Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rolling along...

I made it through the week!! Well, that is kind of dramatic, but I am riding a wave of relief…Last Sunday, as I mentioned, the promoters came to Rio Sucio for a week of courses and learning. Since I have been here with Alan and Julie, I have known that I needed to organize and teach a course in child development. I knew when I accepted this job that I would have to teach, but to do it in June caught me a little by surprise, well…scared me to death. The longer I was here it always seemed to be a cloud on the horizon. I felt that it was a bench-mark of sorts. But I had time to organize and prepare I had helpful people around to ask questions. Today we finished the week. I spent much time reading and studying in Spanish, writing out what I needed to say, learning vocabulary, and thinking up logical class flow. I was pleasantly surprised. I know the promoters learned something from the course, but they were really patient with me and my Spanish. I had a great, enthusiastic group. Here is a photo of us on the last day. I am the one that looks kind of anemic, and also who feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders. I know my teaching and language will get better …


We head out for more community visits the middle of this coming week. Tomorrow is reserved for laundry, cleaning the house and trying to relax a bit, but those days never seem to go as planned. And we have to get ready to move, as we are changing homes before we set out to the campo…

I began that note nearly 2 weeks ago…time flies …we have moved into a bigger space, and we just got back from a fantastic trip up a smaller river basin. We visited 3 communities. Ismael organized us and had his hands full driving the boat. Susana, John and I worked on the medical end of things. It was a great trip. Smooth. As the river was known to wind through trees and be generally difficult to navigate, we used a smaller boat and a smaller motor to make the trip more manageable. It was still pretty tight. The river was thankfully slow during that portion of our week.

As the first promoter we visited is fairly new, this was the first visit of our group to the community. We arrived at the river’s end to find that the community was another 20 minutes by foot…we quickly prioritized the medical equipment and went hiking through the mud.

We left the remainder sealed in plastic bins under a thick plastic tarp and palm leaves. The rest of the visit went well. The meeting with the community reinforced the job the promoter had been doing. We organized to see patients the following day. We normally bring staple food for someone to cook for us while we are working. Usually we eat some combination of plaintain bananas, rice, a root vegetable (yucca, carrot, potato, onion) and some protein (bean, lentil)…This is a photo of us going to dinner our first night there.

Clinic the next day was busy, but with three physicians, completely manageable. With one promoter we were able to show her anything interesting we found. That way she could learn from the three of us fairly simultaneously. We finished clinic a little early and walked through the jungle to see the rest of the community and go for a swim in a wonderful river. The next morning we packed and left very early in the morning as we had a 5-6 hour trip ahead of us to reach the next community. Back down the winding river…we saw tons of bird species, monkeys, fish…

That is a quick view into a normal community visit. Each community is unique with different issues. I feel lucky to be able to work as closely with the promoters as I do.

I am still healthy, but check out these feet!! I swear I couldn’t feel the flies that did this at all.

There as been a small debate in the house, but those in the know say the fly that does this could have laid some eggs inside of me, soon to hatch into larvae…that was over a week ago, I used some medicine and my feet have almost returned to normal. I still have the little dark dots as the blood-thinner that the fly uses caused a small amount of bleeding under the skin, which takes longer to heal...the swelling is completely gone…mom, I am fine.

We have just returned to Apartadó. Alan will be teaching a course next week and is getting ready for that. I need to plan my next course which will start in September. I also am anxious to catch up on people and news from home.

Please take care…


Bkay said...

Dr. Good,
It was good to get an update again! It sounds like your teaching experience went well. Being a teacher myself, I can understand the stress! Pretty soon your Spanish will be better than your English! Keep up the good work. The Saunders

Jeff, Erin, Macy & Owen said...

Hey there Dr. Good! It is fun to check out your blog and hear of all your adventures! It sounds like you are doing well and things are going great. We all miss our favorite doctor, so it is fun to get the updates. I hope you continue to enjoy what you are doing! Take care!
Erin, Macy and Owen
p.s. When asked who my pediatrican is I can't bring myself to say anyone else's name. Pathetic I know, but true none the less! Take Care!

Nicole said...

Dr. Good,
It is good to be able to keep track of you on the blog. Your feet looked sore! You are doing a great work, though we miss you here. Hunter is still skinny but otherwise healthy (thanks to you). We wish you the best! Wayne, Nicole & Hunter Bishop

Marci & Marcus said...

Hi Dr. Good!! It looks like you are having so much fun! I am jealous of your adventures! We miss you but are proud of what you are doing. If you get a chance, in between saving the world and all, you can check us out at We are so happy to know about what you are doing. Good luck!! Watch out for spiders!
Marci, Marcus, Jacob and Tate Moeller