I'm officially in the middle of the single digits countdown, exactly one week left!! I checked the weather in Wayne, NJ, and I got so excited inside to finally see that I will be home for the last days in the 10 day forecast. Yahoooo.
Last Saturday I had my first cheeseburger and fries since I’ve been here, plus my Diet Coke (obviously), and it wasn’t too bad. It was at the hotel, and no food poisoning resulted thankfully. It was no Shake Shack though, but the burger hit the spot exactly. The fries were too mushy (I miss crispy fries, especially the rosemary fries from Clover), but the group was happy to clear them off. I finished off Little Bee on Saturday and Sunday, not bad for a 260 page book. I recommend it to everyone highly. It’s a great book and a quick read, in that you keep wanting to read it. I also read Water for Elephants a while ago which was fantastic, so I recommend that as well.
To get to Cap-Haitien, we rode on a tap-tap which was blasting music right underneath my butt. Logan and Julian purposely chose to hang off the back, which I thought about, then realized: 1) my parents would die if they knew I was hanging off the back of a van driving at 60 mph. 2) I think I’m too short to actually reach the bars to hold onto while the car is moving… the difficulties of being 5 ‘2”. Julian is enjoying the ride hanging off the back though.
I ended up buying a snack-size pack of Pringles and Oreos which I was going to save but the food cravings set in, and I just devoured them both yesterday. Woopsies.
I don’t think I’ve posted pictures of what Cap-Haitien really looks like. This is the river that runs through the city, heavily polluted and trashed. It’s sad to see a place that has such beautiful greenery as Haiti this dirty just a few miles away.
The ride back to Milot on the tap-tap: It’s just so much more calming and cleaner, greener than Cap-Haitien.
Monday, I was in the ED with Lisa which was empty the entire morning which I guess is a good thing, means that no one needs urgent medical care right? Instead, we decided to go to the wound cleaning clinic which was nauseating. It’s about $1 US to have the wound cleaned and redressed. Again, one case included a diabetic foot which smelled terrible, especially in the hot room. I had to step outside to clear my head because I thought I was going to pass out from the heat and the smell at any second. I will never get used to the smell, and if anything I think I get more nauseated by it. Some of the hydrogen peroxide that was being squirted out of the syringe landed on me, but at least that’s sterile. Seriously, this is a huge incentive never to get diabetes like I mentioned before. I also saw what looked like 2 hydroceles, though I wasn’t sure. It pretty much looked like something no guy would ever want – a giant, swollen scrotum filled with fluid. It’s supposed to be harmless, and I think both were drained – a hydrocelectomy (I think that’s what it’s called), since there was an incision and sutures placed, but they still looked unusually large… glad to say that I worked in the wound clinic once, but I don’t want to do it again, nor will I have to.
On my last day in Carrefour des Peres, I was so impressed with one of the women that I interviewed for my survey. She’s actually a community health agent, so I expected her to be knowledgeable but they don’t have any formal training like a healthcare professional in the US would, nor are they meant to be healthcare professionals. They’re community members who are liaisons to educate people on general health and recognizing when someone should go to the hospital. Their level of highest education varies a lot. She actually tested the chlorine levels in all her drinking water to make sure that it had the right amount of chlorine (too much and it tastes bad, while if there’s too little, it’s not enough to kill all the bacteria). She’s a great example to the community, and I’m so glad she’s a community health agent so that she can set a good example of what people should be doing with their water.
One of the homes had a pineapple plant! I hadn’t seen one of these yet, so I was baffled haha. I felt like such a loser that I was so amazed by the plant. I had no idea pineapples grew like that. I really am a loser.
Tuesday night, Amelia was freaking out because she noticed that a chicken had laid an egg on the bookshelf next to her bed. It was disgusting, and for some reason bloody. Then we were wondering if chicken eggs were bloody after they hatched… which only confused us more.
Alec picked it up and started chasing us around… then he proceeded to smell it and made the most disgusted face possible. I almost choked from laughing and also from how gross it was. Then, he tried to put it in front of Amelia’s face which only nauseated her more. Good thing we only have 1 more week left right?
I had my last day in the clinic today. I thought about not doing anything, but it's my last chance to do something, so I hauled my lazy butt off to the hospital. Last Monday, I didn't get out until at least 2:00. Today, we were so quick with patients, and we were out by 11:30! Sweeeeeeet. None of the cases were that exciting, but at least I feel productive, even if it was just for 2 1/2 hours at the hospital.
Now it's time for me to be lazy for the next 7 days!