Saturday, May 23, 2009

The clinic

Hey everyone! I´m back in the big city for the weekend and have found some time to update. The clinic where I work is really really cool. The people are so nice to me and patient that I don´t speak a lot of Spanish. No one there speaks any English so it´s been interesting.

The clinic was started by an American NGO that has sponsored it for a few years. I believe it was opened in 2006 but I am not quite sure. They have one doctor there, his name is Max and they have a dentist (whose name I cannot remember) and several nurses who also act as secretaries. Everyone kind of does everything. They have a mini pharmacy there as well. I believe that the health care and the medicine there is all free, but my language skills have prevented me from asking too many questions.

When I first got there, they had me working in the stock room since I couldn´t communicate very well. Then I told the doctor that I have an interest in medical stuff and I have some EMT training from 2001 and know all the basics of taking blood pressures and vitals and all that. So he told me that from now on I would work with him in the clinic room and he would teach me whatever I wanted to learn. So far I mostly take blood pressures and glucose readings, but he has let me sit in on all the exams. I have gotten to do a pre natal exam (heartbeat and growth and all that stuff). I also got to assist with a pap test and I got to inject a poor kid in the ass with penicilin!! It´s insane what they will let me do without training or certification. They have also asked me to do a presentation on First Aid and CPR (in Spanish) once I get some more language down. I am also going to be doing a presentation on Sexuality for the schoolkids. I can´t believe the amount of teenage moms here. Its insane. But being that this country is hard core Catholic, I suppose the whole no birth control thing is a great excuse. However, don´t Catholics also shun pre marital sex?? Anywho...

I like the clinic and the people and I think I will be happy there.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


For saying this a Third World country, they eat a lot. The only difference is, none of it is healthy. None that I have found anyway. Mostly you get a staple of rice and beans (although my family is quite american in their food choices).

The water is not drinkable although it is treated to use for bathing and brushing teeth etc. They buy drinking water a la Culligan type things. I have one to myself in my room.

There are fruit trees everywhere, mostly mangoes and bananas. There are also pineapples and limes and papyas. And yes, I know pineapples don´t grow on trees.

Mostly everything here is fried. Its quite gross actually. Butter, oil, lard and salt go into pretty much everything. The ground is still healing itself from the effects of Hurricane Mitch in 1998, sao getting good produce is hard. There is a lot of canned veggies brought in from outside countries but not much fresh and nothing frozen. I eat a lot of veggies at home so this has been trying for me. They love fried chicken here and it gets served at least twice a week. With rice and tortillas and bread. You are pretty much guaranteed to get three starches with every meal. A lot of eggs as well. It all tastes fantastic, but none of it is really healthy at all and it is doing a number on my stomach (not to mention my waistline... so much for Third World diet). I suppose you can liken it to a student diet... lots of KD and cup a noodles cuz its cheap... same concept.

Elva makes me pancakes a lot and they have maple syrup here (a lot of American products here) or I get corn flakes or oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch is usually pasta and bread with cream sauce, or chicken and rice, and dinner is usually beef or chicken and rice again. Lately she has been visitng people at night so I have been fending for myself and found some veggies for a stirfry. Oh, and she doesnt like white meat so even the chicken I get isn´t healthy. But damn, it all tastes good

The export heaps of coffee here, so they drinks buckets of it as well. Now Im not a coffee drinker but from what others have told me, its better than Tim Hortons!! They LOVE Coke here!!! They drink full fat coke like water and its hard to find diet pop... they have coke zero but its gross. They also love drink mixes like Tang and Koolaid type stuff. Of course sugar gets added to everything. I try and drink a lot of water.

So that´s all I can really think of to say about the food. Nothing weird has been offered to me nor suggested, so I guess Ive been lucky that way.


Ok, so I have found myself some time online... yay. So what can I tell you? Well I think that since there is sooo much and this could get sooo long, I will break it down into a few different posts by section. I´ll tag everything by week or date so you know which blogs belong to which times. Cool?

Here we go...
The Spanish speakers cant pronounce t at the end of words so my name is now Katy. Thats how they spell it too. Or Katerina which works as well. I am only going to be able to get to a computer maybe once a week or so, so please don´t be alarmed if I don´t update very often. There isn´t any form of Internet in my village. I am not living in a mud hut on a dirt road either... well, it is on a dirt road, but not what you think.

My family:
I live with an older couple named Elva (mom, 59) and Bayunardo (dad, 69 farmer) in probably the nicest house in the village. It´s huge actually in comparisson to the others and I would be more likely to call it a hacienda than a house. I don´t know how or if I cam allowed to upload pics on this computer, so you may have to wait. There are 5 bedrooms but the bathrooms are outside. There is running water and yes, it is hot but it gets delivered once its treated in the main city so once it runs out, it runs out. then you boil cold water and bucket shower. I have only had to do that once. Sometimes they don´t deliver the water for whatever reason. The strange thing here is that their sewage system does not allow for toilet paper, so you have to throw all that stuff in the bin beside the toilet, which does get smelly, but it gets emptied. They don´t have landfills outside the main cities so people put all their garbage and waste into a fire pit and burn it. You cannot imagine that smell!!! Oh yuck!!
Elva has a house in the city of Tegucigalpa and she comes into the city most weekends to shop and visit her family. I have been coming with her mostly. Yes, there is some money in this family for sure.

The clinic is pretty nice for saying what they have to work with. Its the one place in the entire village that is sanitary. They are very particular about sanitization which I appreciate. The doctor is very nice, his name is Max and he is going to let me help him out in the clinic itself Monday. The staff are nice and fairly patient with me, but they are used to foreigners coming to help out. There is a dentist on site and the doctor travels around sometimes to those who can´t make it to the clinic. He also vaccinates the local dogs against rabies. They are all wild dogs and probably less than 5% of the dog and cat population are pets. Mostly they are strays and wild so we don´t touch them or feed them.

So over all, its a gorgeous country landscape wise. It is INCREDIBLY poor and some people live in what can barely be called shacks. The pollution is insane in the city since the cars are all old and not serviced, they all puff out big clouds of smog. There aren´t many bugs during the day but there are quite a few at night.

Any questions? Just drop a comment on here and Ill answer it when I get back online.
Hope you are all well and happy.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Im here

hey everyone. I only have a couple mins and i will try and write more on monday if i can. there is no internet in my village so i have to wait till i come into the city which may be like every 10 days. so just a quick note to say I am fine. the country is beautiful but really poor. my mother and father are nice but a bit over protective. The medical clinic is nice and the people are super friendly and I will get to work with the doctor on monday.

so im alive and doing well so far... hope to update more later.


Monday, May 4, 2009

See you in August!

With only two days left before my big adventure this is where I learn, once again, I am Queen Procrastinator! But I come by it honestly and think that by now I have figured out how to deal with it. haha.
I want to thank everyone at home I got to see while I was here, and I'm sorry if I missed anyone (I know there are a couple of you). The next two days I am sequestering myself at home to make sure that all is done and complete as I can't just phone Dad to mail me something. The bbq last night was awesome (thanks Jay) and it has been a blast chatting and catching up with you guys. Thanks also to Jax for lending me the rucksack so I don't have to buy one, and to Amy and Sabrina from BB for chatting with me until all hours of the night and sharing their freak outs and excitements.
Thanks to Derek for making me laugh and supporting this crazy adventure- 100 days!!!
K, that's I'll post as soon as I can once I get my footing down there. Take care of each other and please make sure my father eats more than Tim Horton's and bacon sandwiches while I am gone!! :o)
Love and stuff