Tuesday, July 12, 2011

¿Tomar la presión?

Yesterday was what some may call an easier day. We weren’t assigned to clinical sites in the morning, but we had a meeting with Dr. Belknap and then had the rest of the morning to work on our aggregate project. It was nice to be able to have a couple solid hours to work on it because up until now it has just been a lot of half an hour here and there. We have a really good start on it, and after clarifying things with Dr. Belknap we are all very excited about the project, besides all our free time that it is taking. ;) But hey, that is what we are here to do so I am willing to sacrifice.

Right after lunch we took our Marquette family to the supermercado (grocery store) to get some food and such that they may need. We also got Kiara and Christian a juegete (toy) along with some helado (ice cream). I was expecting them to kind of pick up everything they saw because they don’t get to go shopping at a place like this. It was quite the opposite; Erika would always pick the smallest and cheapest, even if the bigger size was a better deal! The people here have so little yet they hate to ask for things. I know Meg has told us stories of the family that her family supports and they always have to pry it out of them what they really need. It was a lot of work, mostly because Jessica fell asleep in my arms so I had to CARRY her the entire time we were there, but Erika and the kids were so grateful that it made up for the fatigue we felt.

Before mass, Chelsea did her teaching project to the women of Vaso de Leche on Nutrition and High Blood Pressure. We then all helped take blood pressures of the women. I think it is kind of funny when we ask “Tomar la presion” and everyone comes running wanting to check their blood pressure. I don’t know if it is because they are worried due to many people having high blood pressure in the community or they just like to have it done, but I don’t think I have ever seen people get so excited about getting their blood pressure taken.
This morning I had my last round of home visits. L I really enjoy these and wish I could do more but next week we start working with some medical and surgical teams that are coming from Oklahoma so this is our last week of clinicals. We started off with my favorite patient of the day Maximina, who was this short little woman who had nine kids and lived with one of her sons. She is 84 years old and is walking around, cooking and in GREAT shape! She loved us cleaning, cutting and filing her finger and toenails. She kept giving us hugs and kisses which of course we (Marianne and I) loved. We then visited some other people, mostly just taking blood pressures and even a couple people were not home. So we ventured to another little village but we had to cross this river! Haha not to scare anyone or make it sound like a ventured through raging rapids but I did walk across a channel of water only walking on logs! 


 This afternoon we went into another one of the village’s and taught hand washing followed by a health Q&A session and taking Blood Pressures. It was a smaller group of women this time but there were many kids who got in on all the fun. I was expecting them just wanting to do it because it looked cool but they actually had paid attention to the steps and they were telling each other what to do and how to do it! It was one of the coolest things I have seen. There was a little boy, about 4 yrs old, who wanted to wash his hands but didn’t really know how to complete all the steps. So the older kids were helping by showing him how to rub the soap all over his hands and in between his fingers, etc.  Two of the little girls even came up and were asking questions about the handout we gave them with the steps of how to wash your hands. The last step on the sheet explains to turn off the faucet with a towel, yet many people here don’t have running water so they don’t have faucets. The mothers must have overlooked that step because it was the little girls who ran up to us and asked us to explain it to them! I really think these kids will do this regularly and will teach others how to wash their hands. That is great for a community like this because so many diseases and illnesses that they contract can be reduced TREMENDOUSLY by washing their hands.

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