hotel to rest, rinse, and repeat the next day. It was definitely tiring, but great to get to know the group and cool to be able to serve Guatemalans in such a tangible way. Though I fear it kind of perpetuates the Santa Claus syndrome regarding people from the US, I'm so glad that I could be a part of the trip and look forward to the next FiP trip I'll take!

bendiciones, juli

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