Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 26; Helicopters and Pelicans

Today, I'm assigned to take blood pressures for the denistry people in La Huaca. But the big bonus is I get to go by helicopter. Yeah! It is a coveted opportunity and I've actually had people offer me money for my seat. Truthfully, it's a little anti-climatic because you are in a five point harness. It's like you have a large thumbtack through your sternum that keeps you pinned to the seat.
We had set up another med op site at Institucion Educative San Jose in La Huaca. This is actually the last day we will be providing services here. I will spend the remaining days of my adventure aboard ship recovering surgical patients. While in La Huaca 2 junior members from the Ministry of Health attached themselves to me and through their broken english and my very minimal spanish we tried to communicate. It was hard work. It made my head hurt. I took a DSLR camera with me. It is unlike most point and shoot cameras as you have to look through the view finder and not at the large screen on the back. You can see that my communication skills were somewhat lacking because one of the ministry of health aides took this picture of myself and the other aid.

Funny, huh? So maybe I should learn more spanish. AFter taking blood pressures I wandered over to pediatric services. We kept the children entertained with coloring books and crayons. They would bring their colored pictures to me and we would teach other language. I would ask them in spanish, Como se dice? and they would tell me in their language either the color they chose or what the actual picture was and I would give them the english word. I had as many as six children at a time crawling in and around me to participate. I also got to sample a local "fruit", maybe it's a vegetable. It's called Huava and it looks like the guts of a cactus spine, it has a spongey consistancy with a light citrus flavor and big seeds/pods throughout.

At the end of the day the school children returned to take back their school. Here are some of the girls in uniform.

A constant view at the pier were the pelicans. The closest pelican was a little leary of me as I walked at the edge of the pier to get a good shot. I would take a couple steps and he would stand and ruffle his feathers, I would stop. As soon as he settled down I would continue my advance. I was very close to the edge and many of the military watching me were anxious that I might go into the water.

You can see one of the pelicans further back took to flight as I approached. Only 2 more days and I return home to the United States.

1 comment:

Georgia said...

Lisa, I doubt that even if you spoke perfect Spanish you would have thought to tell the guy taking the photo to take a picture of your faces. In any language you would have assumed that he would know that the faces are what you want in the photo.

Those pelicans are huge! I'm not sure I would have walked closer and closer, I'd be afraid of one flying straight at me and then there would have been that 'in the water' problem.

You are very brave to have tried all the new foods and just to have taken this opportunity in the first place. I'm sad that it is ending in just two more days. I am sure you were gone a lot longer than this!