August 27th, 2017 by jenniferolmstead
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As I look back at my blogs I can see many changes. Though many of the staff spoke English we still had a lot of miscommunication the first week of my stay. I learned a lot about communication and how the same words can mean something totally different when culture is added to it. It was also interesting that some would just give an answer when they did not understand the question, rather than say they did not understand. One of the most interesting conversations was between 1 American, 1 English, 2 Irish, and 1 Swedish we each took turns trying to explain and translate for each other as we attempted to plan a dinner.


One of the most significant things I noticed about some of the staff is that they do not see what they do as valuable. They were surprised when I asked them how they do certain things with real interest. Many feel that God has called them to serve there, but fail to see the importance of their work. I asked one if they see many of the patients come to faith in Christ. The answer I got was quite interesting. They said that belief here is cultural. To change ones belief is to reject ones family and means of survival. Thus though they believe some have come to believe in Christ, they will not know until they reach heaven if their work was effective in that area. They do not find this frustrating, as many would. Rather they look forward to the surprise. The differing views and opinions of the staff was interesting; how some questioned their value here while others look forward to what will be revealed in the future.

Leaving Makunda

August 27th, 2017 by jenniferolmstead
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I got up early, 3:30 am, to leave this morning. I said all my goodbyes last night. I did have to wake maam to lock the door behind me. I felt bad but I had to follow my orders. I walked down to the road and waited about 2-3 minutes and my ride arrived, on time even which was nice as I was a little nervous about the critters that are out at night. Would be really bad to get bit by something as I was leaving. We picked up my travel companion, the IT guy from the hospital. He had to go to the outpost hospital to get some work done today and would join me on the train. I must say I will not miss the roads for a while, they are so rough it is hard to call them a road. The train was interesting, having never been on one. I was glad to have someone to help me get to the right place. He gave me to seat by the window, which is also the lower berth if I chose to sleep. The train was not full, which was nice as well. He explained that though many parts of India have very full trains, that in this area most people prefer to travel by road and thus trains are not often used. That is surprising considering the road conditions. I’m also thinking that the train is less expensive than a taxi or motor rickshaw would be for a long distance. Something to think about for later.


I got to Agartala and was met and driven to the hotel, which is really nice. I had to wait about an hour to register so I went and had lunch, considering I did not get breakfast I was very hungry. The people are so friendly and actually want to be helpful. After lunch, I checked in and then came to my room. I thought about a nap but decided to inquire about some site seeing. I was told I needed to see the palace. While I was asking at the desk a man walked up, I thought he was the manager, and offered to have the hotel driver take me around to the local sites in town. I agreed thinking that would be much easier and safer than me trying to get taxi’s. I later learned that the guy has a small tour business in the hotel run by his sister.

The first stop was the heritage gardens, absolutely beautiful. It would be a great place to get away from the city noise and just relax. They have several small replica type buildings throughout the park. Then we went to the palace which is now a museum. It was so pretty. The thing I liked most was that the pictures all had a description of how what you saw was related to the culture of that specific tribe or locality. From there I was taken to the state museum. I think I would have better understood the patients if I had stopped there before going to Makunda. It really gave me a better understanding of who they are and what they believe and why. The last stop was at a museum that was closed so we came back to the hotel. The ATM was being serviced so I was unable to pay at that time. I decided to come up to my room to regroup and rest a bit. When I went back down to check the ATM I was asked by the tour guy if I wanted to go see the flag ceremony since one of the museum was closed. I agreed and that was the best part of the whole tour.


I’ll try to describe the ceremony, I did take a lot of photos and few short videos. It takes place at the border between India and Bangladesh. There is a history of hostility between these two nations. The ceremony was something special. Military men, border control, from both countries dress up in their dress uniforms. The people that come are invited to come into the neutral space between the borders, this means I got to enter the border gate, I was like ten feet from Bangladesh. The military from each country line up in a similar pattern in their country. Then commands are given and one man moves simultaneously from each country into position. At specific times, the group moves. The flags are lowered simultaneously as each country has a bugler play their country song for the flag lowering. A man and his wife came that have a position of honor, I know this as when they arrived everyone came to attention or saluted, even many of the people who came to watch. When the event started they were seated in the front row by themselves. As it was starting and I was trying to see over others and get photos a guard came and asked me what country I was from. I told him I was from America and he asked me to come with him. I must admit I was a little nervous and did not have my passport with me. I was escorted up to the front and seated next to the couple of importance. It made me think about when Jesus says to seat at the least important place and your host will invite you to the seat of honor. It was pretty cool. I was not sure what to do when it ended and I kinda wanted to say hello to the guys wife, but that turned out to not be a good idea. I was asked by the guards if I was alone. When I said yes, they all started talking and motioning to another guard. I then told them I had a driver waiting. I was asked twice if I was sure and reassured them I did. I believe they were going to give me a ride back to my hotel. I military escort in India. It would have been exciting but maybe a bit more than others would understand.

