03/24/14: field day #1 in rural Seibo
Our first two field days were spent at a clinic in the sugarcane fields with no running water or electricity. We set up a pharmacy, a peds clinic and several rooms with physicians both from the DR and from WV. My assignment on the first day was taking all the vitals with two first-years. (This may or may not have had to do with the fact that I spent so many years volunteering at Paul Hom so they figured I could help speed the process along.)
It was amazing to see the level of trust that our patients had in us, especially with the OMT, given the fact that due to the language barrier, it was hard to explain what exactly it was to them. There are also a surprising amount of similarities between rural Appalachia and the Dominican Republic. The real main difference was just that in the United States, health care is practically considered to be a right and is generally is a lot more accessible.
The likenesses between here and Paul Hom were also pretty striking and gave me even more of an appreciation for just how much of a blessing it was that I’d been able to volunteer at PHAC. The hands-on experience I gained from working directly with patients there has been extremely valuable.
It did feel weird though to be on the other side of the fence in that I used to be an interpreter and was now the one that pretty much understood nothing. I often felt bad because I couldn’t understand what the patient was saying to me, but we worked around the language barrier with a whole lot of body language/nonverbal communication and my extremely broken Spanish. I also started picking up words here and there as time went on–for instance, I got very good at saying, “Siéntese aquí, por favor” (Please sit here.) and pointing to the arm while saying “el brazo” and gesturing with my blood pressure cuff.
Since the area is so rural, CSA started telling people in the area that we were coming several months ago and news of this traveled by word-of-mouth. We saw a total of 189 patients on our first day! :]
Top Left: 3 of my favorite people on this trip. :]
Top Right: This pretty much sums up the entirety of our friendship.
Bottom Left: Just chillin’ after dinner. :o We actually had a lot more downtime than I thought we would.
Bottom Right: Shannon and I are good at being at or near the front of the line every time. Food is important. :x
I’m also firmly convinced that if my life played to the soundtrack/playlist that’s been playing constantly at the place we’re staying at (Hotel Colinas), life would be more amazing and I’d forever be in an awesome mood. I adore salsa/bachata music. :] Some of the songs I managed to find out the names to (or so the internet tells me) include the following:
- Antony Santos – Yo Quiero
- Juan Luis Guerra – La Hormiguita
- Juan Luis Guerra – El Farolito
- Antony Santos – Corazon Duro
- La Sonora Carruseles – Quiereme Siempre
- Tono Rosario – Que calor
- Raulin Rodriguez – Esta Noche
- Romeo Santos – Odio
- Johnny Sky – With or Without You
- Fernando Villalona – Copacabana (At the Copa)
- Frank Reyes – Dejame Entrar en Ti
- Romeo Santos – No Tiene la Culpa