Saturday, August 10, 2013

So for the past week I have had the opportunity to work on the surgery team. We had two wonderful surgeons with us. Bart Saxbe is a general surgeon and Randy Kahan is a obstetrics and gynecological surgeon. Most of the surgeries done were herinas and vaginal historectomies.  It was probably the most interesting thing to be a part of because of the situation we were in. We had the luxury of working inside a hospital and using their facilities, which would never happen in the states. No U.S. hospital would let a random group of people come into their facility and bring in your own patients and surgeons without there being some sort of legal problems. At any rate, we were able to get into the hospital, but we still had problems with getting patients into the operating rooms because the surgeons of the hospital took up all the rooms until they were done for the day.  So we didn't get into surgery until 2 in the afternoon and finish at 9 or 10 at night.  This was the case for the first few days, until one of the surgeons put his foot down and was able to get us are own room for the whole day.  Then we were able to get into a groove and really get through a lot of surgeries. From a personal perspective, I was really nervous because I have really no surgery experience and speak little Spanish.  This caused a problem because I was able to scrub into the surgeries and hand them instrument, but I had no idea what the names of them were and the person explaining to me spoke Spanish! Eventually, I was able to learn the names of instrument and techniques from different surgeries.  It was truly a great experience and I am so glad I was apart of it. I am looking forward to the trip to Tulum, which is where the eight of us will be for the second week of the trip.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Today we were very prepared for the tasks that we had before our group as we medically served the people of Merida. While working in the suburbs of Merida, the Presidents without Borders teams assisted in the treatment of many dental and optometric needs all while helping to run a functional pharmacy. It was very amazing to see the personal level at which we could connect to each and every patient and I am really feeling confident that the following days will continue to be amazing! 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hello everyone!
We had a very long day today. We landed in Merida last night and arrive at our houses in Merida at a little after 1:00am. To clarify for all parents, we are staying in Merida this week, not Xpujil. Link and I are staying in one house, Joe and Josiah in another, and all the girls in a third. This is a large project with over 20 total people on board. We woke up bright and early and put in about 6 hours of clinical work today. After clinic, we went to a town square in Merida to see local dancers. Tomorrow we are starting bright and early and will be off to a new clinical site at 7:30am.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Preparing for our Departure to Mexico - 8/2/2013

Hello PWBers!

It's Friday, August 2nd, and we will be departing for Xpujil in Campeche Mexico. There will be eight of us going: Myself (Evan Wagner), Cat Zylstra, Tiffany Mayhugh, Lino Ruggeri, Josiah Ritchey, Hannah Morrissey, Brianna Hewitt, and Joe Williams. Our flight leaves at this afternoon from Pittsburgh and we should be arriving in Merida, Mexico in the evening. We will be staying for 2 full weeks and we will be coming home on August 17th. We have preparatory meetings starting at 8:00am on campus tomorrow morning then we are off! We have an excellent team going on this trip and I can't wait to get there and get started!

We will have daily updates, so keep checking back!

See everyone tomorrow,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Final full Day

When we woke up this morning we could all tell that it was going to be a bittersweet day. After working for the past 5 days helping hudreds of patients get the care they needed, we were finally getting a chance to see another side of Nicaragua but at the same time we knew that our time in this country was winding down.

Our first stop on our adventure was the most active volcano in North America having just errupted a mere four months ago. Our guide Lynda mentioned that the area is so special that even NASA uses the terrain as a model for Mars rovers! Climbing to the top of the crater was definitely a moving experience and as we got closer we could feel the heat through our hardhats.

After a quick 2 hour lunch at Papa John's we were off to the artisan market where Nicaragua's finest craftmakers displayed their wares. Our haggling skills were pushed to the test as we bought hammocks, bracelets, and wooden crafts that you might possibly enjoy (especially if you are related to one of our adventurers!).

The most exciting part of our trip today was our boat ride on Lake Nicaragua where we avoided the dreaded freshwater bullsharks and managed to feed some monkeys Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza on the infamous Monkey Island. Afterwards we wandered through the streets of Granada enjoying the slow pace of Central American Life.

When we got on the bus to return to our adopted home, we were tired but are eager to share our stories and experiences with allof you. So if you see us on campus or in town ask!  

Last day in clinics!

We are about to go out to eat at a place called E ski mo... I don’t know how to spell it in Spanish. However, we had a humbling last day of clinics.  When got to the clinic this morning there was already around 50 people waiting for us and we had to turn away people because they were all waiting for the dentist. A little baby who was only 2 months old came to the clinic and had a trachea tube in its throat but the baby was really sick so Dr. Diana sent it straight to the hospital. Also, yesterday an older woman came in and Dr. Diana thought she had bone cancer because there was some type of lump on the top of her mouth. We stopped taking medical patients around 10:30 yet we did not finish until 12.  One of our translator's fathers who is a doctor graciously offered his day off to come help with the clinic.  I thought that was really amazing.  Once we ate lunch, we had to do inventory which was extremely frustrating.  We had to go through all the medicine and count how many of ech type of pill was left.  Once we were done with that, we moved everything out of the clinic and onto the bus to then be unloaded at Jo Ann's house.  After that we went home and got ready for our dinner.  The place we went to was extremely nice.  I got a cheeseburger, fries, and a banana smoothie...suprisingly it was only 8 dollars total.  When we got back from dinner, there were honestly hundreds of flying ants all over Quinta Shalom and in our bedroom. It was really gross.  That was all the adventures of today!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Entertainment Thursday

On this beautiful morning, we arrived at the clinic with our buttercup yellow President's Without Borders t-shirts.  It was a pretty busy day at the clinic today because the power kept turning off.  I personally worked in the dentist area this afternoon and saw some teeth extractions.  All the children love to color and we are running out of room on the boards, where we tape up their masterpieces.  When we finally arrived home around 7pm, our dinner was delicious stir-fry chicken, rice, and tres leches for dessert.  We had some wonderful entertainment tonight.  We had Seth clog dancing and a man singing opera.  However, our favorite entertainment was Lynda's poetry and she handed out prizes! Before we got ready for bed, we made our way down to Pops ice cream shop and met another pittsburgh native.  Well, hopefully our last day of clinic will be successful.