Wednesday, January 6, 2016

OCC Nursing - Antigua and Leaving San Lucas Toliman

The past few days were, as per usual, very busy. We met up with 3 local health providers: a natural medicine man at the Institute for Meso-american Permaculture, a woman who heals with prayer, and midwives who acted out a traditional Mayan birth for us.
I think our families thought we would be coming down here and working as nurses in a clinic or something similar. However, while we did do a diabetes clinic for a morning, it's been mostly community health nursing...meeting the specific needs for the people in each town. It was stressed to us that when we come down here with many suitcases full of donated goods that we avoid a "haves" and "have nots" atmosphere. While the medical supplies, shoes, and other things were very useful to these people, we also learned so much from them. They have a level of skill in their trades that we envied.  It's great to have made such great connections...even without knowing each others' language! It was sad to leave Posada Los Volcanos and our host "family".
We were even more sad when we were all feeling sick on the van ride to Antigua up into the mountains! Twisty curvy roads and cliffs right next to the road that dropped a few hundred feet. Alas, we made it here safe after using some of the techniques we are taught to help distract patients from their pain. We jet back off to New York tomorrow to continue our studies.  I know that this trip will change the way we deal with patients, their families, coworkers, and our personal relationships for the better.

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