I am off to the North Coast today to begin the transition to living in Montellano and working in Caraballo. I'll be staying with the director and his family for a few weeks until my things clear customs and we can find an apt. I'm really looking forward to settling in up there and am so excited about the things ahead.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Posted by Jessi at 11:22 AM
Thursday, January 25, 2007
We had an adventure in medicine yesterday. One of the kids from school got whacked in the face which then forced him to fall on the back of his head. He never lost conciousness as far as I understand, but all his muscles went out...he was unable to stand and could barely bring his finger to his nose. After a quick evaluation and a few unclear head X-Rays at the local clinic, it was decided that we needed to see what was happening with a head CT and to check out his neck for possible reasons as to why he had almost no function of his arms and legs. An IV was placed before we left, and 3 of us carried him to the van for a ride down the mountain where there is a "clinic" with the equipment we needed. No hospital transfer via ambulance, no HIPPA forms to sign, we just packed him up, rigged up his IV bottle to the back seat, and tried to immoblize him the best we could...and prayed! Halfway down the mountain he really needed to go to the bathroom, and after a failed attempt to go while tilting over a bottle, he all the sudden was on his knees in the van, his muscles were back! He was then able to stand outside the van, after a few questioning looks between Leslie an me as to whether this "spinal/head fracture" pt should actually be walking around! We made it to the hospital where we were sent to get the CT, never having received an exam or evaluation. The transfer from bed to CT table was horrendous, with the staff pulling him by leg and arm to the table. Thank God that he was cleared from any spinal injury, but we didn't know it at the time and it was HARD to watch. He then had a neck X-ray and was not only lifted in a similar fashion to the bed, but was then flipped on his tummy,neck brace removed, and his neck turned to the side (!!!!!!!!!!!) for the picture. I couldn't actually believe what I was seeing. If he had truly had a neck injury, this could have caused further damage or even paralysis.
Posted by Jessi at 8:48 AM
Posted by Jessi at 8:28 AM
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Posted by Jessi at 6:54 PM
Over the last 2 days we have been busy at the ANIJA school de-lousing! It's been a fun little time, although not so much for the kids! The stuff we're using to get rid of the little ones is so smelly and strong, but apparently effective, so I guess it's best. It's just nice to be able to do something like this for the kids when lice can otherwise be a big problem that also spreads quickly. Although sometimes only a temporary fix, hopefully some of these kids can have some non-itchy heads for awhile. We're back at it again Monday as well!
Posted by Jessi at 6:25 PM
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
We went to Caraballo yesterday for a day trip to take care of some things, and it was lovely as usual. I am so excited about moving there and getting set up. It's going to be amazing! Still trying to figure out dates and the timing of it all, but it looks like I should be up there the first week of February...but as things go, that may change! As far as plans, well, they are extremely fluid at the moment until I know when my stuff will clear customs and I find a place to live, etc. Candace and I will be housemates, which I'm really excited about. I met her in December and she's from Canada, also working in the village. Hopefully it'll all come together soon, day by day! Lots of things to do around in Jarabacoa though as I've been working at the school and with other health programs developing ideas and forms and plans!
Posted by Jessi at 10:58 AM
Saturday, January 13, 2007
So we were wondering last night...Where do fruit flies come from? It seems that they suddenly appear, within seconds, of having open fruit. Last night it was pineapple. No fruit flies in sight whilst eating dinner, yet 3 seconds after opening the top of the pineapple, fruit flies abounded. Where were they? Are they just sitting on the wall, under the table, waiting for fruit-hoping today will be the day? I'm stumped.
Posted by Jessi at 6:43 AM
Friday, January 12, 2007
Posted by Jessi at 5:28 PM
If I could meet the person who created Chai Tea, he/she would get a big hug. Thanks to chai tea I have had some of the most amazing and fantastic conversations. Under the influence of chai, I think more clearly, write more profoundly, share more openly. Drinking chai with another makes me suddenly feel connected, something deeper that we share. Among the health benefits listed here, deepening friendships should be added. I don't know what they put in it, but I like it. Thank you chai tea, you have bettered my life!
Posted by Jessi at 5:20 PM
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Well, after 14 hours of travel, I have arrived safe and fairly sound! It was a long overnight trip, but lovely to be back here. I started the task of unpacking a few things tonight and reorganizing my bags. I'll be going to the north coast, to the village Caraballo where I'll be living and working, but still trying to work out all the timing and details. For the moment, I continue with the Trautwein family in Jarabacoa.
It's amazing the lessons we can learn if we keep our eyes open and ears tuned. I was sitting next to a semi-drunk, mostly-deaf Dominican man on the way down here. After he had spilled a bit of his Vodka and Coke on me whilst looking out the window, he had an amazing comment. "It all looks pretty nice from up here, no?" Interesting because it is beautiful from the air and appears perfect and serene. It's so nice to fly over the coast and then get into the mountains, watching valleys and farms and all that is below. It's hard to have the same feelings all the time when I'm in the village and see the poverty and sheer need that surrounds. From the air there are no bumpy dirt roads or rivers to cross. There is only patchwork after patchwork of the beautiful ground below.
It humbles me to learn little lessons, albeit from a funny little Dominican airline passenger. I just sat there and smiled to myself because I had just thought through my own situation. It's so easy to sit and think how hopeless and hard the situation is...but if I can take a step back, see the big picture, that there are other lives, other hearts, other stories being woven into the Big Picture, it all becomes clear. Life again is beautiful, calm, and full of hope and joy.
So as the plane landed and in classic Latin American style, all were clapping for a safe flight and smooth landing, I smiled to myself. I was able to step back, get a glimpse of the big picture, and step off the plane.
Posted by Jessi at 4:40 PM
Monday, January 08, 2007
Sunday, January 07, 2007
It has been an amazing month to catch up with old friends! This afternoon I got to get coffee (why do we say that when neither of us had coffee??!!) with my old friend Aaron. It was fantastic to sit and chat and catch up on the years. It's great just being able to pick right up where we left off and carry on talking, feels like we've stayed in touch forever. I've reconnected with so many friends from high school this month, I look forward to staying in touch and really knowing what happens in their lives. I've realized how much I love just to sit and talk and hear from people, really share in their lives and know what is going on. I've learned how important listening is and seeing people's hearts and the joy in KNOWING others. Lots of lessons I continue to learn. A few more Oregon days to pack in more friend and family visits, then it's back to the Dominican Republic!
Posted by Jessi at 3:13 PM
I just checked on weather in Dominican Republic and it is 78 degrees! Hard to imagine I'll be there in just a few days, being plucked from one world to another again! It is a world I love and cherish and look forward to being a part of again. The warm weather and sunny beaches don't hurt either!!
Posted by Jessi at 11:39 AM
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I got to hang out with baby Ellie (and David and Beth) last night for awhile. It was nice to cuddle and chat with my really grown-up cousins, now that they have 3 kids! I also got to see some of my nurse friends who were working, as Beth delivered at Willamette Falls, the hospital I worked at over the summer.
Posted by Jessi at 2:09 PM