Saturday, December 24, 2011

Expect the Unexpected

By now, we've learned the names of most people that we work with. The clinic has three levels, the first is the eye clinic, and the second is a regular doctor/pediatric doctor, and the third floor has administrative offices and the archives.

The archives are crazy. Each patient gets assigned a 6-digit number, like 06-43-85, and there is a room full of folders. Just full of folders. It works though! And considering how the internet is here, it's probably more reliable than digitizing.

The nurses(?)/technicians(?) we work with are all kind of around our age and really funny. Everyone is really nice. Yesterday Celeste, the director of the clinic, got back from her trip in America so we met her and she offered to have us over for Christmas! So nice! She has three young children so that will be really fun I think. Wyatt and are going to go to a church tonight that Dr. Flores recommended, and actually he had Wyatt talk to the pastor on his cell phone. (Jaja.)

When I was in Philadelphia, I went with the ophthalmologist I shadowed to Health District #5 and helped him and some of his students do visual acuity exams. Here the process is a little different, and some of the patients are very, very different. For example, there are a several people I have tested here who have decent vision in one eye (20/20-20/40) and then the other eye is something like 20/140 or 20/400. Yesterday we had a patient who was deaf, and we just could not go the exam because he didn't understand.

For some other patients, they can't even see the chart. In that case, you go to the hand test. So you stand in front of the chart and ask if they can see your hand and keep moving forward until they do, and can count your fingers. Sometimes... you end up right in front of someone's face. In that case, instead of writing 20/x for their vision in an eye, you write CD (cuenta dedos) and then the distance. And then, even sometimes when you end up in front of someone, they still can't see your hand. Then you do the movement test, where you wave your hand back and forth and ask if they can see that. This gets noted as MM (movimiento de mano). Beyond that, there are some people who can only see light, so that gets noted as PL (percepción de luz.)

On Wednesday, Wyatt and I talked to an older patient for awhile who gave us free copies of his book, Virgin Maya de Copan. He had his son carrying around copies. He's a journalist and has dabbled in anthropology, so he wrote this book about Mayan culture, but it's like a novel about a romance between a virgin and a Mayan aristocrat. We've exchanged e-mails, and he is expecting comments from us.

la novela

He also signed them for us.
This says, "To the distinguished anthropologist from Philadelphia, Elizabeth Fride, with appreciation and thanks. [Something] Winston Calix"

Unrelated picture, but this was a find of the day, lichis, which are awesome. 25 for 20 Lempira! (Which is about $1.)

Wyatt and I have tried to use our free time in the afternoon to go to see Tegus. On Wednesday we tried to go to the art museum. This turned out to be one of the more bizarre taxi rides of my life.

Our driver, who was really nice, decided to kind of give us a tour of the city, which was nice, but he didn't actually know where the art museum was. We decided to go with it, and he dropped us off at another museum. It was closed.

We were at the city center, which the taxi driver said was safe and interesting, so we walked around for awhile, but decided to go back to our hotel around 3:30 to figure out something else and nap. We looked up restaurants online, and found something that sounded good and cool, and like a meat fiesta. Salchicha! Pinchos! Turns out... also closed.

We went to Pizza Hut instead.


Yesterday we tried to go to somewhere that the guide book recommended... but... I don't know, something went wrong or we weren't getting something or maybe this place disappeared too, but we ended up in a marketplace that was far away from the main part of Tegus, and it was getting dark, and after walking around for maybe 10 minutes we just decided to go to the restaurant we went to on Tuesday that we had a good experience with. Back to Café la Milonga! Cerveza to celebrate the fact that we are still alive!

Apparently the guide book and the internet are not reliable enough, and we need to start asking the clinic workers some very concrete questions about what exists in the city.

We also met Victor yesterday, who is the coordinator of the brigadas. He told us that we would probably go on on maybe Tuesday or Wednesday, but later in the day he texted me and said that we might go Monday and he would let us know. Exciting!

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