Last day in Makunda

August 27th, 2017 by jenniferolmstead
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Woke up and prepared for goodbyes today. We all had an early meeting which meant the others had to get up early to eat as well. After spending time reading my Bible I went into the kitchen to spend a little time with Maam and Deborah. Interesting morning. From the bits that I understood in English it seemed that Deborah was in trouble for not completing homework, her sister for not being social, and the house made, sassy, for not salting the dahl. I’m sure there was much more that I missed but that what I could understand. The other girls came out, looked at me, and sat down ever so quietly. It was like being in the middle of a family argument you could not understand. Deborah acts so mature that at times we almost forget she is only 13 and will have her days. Her sister is just so shy. We all feel that she finds our presence intimidating and thus will not enter a room we are in or will run through as quickly as possible if not avoidable.


After breakfast, we all went together for our early meeting, it was a nice surprise. Denhing had called a local pastor to come and pray for each of us before we all head home. I am the first to leave, but the others will all be leaving over the next 10 days so it was easier to get him to come once than try to have him come back. Makunda does not have a pastor. The services are led by various staff at the hospital. We all received a gift of a coffee mug to remind us of them every time we have a cup, the English and Irish girls were told they could use there’s for tea. It really is such a wonderful group of people here.


I went from there to visit the nurses on peds and say goodbye. I spent the most time with them and the students. They made me promise to come again before I leave when I left to see those in other wards. I did make it back up there before lunch. From there I went to the women’s ward and ran into Jasmine. She wanted to meet with me to see what notes I had about nurses from my time here so we went to her office for a while. Then it was time for lunch. It was interesting to realize it would be the last time I ate in the canteen. The other girls came and reminded me just in case I had not realized that. After lunch, I met with the second-year students for one last education class before I leave. They all thanked me and informed me that they had learned a lot from me and hopes I would return soon. I invited them all to my house if they ever want to come to USA. They all laughed and said it is too expensive. That is one in particular that I really hope does come sometime. We just have a special bond.


After class, I went to my last meeting. We started by giving me my bill and I payed up. Not as much as I expected. For 30 days lodging and meals the total was about $135 after conversion. Can’t eat for that at home let alone have a place to live. Then back to the office to wait for the others. They were all there taking care of business and stated they were waiting till it was time, I said I was told the meeting was at 2pm. So, we started. I reviewed the nursing rounds sheet with them and discussed some ways it could be used as well as ways it could be adapted if the nurses felt it would be more useful. I explained that it should be used as a guide to complete the nursing shift notes to ensure that the needed information was being shared so it did not all have to be found in the chart, not always easy with paper charts. The patients that have been present for a while may have 2-3 groups of charts that do not always remain at the bed which makes finding the information very complicated at times. The nurse’s supervisors all felt that the information would be helpful. I also let them know about some education I felt was needed based on things I saw and gave them examples. It was encouraging to know that what I saw was not acceptable by any standards.


From the meeting, I went home and met with Deborah’s friend who decorated my had. I’ve had lots of compliments so I will have to pass that along to her. Then we ran to market quickly. I had something I wanted to pick up before leaving Makunda for someone. I really haven’t done any gift shopping this trip like I usually do, but then again, this trip has been about doing God’s work not traveling.


To end the evening, I had a cooking class to attend. It was fun watching the others be silly as they tried so hard to make Momo. I’ll have to try it when I get home, but I was just enjoying watching them. It was served with lemon rice and green beans with fish, minnows I think. I skipped the fish things. But I did enjoy the rice and some potatoes.


