Thank you so much for taking time to look at our blog! We are a group of edical students who are passionate about training and in underserved areas. This January and February, we are in Peru, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica internationally as well as locally in Flint and Lansing completing volunteer service, rotating in hospitals and clinics, and learning about international medicine and local underserved health care. We appreciate any time you take to read our reflections and any donations you might offer.

Please click the “Donate” link on the side for more details on how to give directly to these communities.

Saturday, January 25

Nicaragua- Project Limon

A recap of some highlights from last week in Tola, Nicaragua at Project Limon:
Caitie, Jenny and Nicole outside the hospital in Rivas
We have had a lot of fun different opportunities so far between working in the clinic and hospital to many community outreach programs. Some of our outreach experiences have included: 

Community tours

Our community is in the Department (like a state) of Rivas, Nicaragua. The community, Tola, is very rural and is comprised of 5 smaller neighborhoods. We spent an afternoon walking through the communities to get acquainted with where we are and learn more about our surroundings. We visited some of the Tiendas and restaurants but there isn’t much for sale here and the nearest grocery store is about an hour away.  We visited the local cemetery and noticed all of their caskets were cement and above ground. We saw the salt fields where they harvest salt from the ocean. 

Cemetery in Las Salinas, Rivas

There is a bakery, Paradise Bakery, but they don’t have baked goods on hand, its all made to order days in advance. Similarly, many of the “restaurants” are found in the homes of women who are known to be particularly good cooks in the community and open their living rooms for dining at lunchtime. A typical meal always includes beans and rice or gallo pinto (bean and rice mixed) and some sort of meat, especially sea food.

Typical Nicaraguan meal

The Natural Healer

We spent an afternoon visiting a local natural healer. She was in her eighties and grew up with other natural healers in her family. Despite many non-western methods she also prescribes things such as anti-parasite medications when she thinks they are indicated. While we were there she diagnosed us individually with ailments from parasites to slipped vertebral discs.

The natural healer working on Jenny

Diabetic and Prenatal home visits

We divided up and spent a few afternoons visiting patients in their homes for diabetes and prenatal checks. For the diabetic visits we checked every patient’s glucose and blood pressure and spent some time counseling. For the prenatal visits, FIMRC has a program where they visit the home of every pregnant person in the community once a month and go over an educational curriculum about pregnancy and motherhood. We all really enjoyed the opportunity to get out in to the community, meeting different members of the community in their homes. 

Physical therapy and clean-up

Tomeny helping us with the clean-up
Every Friday morning, FIMRC runs a therapy clinic for children with various special needs such as children with developmental delays, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy and more. We work with the children every Friday doing physical therapy and learning games. They always finish with a good game of musical chairs. This week we also helped cleaning up the center inside and out, including weeding with machetes and burning the yard waste (the method of trash removal around here). 

Jenny tending to the fires of our yard clippings
FunLimon Carnival

A local community foundation, FunLimon, put on a carnival Friday evening were we participated by creating a health Jeopardy game for kids to play and gave out prizes from the donations we brought. The game was a big hit (or more so the prizes) and we had a never-ending line of kids. A few other local organizations set up informational booths and there was a bouncehouse, a clown running games and cotton candy. Also, 3 major league baseball players came down to run a baseball camp over the weekend and were signing autographs at the carnival. 

Showing off our handy work - Jeopardy game behind us
Us with most of the FIMRC Nicaragua group
We could go on about all we are experiencing and learning and all the great people in the community we have been getting to know, but that's it for now!

"jumping" picture as we head off for a hike

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