Maureen’s May Blog by Maureen Taylor

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A lot has changed since the last time I wrote my blog. I really feel a part of the community now. Walking down the street I hear ‘Hola Mauri’ from every direction. I am currently living with the same family I stayed with the second two weeks I was here. I moved into another house for a month which was nice because it gave me a chance to get to know another family. However, their brother was moving home so they needed the extra room, so I moved back with Lourdes and Ramon. It’s perfect; my relationship with Lourdes is amazing. I can definitely say she is my best friend here in El Pital. There building a new house which is almost done so we should be moving into that house very shortly. I know the family is really excited to move especially because the father built the house by hand so it is quite an accomplishment. I am definitely going to miss my current neighbors though. I play cards and draw pictures with all the little girls almost every night. But at least I am only moving across the street a little ways so it’s not bad at all.
As for my work, it has really picked up. I am still heading to the clinic in El Pital and in Yaruca two times a week. The clinic in Yaruca has a lot more help than that of El Pital so it is interesting to see the differences. The clinic in Yaruca has a Cuban doctor who will be working with them for the next two years. They also have a technician, Don Rey, who does mapping of all the aldeas around Yaruca. One of the first days I went to the clinic I had the chance to go out with him and give rabies vaccinations to all the dogs. You can only access this village by walking up a small path for about one hour.  It was really interesting, especially because I have never stuck a needle into anything let alone a dog that is trying to bite my head off.  He also taught me how to check for mosquito larva that can spread dengue and malaria and then how to treat the water. I think I will get a chance to learn a lot about the surrounding areas from him, which will be interesting.
Elly and I recently had our first women’s group meeting with the women of El Pital. We hope to use the women’s group to organize the women and give them a sort of representation in the community. It is also just a chance to have some fun and enjoy each other’s company. I am really excited to get to know the women better and have a chance to hang and and talk with them more. I have also started working on the health clinic surveys. These surveys allow Un Mundo to get a better idea of what the needs are of the health clinics in the area and also what each health clinic offers in terms of medical care. I’m excited to learn more about the Puesto de Saluds that are set up in the mountain communities, because I currently know very little about what their purposes are besides they help with treatment of malaria. I have also begun to locate and talk with the parteras or midwives, in the Cuenca. I hope to partner with the Rio Viejo Health clinic and hold midwife trainings with the doctors there. It isn’t going to be easy to find some of these midwives since some live far in the mountains and are of elderly ages. Since many of the midwives are of such old ages I hope to find new interested people so that the practice does not fade away. Especially since many of these women in this area cannot get to a hospital to give birth it would be nice to have someone in their community who has training and can assist. I am excited to talk to them all and see if any traditional medicines are still being used and to learn about their experiences being a midwife in these rural communities.

A lot has changed since the last time I wrote my blog. I really feel a part of the community now. Walking down the street I hear ‘Hola Mauri’ from every direction. I am currently living with the same family I stayed with the second two weeks I was here. I moved into another house for a month which was nice because it gave me a chance to get to know another family. However, their brother was moving home so they needed the extra room, so I moved back with Lourdes and Ramon. It’s perfect; my relationship with Lourdes is amazing. I can definitely say she is my best friend here in El Pital. There building a new house which is almost done so we should be moving into that house very shortly. I know the family is really excited to move especially because the father built the house by hand so it is quite an accomplishment. I am definitely going to miss my current neighbors though. I play cards and draw pictures with all the little girls almost every night. But at least I am only moving across the street a little ways so it’s not bad at all.
As for my work, it has really picked up. I am still heading to the clinic in El Pital and in Yaruca two times a week. The clinic in Yaruca has a lot more help than that of El Pital so it is interesting to see the differences. The clinic in Yaruca has a Cuban doctor who will be working with them for the next two years. They also have a technician, Don Rey, who does mapping of all the aldeas around Yaruca. One of the first days I went to the clinic I had the chance to go out with him and give rabies vaccinations to all the dogs. You can only access this village by walking up a small path for about one hour.  It was really interesting, especially because I have never stuck a needle into anything let alone a dog that is trying to bite my head off.  He also taught me how to check for mosquito larva that can spread dengue and malaria and then how to treat the water. I think I will get a chance to learn a lot about the surrounding areas from him, which will be interesting.
Elly and I recently had our first women’s group meeting with the women of El Pital. We hope to use the women’s group to organize the women and give them a sort of representation in the community. It is also just a chance to have some fun and enjoy each other’s company. I am really excited to get to know the women better and have a chance to hang and and talk with them more. I have also started working on the health clinic surveys. These surveys allow Un Mundo to get a better idea of what the needs are of the health clinics in the area and also what each health clinic offers in terms of medical care. I’m excited to learn more about the Puesto de Saluds that are set up in the mountain communities, because I currently know very little about what their purposes are besides they help with treatment of malaria. I have also begun to locate and talk with the parteras or midwives, in the Cuenca. I hope to partner with the Rio Viejo Health clinic and hold midwife trainings with the doctors there. It isn’t going to be easy to find some of these midwives since some live far in the mountains and are of elderly ages. Since many of the midwives are of such old ages I hope to find new interested people so that the practice does not fade away. Especially since many of these women in this area cannot get to a hospital to give birth it would be nice to have someone in their community who has training and can assist. I am excited to talk to them all and see if any traditional medicines are still being used and to learn about their experiences being a midwife in these rural communities.

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