Then home to finalize packing and say goodbyes to everyone there. Leaving at 4am does not leave time in the morning, especially since they are all sleeping.


August 27th, 2017 by jenniferolmstead
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Today was a day to regroup and prepare for departure. I started off with extra time in my bible and some prayer time. I ate breakfast early. It was steamed rice biscuits with fresh made pear jam. Very tasty. I intended to go early but kept remembering the things I was forgetting. I did finally make it out the door and on my way. As I got ready to climb the hill a driver stopped and asked me to get in. he had a pretty full load but I got in and held on so as not to fall out. It was a nice gesture from the driver. It was a motor rickshaw.


I started my day in Denhing’s office. I showed her the report sheets I have made and transferred them to her computer. She felt they were good for what they are looking for an only made one change. It seems that the location of a wound needs to be passed along as they have a history of losing debrided wounds. Sounds strange I know but it has a history of happening as no one writes these things in the notes.


I then went to the lab for a while. This was quite educational. I was able to help with some draws, look at smears under the microscope, and assist with some quick tests including a few blood typing tests. They are quite difficult to differentiate sometimes.


I left the lab I time to meet Jasmine. We worked with a couple students to teach the concept of teach back using an erasable board. Actually, it was a plastic covered piece of paper, but it worked well. They struggled with the concept at first but seemed to catch on after a while.


Lunch was chicken today and some green stuff we could not identify, but it was so spicy. After lunch, I went to the first-year students to teach them about cycle beads and teach back. They took a little bit before they started asking questions but they seemed to take to the idea. The principle of the school really liked the idea and has plans to use it during the community portions of class as well. I was told that she was hoping I was staying a couple more weeks as they are preparing to do the annual assessments in the schools and she wanted me to come with and help. I told her how excited I would be at the prospect but my husband misses me so I need to go home. She agreed after a few comments about those husbands. We both laughed. She is married and her husband works at Makunda with her. On a side note, everyone here thinks I have a pretty incredible husband to not only allow me to come on mission trips but to support me in them.


After class, I headed home. It was almost 3 and I was tired. I got most of my packing done as I have a very busy day tomorrow. I was planning on taking the morning off to pack but learned early this morning that I have an 8:30am meeting, a 1pm class and a 2pm meeting. Then I have a 4pm appointment and cooking class at 6pm.


My last day in Makunda will be so busy I will not even have time to enjoy it. Tomorrow morning, I take a train to Agartala and then Delhi on Sunday and I’ll be at the airport Monday evening for my flight out of India.


August 27th, 2017 by jenniferolmstead
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Today was one to be remembered. I woke up knowing we had a plan but it turned out even better than I anticipated. I spent a little extra time reading my bible this morning, just because I wanted to. Then breakfast. It was the flat rice cakes with two sauces this morning. I did not get coffee though.


Then I had to wait and verify sometimes before leaving for the hospital which I did not get there until about 830am. Which was ok. I was to take the nursing students to the school for children that is associated with the hospital to share a health education topic. They had made up a play to share the information and had to show it to me before we went. It was really pretty good for having been put together yesterday. Being as this is India and I’ve learned that things function in India time we were only about 25 minutes late to the school. Not bad really. The students enjoyed the presentation by the nursing students and reported to them that they found it not boring and they learned from it. So, everyone was happy. Then I headed home.


We were all to meet a driver at 11am today for a special treat. We got to go see an elephant. Maam has a friend that uses elephants to work in the jungle. He agreed to bring one so that we could get close to it for pictures. We have been trying to do this for a couple weeks, but weather has prevented it. As it turned out we got to sit on the elephant and he stood up and took a step with each of us. It was a very different experience. I tried climbing up like I would climb onto any other animal, bad idea. We were to start by stepping on its leg that was folded out for us and then climb. The owner was at the top to help us up and stabilize us when it moved so we did not fall off. The problem is that once you leave the leg there is no place to get traction. The whole thing is soft and squishy so your foot just slides. It was quite comical and the others were waiting to see if I landed in the mud. When discussing git afterwards the others just stepped on the leg and let the guy on to pull them up. They did not climb. So, note to self to not climb onto elephants, let someone else put you there. It was a truly amazing experience. To feel how much power, they have and yet are so gentle. This one is 60 years old. While up there I got to thinking about what it would have been like for those who lived with the dinosaurs.


