Sunday, January 20, 2013

Brigade...El Espino

The translation of where we did our first brigade with the Hazel Dell group is "The Thorn" which is not a very pleasant sounding name for a commuity at first blanch.  The name might have something to do with the many pine trees in the area...and not much more due to the poor ground conditions.  This community is about a half hour past the Church we have worked with in the past in Lepaterique....seen here, with requisite clouds this time of year.  We knew it would be somewhat chilly up there, especially with it already being not exactly warm for our neck of the woods in Tegucigalpa.  With the very fast moving clouds, and the wind to go along with it....we were right.

When we arrived in Lepaterique, long story short they thought we were coming not Saturday but Sunday.  Never deterred, they sprung into action and upon our arrival to the Church building there, they went to let as many people know as possible of our arrival.  They guesstimated at that point that as many as 50 people might be able to show up.   After we got started with the brigade, the pastor from Lepaterique held the pastor's meeting for their group that they had already planned....just as you can see a slightly different location. 

The Church building where we were to work was probably the most interesting location for a brigade we have ever used.  The building is newly built, with not much in terms of amenities, thankfully a local communal building was made available for us to use the bathroom, just a few minute walk. 

The pharmacy was even more interesting....a little room with walls and roof of branches with a central earthen stove for preparing meals made for cramp quarters for everyone, but they soldiered on very well.

The waiting room....was as many benches as they could find, out in the blowing wind.  Not a complaint about the wait times, location, or anything else could be heard.  The community is very economically impoverished, many ongoing health issues....the easiest to see being all the rotting teeth, some of which in the mouths of little children some of the worst I have seen to date.   

Darwin Pineda was able to come with us and is planning to come the other brigade days!  Darwin is a FAME scholarship recipient, and just finished up his year of social service with the government...graduation will be sometime in the next few months (they do not set a graduation date ahead of time for them, imagine that.)  He will be working for the next few months, and then plans to specialize in surgery, which will take another two years.  After that he will be working with us for at least two years...a great doctor would be of course beneficial to the clinic, a surgeon....that could make for some very interesting possibilities. 

Hard to see in this picture, but on the far left is Oscar and his dad, who came up to visit from Costa Rica.  Oscar is hoping to get cataract surgery for his dad while he is here, the first visit for him to Honduras since 2000.

Oscar and family, plus several extra traveling companions (including his dad, Julia's sister and other friends along for the ride) returned from vacation to visit family in CR and Panama this week.

In doing brigades, there are always stories...compelling stories, sometimes things we can answer/help, sometimes though not in the way the patient hopes.  I just happened to sit down for a minute while this woman was telling Jana about her C-section pregnancies.  The doctor that delivered her second baby (who decided to pull up her shirt for some reason as the exam went along...perhaps eager for her exam?)  decided to tie her tubes after the C-section....without her permission.  She had heard that you could only have three C-sections in a row, but with her tubes tied, how could she have another child that her "husband" (not really married) so much wanted.  Will he stay if she can not provide him more children?  With some regularity, doctors perform such surgeries without permission in what they think is the best interest of the patient and children already born into such circumstances.

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