I am tired. We worked in Rumi Tuni today, one of the bigger towns we’ll vaccinate. The clinic structure is beautiful, but inside is sparse. We didn’t even have chairs for the patients to sit on today. From 8am-5pm, I saw over 30 patients. Seeing Mari was a highlight today. She is 3 years old and had a congenital bowel obstruction and 8cm of small intestine removed. After her incision stopped draining stool, she was transferred to Santa Clotilde where we watched her gain weight for a week before we sent her home. Today, she came in with a fever and cough. Her complicated surgical history and skinny little body worry me a bit. She may have nothing more than a cold, but she got ibuprofen and erythromycin and I’ll see her in three days when we travel to her town. I also saw Valentin and his wife, who brought me two eggs. He was hospitalized in Santa Clotilde for severe hypertension and possible stroke, and sent home with a diagnosis of hypertension, Parkinson’s, and bells palsy (that he’s had for decades). His dizziness limits his functioning and that is his main concern. The hypertension and tremor don’t matter much to him. Again, I saw a handful of prego’s who deliver at home with their mother in law. It would be great to have group prenatal classes here, where the woman brings the person who will attend the birth, and teach them to recognize signs of alarm.With the scarcity of furniture and millions of mosquitoes, I wouldn’t think to ask them to deliver at the health post until/unless some big changes are made. By the end of the day, I just wanted to speak in English and not have to think too much. Luckily there is a phone here, so I did call Brian twice today. People here have asked, “tiene pena?” aka “are you sad” being away from Brian. While absence makes the heart grow fonder, 10 days will be a challenge.
For lunch (at 5pm) Rober Figueroa made a delicious big fish grilled in a banana leaf with some spicy cocona salsa, plantains, and rice on the side. It was dusk and within 10 minutes, the room filled with mosquitoes and you could literally hear the humm of mosquitoes coming out to graze.
I’m back on the boat, which has no mosquitos. The generator is running to power the three high-efficiency light bulbs along the ceiling. I am tucked away in my bunk surrounded by our green mosquito net (generously gifted by Dea and Jim for Christmas). My eyes are getting heavy. We will pull out of RumiTumi tomorrow morning and be awoke by the sound of the motorist starting the engine and water rushing along the sides of the boat, all while tucked away neatly away from the mosquitoes with my eyes closed.