Sunday, August 21, 2005

Waiting. Planning?

Right now my life revolves around bland* administrative work in Quito, namely comming up with community tallies, sorting out what medication regimen we will use, figuring out where we'll get the meds, wondering when I'll get my visa sorted, ect. I'm living in one of the upstairs bedrooms of an Ecuadorian lady who often takes on boarders. Its just across the street from HCJB, so I just have to roll out of bed to go to work. Sadly, I see very little of my land lady, who insists on calling me "Dr.Ribeiro" (she says she has to get used to it) or the compadre of elderly pastors from Spain who are here on a miraculous healing campaign. I've have met few other HJCB people but fortunately have taken up the use of Quito's great public transportation system (including buses, trollies, metro-trollies, taxies, and of course my own two feet). The most lovely trips, however, have been Duther's rooftop guide of Quito's cafes.

The hope and plan is for me to leave on Wednesday after I'm handed over a package of Praziquantel, a gift from some doc on the Onchocerciasis team.

* "Bland" b/c compared to field work and medicine, paperwork and the sterile, square computer head humming at me are empty and without personality. But of course it is all very important!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

On her way home

We were waiting, as usual for the kids to show up in Puruhuaipampa. Time was passing. And so we sat watching the traffic come down the main village road. This lady was bringing her sheep down from the hills. I don't know her name. I don't think I'll see her again, but she is beautiful, isn't she?

Listen to the Butterfly

This gentleman was the president of the community of Gounan. After I had seen all the little kids in the community, he came up to me and said he'd been having some trouble hearing for the last several months (a common complaint amond the elderly population). But unlike other folk, he was pretty sure what had been the problem: a butterfly had flown into his ear while he had been working in the fields. Sure enough. Here's Shawna, my friend and a fellow medical student, pearing into confirm the diagnosis.


By the end of the two weeks, this lovely Kombie was called the Dust Mobile. Here it looks clean and crisp against the clear mountain sky, but don't let this decieve you. Al fin de las dos semanas viajando cerca Riobamba, nuestra Kombie se transformo num Dust Mobile.

Technical Text

These last two weeks have involved data gathering for an epidemiologic evaluation of communities with and those without clean water projects. The goal of the project is to verify the effectiveness of HCJB's Communitee Development Program's clean water projects in improving the health of the kids in the Quichua communities. The team currently consists of two medical students (including me), five undergraduates, several local community development workers, one family practice doc, and one epidemiologist. Our days began by driving to a given communittee, setting up a registration table, mini-clinic, and several interview stations (there the undergraduates do the public health questionare). My responsibilities were, for the most part, registering the children and doing occasional physical exams and hom visits. I will be returning to these communities in several weeks to treat the kids that have parasites. As of now we only have supplies for the children enrolled in the study (one child between the ages of 1 and 5 per family). We are hoping that perhaps the Ministry of Health (who we are working with), the Department of Indigenous Services (who we have spoken to) or the UN (which has shown interest), might be able to supply us with meds to treat all the children of these communities.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

¿How tall are you?

Did you want evidence that I´m actually doing something usefull here? Well, here I am taking down the measurements of a beautiful little girl at one of the roadside communities outside of Riobamba. Very little clinical work as of yet, but that is yet to come. Queires evidencia que estoy realmente trabajando aqui? Pues, aqui estoy tomando las medidas de esta guapa niña en una communidade fuera de Riobamba. Todavia no estoy haciendo mucho trabajo clinico, pero esto voy hacer en tiempo (espero este proximo mes).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Chimborazo province

This is a view of the beautiful countryside I see on our way to the villages every day. I hope you enjoy it too!

Nap time

Dr. Brad Q, very tired, taking a snooze while we wait for the women and children to show up. The villages we visit are variable in size, with the number of children between the ages of 1-4 ranging from 2 to 50. Dr. Brad Q, cansado, dormindo encuanto agente esperava para as mulheres e crianças venhao.

Tunnel Vision

I don´t know if you can see, but there are a group of little kids at the end of this tunnel. With this sort of vision, you can imagine what a joy it would be to work. Nao sei si voçes consegem ver, mais no fim dese tunel tem um grupo de crianças. Com esa visao, dar para imaginar com que gozo alguem pode trabalhar.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Almost mama kangaroo

This is the way they Quichua women carry their children. The ladies of one of the villages we were in kindly taught me how! Este es la maneira que las senhoras Quichua cariegan sus hijos. Una de las senhoras me enseno.


Mae e Pai, esas flores sao para voces. Sei como Pai sempre gostava de fotos de flores... entao, esas sao da provincia de Chimborazo en Ecuador. Voces reconhecem? E anis (aka dropias)! Mom and dad, these flowers are for you. I know how dad always loves pictures of flowers... and so there are some from the province of Chimborazo in Ecuador. Do you recognize them? It is anis (aka licorice)!


So this is my new home town, Riobamba, Chimborazo. Today, Saturday, was spent wandering the streets trying to find a church and eating bread. Am still trying to find a family that could and would take me on as a boarder. Aqui es donde yo voy vivir por los proximos meses. Hoy dia pase el tiempo caminando pelas calles e comiendo pan. Todavia estoy buscando una familia que podria alugar un quarto para mi.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Serious business

Realmente no me acuerdo do nombre de esta nina, pero claramente ella estaba cuidando bien de su hermanito. Ella vive en la communidade de Apunag. I realy don´t remember the name of this young girl, but she clearly was doing a good job taking care of her little brother.

Outside learnin´

Aqui estan algunos de los hermosos ninos que estan participando en el estudio. Son ninos de la communidade de Casto Alto, Ecuador. Here are some of the lovely children who are participating in the study. They are kids from the Casto Alto, Ecuador community.