The next stop was the tea factory. It is amazing the process it takes to make tea and how it is graded. They actually do much of it by hand here. I was able to get some pictures from inside the factory which was quite a treat. We got to the gate and could not get in until maam was contacted and she contacted the manager. They really guard who gets in.


From the factory, we went to the tea plantation. It was beautiful. It was much larger than I expected. Imagine a series of small hills covered in small bushes, about waist high. The leaves on thes3e bushes are the tea leaves. The land at the bottom of the hills is used for rice fields. The workers are very poor people in the area and most did not have shoes. We were able to see some of the poorest people in the country while there. They get permission to pull the grass that is considered to be weeds in the garden. They then bundle this and sell it as cow food. They hope to get 20-40 rupees for a bundle which takes half a day to pick while barefoot in ankle deep mud. They drink water from a well that requires them to tie a bottle to a stick and reach down to get the water. No wonder these people are always sick and so many children die from disease. The exchange for rupees of roughly 60 rupees to 1 dollar. So, they are working for less than a dollar a day.

We then came home and made ourselves scrambled eggs and potatoes as we had missed lunch and took naps. It was a day that I will spend much time thinking about. It is sad that people live in those conditions and others are immune to them, as if they do not exist. The hospital provides free healthcare to all tea plantation workers which is wonderful here.

a day of teaching

August 27th, 2017 by jenniferolmstead
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Today was wonderfully busy. I started off with a short time reading my bible before heading to the kitchen to teach maam how to make chocolate pancakes. I had to wait however as Deborah was practicing her bible verses. I later learned she had a bible test today and wanted to ensure she was prepared. She got all but one answer correct. This meant I was a little late to the hospital, about 9am today. Which thus meat I missed my first teaching time, which I was not required to be there today I just wanted to offer support for the student. I spent a little time with the students in the postnatal ward and then went looking for a quiet place to prepare for class.
I decided to wander into the physiotherapy office to see what happened in there. I ran into jasmine in the door way and we went to her office so I could review the diabetic plates the students had made for education purposes. They were quite good and jasmine took notes on what I recommended as changes. I learned that the one that I voted as best wins a prize so I made sure not to read the names to ensure no bias. I will review again Thursday.
My first class was at 11am. I taught adolescent health to the second-year nursing students. They will graduate in 1 month and then be assigned for 1 year before needing to search for jobs. Most are hoping to get closer to home.
I was able to catch up with the girls at lunch and see how their days were going. No one had much to report. Then off to mu next class at 1pm. This was the first-year nursing students. I taught about child health, adolescents health, and school care of a child. It was lots of fun and per the report I got from an instructor they all felt they learned from the time together. It’s difficult to walk in a teach when all I have is a topic and no available information. They all had books to look in but I had nothing. It’s a good thing I prayed lots as I prepared. I left the class in time for a birthday party I was invited to this morning. I felt bad that I had no gift as I brought one to the first birthday. The student was just happy I was able to come. Then straight from there into the next class. I was actually late for the birthday as I sat in the office waiting for them to arrive and ended up being called into the principal’s office to discuss the student education topics for tomorrow if they are able to go to the school. I taught about the cycle beads to the graduated nursing assistant and the community health aids. It was interesting and they did not ask as many questions as they first group. I am to teach this to all nursing student as well before I go, per Jasmine.
I had the greatest treat at the party today. I was even able to eat it. They had egg rolls, nothing like you think and mini rice cakes. The egg roll was like a very thin cooked egg that had fresh vegetables thinly sliced and rolled up inside with a slightly spicy sauce. Now the key is to hope and pray I am not sick tomorrow as I have just learned I have a big day. I’ll wait and tell you all about it after it happens. I got a ride home in an airconditioned vehicle at the end of the day. Been so long since I’ve been in air-conditioning I forgot how cold it can feel. My glasses got fogged up when I got out.
I’ve done the last bit of laundry that I’ll get done before I leave as it takes about two days to dry, sometimes three if it rains a lot. So, I may smell a bit when I arrive but I’ve done my best.

