Since I last wrote, three additional Americans have arrived to live in the area: my site partner, Melia (recent Notre Dame architect graduate) and a married couple Tom and Laura Kent (Tom’s a rocket scientist [his words] and Laura has a Master’s in biology).Tom and Laura now live at the convent and work in the Institute, which is a type of trade school, and in the guardaria, which is a sort of day care run in conjunction with the kindergarten.
After Melia had been here for about a week, we were given our official duties for our stay. She was assigned to managing the Madrina account in the morning, which is a program of sponsors for the girls. (Let me know if you might want to sponsor a girl).In the afternoons and evenings, she’s been given the library. I’m still assigned to the toddlers in the mornings.My afternoon assignment is “Salud” which quite literally means health.I’m sure you can imagine that this isn’t exactly confined to the afternoon. It actually spans from the time that I am spotted in the morning until I am able to lock myself away late at night.This might be partially because most everyone thinks I’m the only one with a key to the infirmary. This isn’t true.I should spread the news. Here’s a rundown of my yesterday (which isn’t all that uncommon).
5:30 am:Bell rings, girls in the bordering room get up.
5:45 am:I give up trying to sleep.
6:00 am: On my way to do yoga until breakfast, a nun stops me and asks me to convert 112 F to Celsius. I assume she means 102 F, and treat the fever.
6:15 am: Yoga is interrupted (and not returned to) by more fevers.At this point, I find a girl who has thrown up, peed, and had a nose bleed in her bed.
7:00 am: Breakfast (piece of bread) and YOGART!!!!
7:15 am: I treat cuts, foot fungus, give medications, etc.
8:30 am: My official duties start with the toddlers.I brush teeth, wipe butts, do hair, give vitamins that the kids would rather play with.
9:45 am: Yolita gets her finger shut in the door of the truck, I bandage that.
10:00 am:Jose Manuel finally poops.Excellent! (He had a parasite and we needed a feces sample before going to the clinic.) An older girl and I take 3 boys under the age of two to the doctor.
11:00 am:I tell the doctor what’s wrong. He doesn’t listen to me.
12:30 pm:We finally leave the clinic, but can’t catch a taxi. So we take mototaxis. (I’d been on a moto with four people before, but this was the first time with two toddlers.)
1:00 pm: Lunch (rice and beets that taste like dirt)
1:30 pm: Give more medications
2:00 pm: I take three girls to the dentist, Nora baulks.
5:00 pm: Back from the dentist, just in time to give the skinny babies milk.And more fevers
6:00 pm:Supper (something soupy?)
6:30 pm: I treat ringworm, ears that were pierced by hand earlier in the day, etc.
7:30 pm: Treat fevers, give the youngest kids their medications
8:00 pm: I hide and boil water to drink tomorrow
9:00 pm: Cold shower (no hot water in the staff bathroom)
9:30 pm: Make it to bed early
It makes for a long day.
Our monkey has escaped, but now we have a baby rhea. This is a flightless, omnivorous bird which, when grown, will stand over 4 feet tall.I don’t know why it’s here. Hasta luego!