Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Meeting the New Volunteers

I got up and ran without Joaquin this morning, since he was too tired to get out of bed.  I managed 2 laps today (roughly 2 miles), although I was tired by the end.  My body is still working on adjusting, so I would probably be tired just from that without rigorous exercise. 

Work today was about typical.  Nielida (my supervisor’s actual name…  Betty is someone else.  I guess that tells you how difficult communication has been for me) patted my head when I came in today, a normal greeting for someone ‘cute.’  I was very tired though; it was hard to engage and to be as excited as usual.  The difficulty is compounded when people are talking so fast I can’t understand and I don’t actually have anything to do.  I realized today how much I wish they would just slow down.  I would transform from being mute and deaf to being able to have ok conversations.  I think I need to find a doctor or someone who will take me under their wing and help me understand.  My assumptions about the cups that patients were given weren’t entirely correct.  Those aren’t for drugs, those are for tests.  They have to get phlegm from their throat and put in in one of those, then bring it back to be tested.  Those are what we’re always taking to the lab every day; little cups of phlegm.  MMmmm.  I also learned more about what happens when a test comes out positive.  The patient must show up to the clinic every day for 3, 6, 9, or 12 months depending on the severity.  I talked to a guy today who has to come every single day for a year to take pills and get an injection.  That would make a normal job or school almost impossible.  He wasn’t doing any of that right now, and I imagine this is why.  I want to look up the typical treatment of tuberculosis in the US to compare, because the treatment here is absolutely crippling to the lifestyle of the patient.  The good news is that it’s free.  I think that must be the best way for them to keep patients coming for treatment.  It’s best for the country as a whole if people aren’t running around with TB.  Now that I’ve mostly figured out the TB department, I might want to move on to another part of the hospital at least by the end of the week. 

I left for ProWorld early today since I had a lot to do.  I was hoping to get photos edited and online, but that didn’t happen.  When I arrived, the 3 girls who will be here all semester were doing their orientation.  It was way more sophisticated than mine, but that was ok.  It was basically a shallow version of things I had already learned at MAC with InterVarsity.  Those 3 are already very close.  Best friends who all go to the same school in Florida.  One of them lives in Mexico so I’m sure her Spanish is pretty good.  The other 2 are minoring in it, but they can’t speak it well right now.  They’re all in the same major, anthropology.  When I asked them about it, they told me the basics then went on with each other for 5 minutes about some classes they were taking and professors and the like.  I could see a deep friendship with them being difficult, just because I feel as though I’m already going to be an outsider in their group.  I was invited to go out to dinner with them and Mila, but I was honestly super exhausted and I hadn’t even uploaded the blog posts yet.  I hope that doesn’t leave too poor of a first impression.  My plan is to do my best to develop friendships with them, but I’d really like to have another fallback if I find it hard to enter into an already tight group.  I think they live and go to classes somewhat far from where I live, so that will also be a barrier to community there. 

The only other exciting part of my day was talking to Karina Espinoza, a friend I met at Stanford who is from Lima.  She’s still the only person on the planet I’ve led an actual InterVarsity bible study with.  It’s her birthday this weekend, so she’s having a party near Lima to celebrate.  I want to go to Lima anyway at some point, so why not make it when I could go to her birthday party?  This might only happen once, so I intend to fully take advantage of every opportunity I can.  I’m looking into tickets now, but it doesn’t seem like they will be all that much more expensive even with the timing.  If I can find a good deal (Benji has a friend who is helping me), I’m going to Lima this weekend!  My family there is willing to host me, so I might be staying with them a few nights and having them show me around the city.  I’m very much looking forward to it if it works out!!  

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