last day of class

August 27th, 2017 by jenniferolmstead
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Got up early and read for a while. I spent some time just lying in bed and thinking and praying. I really felt I needed to focus. Then I got up and read my bible. I got coffee while I was at the table writing a card. Today was the last day of class and I wanted to give a card to the students. They will probably need to have in translated.
When the others woke up we had a chat session before going to the kitchen. We discussed a patient from yesterday that we are all following and learning about. I reminded them that sassy does not start breakfast until we are all at the table. She doesn’t know how to ask when we want to eat so she waits for the signal which is us all at the table. It was rice pancakes thing with peanut sauce again. I’m planning on making breakfast tomorrow and I’m quite looking forward to it.
I got to the hospital a little late, due to waiting for breakfast. I went to the women ward for a while, as I have only sent one day there. I was there in time for rounds. I left shortly after as no one would speak to me. They were all busy and felt like I was just in the way. So, I went back to the peds floor. I did stop in at HDU to check on a patient from yesterday. It’s an interesting case and I’m enjoying watching as it unfolds. The peds floor was really slow as the doctor had not rounded yet at 11;30. So I went to NICU for a while. That turned out to be a good plan as they were very busy and I was able to feed one baby and hold a few others. They feed some through NG and then never pick them up to be burped or just held. That seemed like a bad plan so I picked them up. Some I only cradled in my hands in the beds as they are very fragile. Then we all went to lunch. Helen took the day off and the others all left after lunch. Holly wanted to prepare for addressing the class today. I was going to follow after I got my stuff from peds but when I got there it was quite busy. The doctor had just finished rounding and they were frantically trying to get the 12 and 2pm meds given as it was after 1pm. They also had patients to discharge and some lined up waiting to be admitted. There were no beds until some could be discharged. When it all got caught up three had to be taken to another ward as there were no more beds. We even put siblings in the same bed as they had the same problem, infection following chicken pox. I tried to get some pictures but I’m not sure how well they turned out. The lighting is not the best.
As it neared 3pm and I was getting ready to go to class a call was received that someone was coming to photograph the ward and it needed to be cleaned up. So, I stayed and help straighten up. It was quite messy considering how quickly so many things had been done. It was fun thought to pass meds and write notes. I even asked a couple questions in Bengali and got answers I understood. That was my shining moment for the week I think.
I made it to class before any of the students arrived and got some paperwork done. Holly was there waiting to get in. I assured her the students were always late as they did not leave the floor until they are relieved. A great habit. Holly was very prepared and gave them a good talk about some basic nursing values. Then we played a game. I had brought two buckets and two balls. We had two teams and they had to get the ball into the bucket from across the room 10 times. It was great fun to watch as they changed their approach and found creative ways to get the ball in. Afterwards I talked about how when we set goals in life we often have to change our tactics to reach them and may need to get help from others. I used some of the things I notice them doing as examples. They really enjoyed it I think. They all wanted photos so after the game we went outside, between rain showers for photo session. They are all such amazing girls, I guess the are young women not girls. I was hanging around outside while Holly went to speak to a nurse in charge about some paper work she needs for school. I ended up kinda walking with two of the students as we attempted to talk when I was told to get into a car. It turned out to be her family come to pick her up so I got a ride to the turn off anyway. I still had to walk up the stairs. It’s quite a climb to get to the house.
When I got home the girls were baking a cake as tomorrow is Helens birthday. We all had tea and played a game of Yahtzee. I haven’t played in years and was surprised I remembered how. I had fun. Now we are all waiting for maam and sir to get home. They called that they were close but we have seen them yet. I’m guessing dinner will not be served till they’re safely home. The girls are really eager to see their parents. It’s so neat to watch them as they really are a close family. With both parents being doctors for the hospital they hired two ladies to help care for the girls when they were little. Now they are part of the family and stay with them when maam and sir are away. The girls do not leave for school with taking a moment for their mother to pray for them. It’s just so awesome to watch. I feel so privileged to have been able to spend time in their home.

