Monday, March 30, 2009

Week 3: Iowa med students summary

Today's post is Serena Zhou's recollection of our third and final week of Spring Breakers for which she and Seth Harlan were the leaders. It's posted here to give you all an idea of the wide variety of programs and activities Manna spring breakers actually participate in any given week.

Later today I will be putting up more pictures of the library in action, as many of you have requested.

Sunday 3/15

Less than 12 hours after Iowa set foot upon Ecuadorian soil, we learned how to massacre live chickens. And as bloody and unappetizing the process might have been (eg, squeezing out the contents of large chicken intestines), the end result was vale la pena (worth the pain). Pepita, Mayra, Francisco, and Julio (one of our favorite Ecuadorian families) were experts in this field. Needless to say, this was a perfect skill to learn with med students! I wish I did this before anatomy class... Details aside, I think these pictures will be sufficient.

(Taj tries his hand...may have to work on this a little. Next time...?)

(Anatomy lesson!)

(Pobrecito gallinos)

(Iowa + Pepita, Mayra, Francisco, Julio and family)

Iowa, Holly and I then got "opendhandsdirtyfeet" by cleaning up the cancha from the previous night's library/teen center inauguration, before enjoying a local soccer game from the patio of our new space.

We ended the day with a conspicuous visit to Sangolqui markets, haggling with success to some extent (it's harder to fool the Ecuadorians with 11 Gringos flashing hi-fi photos in their faces). So far so good. Everyone is alive and kicking.

Monday and Tuesday 3/16-17

Iowa split up into 3 different groups in the morning, with each group going to:
-Alinambi (to measure kids for our Positive Deviance-based nutrition pilot- more to come on this!)
-Waldos clinic/Sangolqui hospital
-Ministry of Public Health of Conocoto

Some highlights:
-Julie and Brett watching a woman get her tubes tied.
-Spontaneously turning the MoH emergency room into a full-out salsa/reggaeton dance club with patients and doctors alike.
-Dan screwing up his feces sample. Rosanna the nurse at Waldos laughing at his liquid-soaked sample.
-Amanda, Taj, Ryan, and Brett basically running the ER at Sangolqui hospital (via body language and me translating) due to shortage of doctors... including suturing a very drunk old man's head (yes, during the middle of the day), building a "nose bridge" for a man with a broken nose (who doesn't remember breaking it bc, surprisingly, he got drunk during lunch last Sunday), stabilizing two teenagers who just got into a near-fatal motorcycle accident, etc.

(University of Iowa med students and their 133 boxes of gloves they generously donated!!
(From left to right): Matt, Serena (MPI co-leader), Alex, Brett, Julie, Collin, Dan, Amanda, Taj, Anna, Ryan, Seth (MPI co-leader))

Wednesday 3/18

Spent the day doing touristy stuff, including climbing the breathtaking Basilica, walking through Quito's Old Town, and visiting la Capilla del Hombre- the museum of Guayasamin. I think we Program Directors need to keep reminding ourselves just how amazing this country is, as we have lived here long enough to feel relatively desensitized. Watching the reactions of Iowa and the other spring break groups- served as a constant reality check, telling us not to take this place for granted.

(Iowa at the top of the Basilica)

Thursday 3/19

Summited Pichincha- the 3rd highest mountain in Ecuador (4600m). Our lungs definitely got their workout today. Lesson of the day: EAT FOOD before attempting to ascend a 300m. Waterproof gloves are also nice.

Friday and Saturday 3/20-21

Weekend excursion to Banos! I don't think any of us could ever get sick of Banos. Rejuvenating massages, hot springs, majestic waterfalls, exotic birds... we could get used to this.

Iowa went on the infamous bike ride to the waterfalls, which is always an exhilarating experience, despite some mishaps on the way (Amanda's flat tire, dogs chasing after us). By the end of the trip, despite the exhaustion, we were all regretful the trip was coming to an end.

Sunday 3/22

Thanks Iowa for picking the earliest possible time to leave Quito (6:40am) ha. Ryan, Brett, Anna and I strutted it out and kept our lids up till 3:30am, spending a romantic night together by the fire roasting cinnamon-chocolate-bananas, and watching Aladdin.

Miss you Iowa. Vengan a Ecuador prontisimo!!!!!!!

No comments: