Monday, February 27, 2006

Lunch Break Experiences

So when when three young women (including Ashley the Sociologist, Tannia the Ecologist, and Priscila the future-Gynecologist) arrived in Shanaycu, the community was very surprised: they were expecting a group of men, including my Bruce my Boss. They had killed a fatted calf in anticipation for our arrival. Needless to say we were obliged to stuff ourselves silly (so much that Ashely and Tannia got sick) and apologize profusely. Here is one of the chef's and the remnant of our lunch in the hot, smokey, windowless adobe kitchen.

Here's another tribute to good mothers and healthy babies. This is a kindly older lady and her almost-toddler, who also demanded a lunch break, though of a different type. Most mothers breast-feed until the age of 1.5-2yo.

Two older ladies taking a lunch break durring our 5 hour course on women's health in Shanaycu, Chimborazo. The evangelical church was responsible for making two full meals for the 50 women who participated, their many children, and spouses!

Macuma, more on women's health

Here is a 14yo student seeing, for the first time, an IUD (intrauterine device). I was given several IUDs (sterile but used!) from CEMOPLAF, the national org. on women's health and family planning, for use in our classes.

Here are some of the girls in my class reviewing the course materials as we passed around contraceptive information. Challenging to talk of family planning in a primarily Roman Catholic community, but with respect and facts, we broached the subject.

When making home visits in Macuma, a jungle town in the province of Morona Santiago, we meet more than just patients: can you see the monkey flying past?

Bus stop at la Pacifica

So over the last four months I've been traveling from community to community, "like a nomad" :) A little tiring, but moments like this are refreshing: consider this bus stop outside of la Pacifica, a lady on one side of the road, I on the other.

A proud father

When this gentleman, of Puruhuaypampa saw we were taking pictures (which we always bring back to the community and give to the families), he ran over to grab his young son. He is standing here in his growing field of peas with this son, oh so proud. What more to say? Dad, were you this proud of us, your four daughters? :)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday, February 06, 2006

"This was for me."

I was taken aside by this lady and quietly told, "I can't read, but when I saw the picture of this woman and child I knew it was a book for me. There are so many women here and in other communities who do not know what is theirs, what are their rights." I've put together this booklet on women's health and use it to teach.

Mi escuela mixta.

My community health class this week was highlighted by a nutricious "stone soup" and the chorus of men, women, and children shouting "Papanicolau!" when I asked what exam that could prevent cervical cancer.

Fields of gold.

Many years have past, since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
As you lie in fields of gold.

So it's not golden yet, but it is barley and it is beautiful.

Window into your world

In the Community of la Pacitfica, were I was this weekend with Ashley and Tannia, we walked around inviting the women to the health course later that day. It was a misty morning and the trail was well marked.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Cotopaxi's Glacier

"Cotopaxi is Ecuador's highest active volcano at 5897m, located in the Eastern Cordillera... It has an almost perfectly symmetrical cone, rising from a highland plain of 3800m and covered by a mighty glacier starting at a height of 5000m"... and here you are: a chunk of the glacier.

Cotopaxi National Park

Cotopaxi National park we weren't the only visitors. This is a roads leading through an old lava field. "The last big erruption of Cotopaxi was in 1877 and many scientist think that one is due again, given its historical hundred year cycle of eruptions."