last service

August 27th, 2017 by jenniferolmstead
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This week is a week of final moments. It is also a time of great reflection for me. I’ll start at the beginning.
Today is Helens birthday so I got up and made chocolate pancakes as requested. Naomi asked me to make them as she enjoys them so much. Maam also made fresh bread. The girls were up very late last night so I let them sleep. After cooking I took time to eat with Deborah and chat with Maam. It was a nice relaxing morning. Deborah and I shared some of our favorite worship songs with each other. This was a lot of fun.
It got exciting when the others woke up. One bathroom had a spider about the size of my face hanging in it while the other had a frog in it. I had chosen not to do anything about either earlier but knew they needed to be addressed before they got up. I intended to ask Deborah to do this as I am not going to battle with a spider that bog. The girls got up earlier than expected and the fun began. You Holly is terrified of frogs and they could not bring themselves to use the bathroom and ignore the spider as I had. So, they grab the Birkenstocks and swing. The spider was stunned and fell to the floor but was not dead. Holy almost took the doors down trying to get out of the bathroom. I waited patiently on my bed ready to drop my net if needed. They did finally kill the spider. During this time, there was another spider about the size if my palm that we all thought was dead. I attempted to move it with my pen so no one stepped on it barefoot on accident. Well when I touched it uncurled its legs and that scared everyone so they killed it to. It was a spider morning.
When we got to church I enjoyed the service. It started with worship lead by the second-year nursing students who chose to all sing, they are great about providing moral support for each other. I’m glad the services are in English as I get much more out pf the. I found myself missing my church family at home today and am looking forward to seeing them again. Deborah sang a solo to today which I recorded. She really did a great ob. She has been practicing this week and took time to write the words this morning in case she forgot while up in front of everyone. Maam was the speaker and had a very encouraging message for everyone.
After church was nap time and them lunch. We were hoping to take Helen to see the elephants for her birthday today but it rained so hard that was not possible. After lunch, I read and little then decided another nap was sin order. I’ve become very rundown lately. Working six days a week is tiring and then not eating till 7;30 or 8 every evening means getting to bed late. I still get up early though so I think it has just finally caught up with me. So, I slept. When I woke up I spent some time reading. I have enjoyed having time to spend reading my Bible and in prayer.
My reading was interrupted to come view a spider. It was a tarantula wandering through the living room. I learned a little about it before it came to its end. While we discussed it, I learned a little about the ones the girls had killed earlier today as well. Seems the spider is quite dangerous. Good thing the girls didn’t know that before they went in.
We went to Bible study again this week. We discussed the 9th chapter of john. It is interesting to see what everyone pulls from the same section of verses and how each person’s view adds to the richness of what is read. The other girls here are going to lead next week, but I will be on my way home then.
We came home from Bible study to a special dinner for Helen. Her favorite curry with coconut rice. A truly wonderful meal. She was so happy she cried, she did a lot of that today.


