27 September 2011

The day we ate yogurt Carrots and played Cards

Thankfully, Frances found out about the carrot chunks in the yogurt before I did.

We started the morning out with a run at 7 am.  Last week we never ran before 8 am, so this was a new experience for us.  One hour means the difference between 5 people staring at you and 150 people staring at you.  I did a few rounds of lunges, pushups, and dips before I couldn’t take the gawking, giggling kids anymore and went inside for a shower. 

Note to self, my runs go better with 5 children clapping and cheering than 150 children seemingly laughing at you.

I ate oatmeal for breakfast.  Since the oatmeal here is more of the consistency of grits in America, Frances decided to have toast and yogurt. 

Before she found out the yogurt had crunchy carrots and not just carrot flavor.

[carrot chunks]

Carrot and pineapple.  Who thought of that combination?!

She’s still alive, so it must not have been too bad.

This morning we had ante-natal clinic.  There were about 8 mothers-to-be who came in for a routine check-up.  We took BP, weight, felt for the position of the baby, and gave the mothers vitamins and education.  I love love love health education!!

During lunch Frances and I took a walk to town.  Town is pretty lame.  The only thing they sell in town is food and beverages.  Every other “store” is a Tavern.  People have to walk (or take a bus) all the way to Luanshya if they need something.   The clinic we work in is actually considered a “Rural Health Center”  because it’s so far away from town!

All sorts of people greeted us on our walk.  Children ran down driveways just to ask “How are you?”  It wasn’t enough for one of them to ask, they all had to.  We usually responded “We’re good, how are you?” but the kids didn’t accept that.

The only response that seemed to appease them was “fine.” 

They would keep asking until they got a “fine” then they’d giggle and run off again.

We also played cards.  Since I’m so pathetic at the game we played yesterday (maybe it’s called slap-jack?) we decided to play speed today to give me a fighting chance.  Frances can shuffle cards really well and she says it’s because she has a mean grandmother who used to make her practice it.  I didn’t have a mean grandmother and I’m therefore pathetic at cards.

I finally won a game of cards.

In the afternoon we worked in the medical records/ triage room.  It’s crazy ridiculous.  We plan on renovating it.  Pictures will follow.

We got proficient at taking Zambian vital signs:

Axillary temperature and weight.

That’s it.  That’s all you get to diagnose the problem.  You can take a good history and physical exam (which is supposed to be where 90% of the diagnosis comes from).  Then you can order a few tests: CBC, malaria, TB and HIV. That’s about it.  This is where I feel like 90% of American diagnoses come from.

While taking weight, I got to hold a sick mother's precious sleeping baby.  It was the highlight of my day to hold the little, chubby peaceful child in my arms.  So cute!!

Then we organized half a million medical records.  They kept telling us how hard working we were.  Really, I think it’s just that we’re so efficient that it looks like we’re working hard.  We’re not used to these 2 hour lunch breaks in America.  We would have kept on working until our ride came, but they kicked us out at closing time telling us to stop working so hard!

Since we had not defrosted any of our meat (we didn’t think that far ahead this morning...we were too busy avoiding carrot chunks and staring children) we decided on a semi-traditional meal.

We cooked spaghetti and eggs.    A few of you know that this was one of my favorite meals in Cameroon.  I'm not entirely sure that it has it's origins in Africa, but I ate it there first, so that's the continent I associate it with the most.  I don't really know why, but I love it.  I occasionally cook it in America.

But we decided to throw in a few frozen veggies, making it more like pasta primavera and eggs.


It was actually quite delicious and the veggies made me incredibly happy!

We’re getting to bed early because we have children’s clinic tomorrow!! We love it.  I’m going to try to take my camera and sneak a few shots for you!

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