We awoke bright and early at 6:30am. I finally got a full night's sleep because I figured out how to close the window. I'm still very tired though. Many low-sleep days are piling up. I shuffled into the kitchen and grabbed my bread and eggs, making use of the brief wi-fi functionality to check my email. The lease thing is going meh.
Stephanie H. is feeling better today. The food made her sick because she isn't used to it. Yesterday she stayed home from her project shift. Today she's coming with us to clinic. We left on time today, at 7:30. Our bus ride was about 90 minutes, including waiting for someone to tell us what building we could use. Just kidding, we're still waiting.
We finally started setup around 10. Today the triage and pharmacy tents were combined and the education station was inside. Well, sort of inside. Our location was a sort of covered cement porch with a soccer park. All the doctors' tables were shaded but technically outside. We finally opened the clinic at probably 10:30.
I worked in triage all morning, taking blood pressures and translating for the other kids who didn't speak Spanish. Triage was really fun! I got to interact with lots of kids, and I learned how to hold an infant. The parents were surprisingly OK with me just holding their children. They couldn't have babies on their laps while we took their blood pressure, so we held their babies. We were moving slower than all the other stations, so Ricardo started helping the paperwork lady. Dogs wove between the tables and locals shooed them away. Kids came to say hello and watch us.
I worked in triage until noon, then we had a shift change. I worked next in the obstetrics tent. The obstetrician was actually a midwife, not a doctor. She spoke English very well and it seemed like she actually needed assistants, unlike the general medicine tables. We didn't have to do anything for breast exams, but for PAP smears we had to put a clean paper on the table, hand the midwife a speculum and a brush/swab, and shine a light onto the cervix via the speculum. We saw a sexually active 16-year-old, an inactive 18-year-old, an active 37-year-old, and a pregnant 39-year-old. I leaned what it looks like when a cervix is healthy, when it's inflamed, and when there's too much (or discolored) cervical mucus.
It was also our job to maintain the privacy of the exam area. Kids were curious and wanted to know what was going on, so we had to scold a couple of kids who tried to get past the privacy tarp. Luckily, only one got through, and the lady we were examining took it in stride. Her daughter (maybe 2 years old?) was already in the room with her. It would have been much worse with the 18yo, who was getting her first PAP smear. The midwife was very professional and talked to us about the results when we finished the exams. We finished at about 1:30.
The doctors were done before and the dentist was done after. I suppose it makes sense; the dentist performs a lot of minor surgical procedures. She's very nice and works really hard. I took my lunch break after we tore down the obstetrics station. Same as Monday. I hung out on the bus until it was time to go back. The bus is hotter but there are things to do on board. I journal or talk to people.
We left around 2. The drive back was uneventful. When we got back, I showered and dressed. We got coffee at Cafe Bissetti in Barrancos. Six of us took a taxi in order to be on time for our afternoon meeting. The coffee was really good.
Our meeting was boring. I don't really know what the topic was. We had reflection in the park. Also cannot recall that topic. Dinner was ground beef, yucca, beef-stuffed bell pepper, broccoli, and rice. It was pretty good. Dessert was a sort of fluffy strawberry mousse thing.
After dinner, people watched the Chile-Argentina soccer game. I think Argentina won. After much prodding and wheedling, I convinced people to leave early for the dance show we were supposed to see. The gentlemen declined to join us, and Sumana was too tired, so only 7 went. When our taxi driver let us out, he made extra sure to drop us off near a policeman and told us to be careful. The policemen similarly told us to be careful. He told people with cameras to stow them and said not to trust anyone. We searched the Plaza Bolognese for the show place, asking police and walking down a street, only to find it closed. They only operate on Saturdays. So, after some rather unwise standing in a circle and counting out money, we pooled enough for the taxis back. Pretty sure Stephanie M. almost got pickpocketed. A guy was right behind her in an otherwise empty sidewalk and he scurried off when Namita and I gave him the evil eye. There were also policemen right next to us, so that may have helped.
The taxi driver was very nice. He tried to convert me to Evangelism. He kept telling me things about his religion that were also true of Catholicism but insisting they were different. We were worried when we got back that the others wouldn't make it back safely. But they did. I was too tired for another adventure, so we stayed in the rest of the night.