back to peds

August 27th, 2017 by jenniferolmstead
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Woke up and had time for extra reading today. I am reading through the minor prophets. I was brought coffee again today while I was at the table reading, which was quite nice. I was trying to prepare for class and then I changed my plan anyway. Breakfast was a little late, we all just sat there and waited. It was rice pancakes, kinda. They make a really thin pancake, similar to a crepe, and then we dip it into a spicy peanut sauce. Its good when it’s not too spicy.
I decided to go back to pediatrics today as I feel I am able to do more there. They were happy to see me. I arrived just in time for rounds. After rounds I asked what I could do to help and was told to sit. I tried to protest and was told to rest as I would be put to work later when she finished what she was doing. I was. I got all the information for the discharges into the discharge book. Then Helen and Naomi came to give me a class on how to read chest x-rays. It was interesting and I feel like I learned a lot from that short class. As they were leaving Holly came up. She was not feeling well and wanted to try lunch, so I went with her even thought it was a bit early. She woke up with a toothache which had grown into a headache. I’m quite sure she had a long miserable day. She did have antibiotics to start this morning. It seems she has had several this year and the dentist is unable to identify why she is having so many when she had never had one before January.
After lunch, I read some charts and entertained a baby. It’s a little girl that had chicken pox. She made it through them alright however she has developed a severe secondary skin infection, quite common for kids with chickenpox even in the US. Her skin is black and peeling all over her head, face, and torso. Her arms and legs are covered in a pinpoint rash that has not yet opened. Anyway, I also helped with the med pass and wrote some of the shift notes.
I was invited to attend a birthday party after class today so I was quite looking forward going. I went to class and waited patiently as they were finishing up the Friday class that starts at 2pm every week. The principal was teaching and suggested having the party before class so she could participate. She had baked a cake and the other students had all pitched in to buy some little packaged cakes and a gift for her. The gift was a container for carrying lunch. She was very happy. I brought the cookies I picked up yesterday which everyone seemed to like and gave her the jars of jelly from home to share. She asked if they were for her or everyone. I said they were hers but she should let her friends taste them. She agreed and they all put some on the cookie things I had brought. When those were gone they just ate it out of the palm of their hands. It was a lot of fun. We all sang happy birthday. Then it was time to begin class. After my time studying today I changed the topic. I can do that as I’m the teacher. Only about half of the class seemed to really be engaged which is normal. I figure there the ones that understand and they will explain later. I saw the Irish girls and Holly walking by so I hollered for them to come in and wish a happy birthday. I’d say her name but to be honest I cannot spell or pronounce it. So, they came and sang, when it came time for her name they were silent as they didn’t know what it was. The whole class laughed and said it before finishing the song. Then they decided to share an Irish tradition. I had no idea what a bounce was so I told them to share it. I almost felt sorry for the girl. These very tall Irish girls pick her up by shoulders ad feet and carry her outside. The other two get on either side and support her backside. Then they began to throw her up into the air. One student took video while another took photos. Everyone laughed so hard. When back in the class I learned that the birthday girl almost messed herself as she thought they were going to throw her down the hill into the pond. They really do lack self-confidence. She had fun when she realized what they were doing. everyone enjoyed it and are thinking about adding an Irish tradition to their birthday celebrations. Then it was time to come home. I brought all the treats I received at the party home and shared with the girls.
It was a great day. The cooking class we were planning to attend was cancelled as the one expected to teach is gone for conference. Kinda hard to teach when you’re not here. So now I relax and read till bedtime. Not a bad idea.

lazy week turns crazy

August 27th, 2017 by jenniferolmstead
Posted in Uncategorized|

Morning started off like usual. Quite time then breakfast. I actually ate before the others as I walked into the kitchen and was ordered to do so. You don’t refuse when ordered to eat. So, then I sat with the others when they ate and chatted a bit.
We went to the hospital a little late today as I was planning on going to the clinic side, OPD (outpatient department), and it doesn’t start until 9am. I was able to say hello to a few people before then. I decided to sit with Dr Roshin as I have rounded with her and she speaks English I can understand. She explains things quite well. Understanding the role, I play as a nurse she explained patient conditions as they apply to the community and we discussed education that is needed. I told her about some of the education things I had discussed with the nursing instructors and she really liked them. She told me to make sure to get it started and someone to take responsibility before I leave. So, I got a hold of jasmine and told her. Next thing I knew was meeting students to begin the patient education and these students will follow up with the patients when they come for suture removal. That gives them an opportunity to track how well the education was not only received but understood as well. I was told to speak to the principal of the nursing school, not the same as the community nursing school, as she is a community nurse. So, by the end of the day I have four classes tomorrow, a field trip Wednesday and a meeting Friday afternoon. I’ve decided it’s a good thing I have already done my rotations as I don’t expect to get much learning done if I am doing that much teaching. I am loving it though. It’s just such a good feeling to feel like you are not only valued but that I have something to offer them after all that they have given me. Knowledge exchange rather than me just being a sponge and soaking things in only.
I got home and was very wound up as I was also invited to dinner tonight. So, I walked quickly and met with the others who were at home waiting. We then headed to market to pick up a few supplies. I wanted to make sure I went to day incase something comes up Thursday and I miss my last chance. I had a special gift to purchase.
We got back and I had about 10minutes till it was time to leave for dinner. It was a good thing I stopped to tell Deborah where I was going as I would have gone to the wrong house. You know me and directions, I would have gone in the completely wrong direction. However, thanks to her instructions and knocking a couple strange doors I found the right place. It was actually the first house where someone answered the door when I knocked. God is so amazing and it’s a really good thing that He is always looking out for me.
Dinner was good and I enjoyed the company. Made it home before dinner was served here and had to explain why I wasn’t eating to acka who knows about 10 words of English. She finally went and got maam to translate as she was so worried. It’s nice that they care so much about us.