Tuesday, December 29, 2009

an adrenaline rush for Christmas!

Last Wednesday, Dec 23rd, 2009 turned into be an incredible day full of adrenaline! My experience of working with bloody wrestlers and football players in Kannapolis came in handy! But this was a lot more serious than a bloody nose: The head doctor had just left Antetezambaro a few hours before, for the holidays season. He gave me the keys "just in case I need to get into the clinic for an emergency" and it was a good thing because I really wouldnt have wanted this experience outside in the sand or in my hut. Sorry in advance for some gory details/: A distraught father brought to my hut a 12 year old boy had stepped on a shatter glass beer bottle (of course most villagers dont have shoes) and had a slice on the arch of his foot 2 inches long and deep enough to cause massive amounts of this flesh to pour out. Since it was only 2 days b4 Christmas, not only were the doctor,s already with their families here in Tamatave, but the guard to the CSB (clinic) and his family were also in the city for the day, enjoying the holiday festivities and the Emedie, another health worker and janitor was out farming rice trying to get some last minute cash for her family holiday feast. So that left Kanto to save the day!! The boy was clearly in shock and dehydratd, not able to respond when i asked him his name or how old he was. His father had some plants and an old cloth wrapped around to try to stop the gushing but the thick blood was still flowing like crazy! Luckily peace Corps supplied us with latex gloves cuz I couldnt find any in the CSB.I put the drippping foot in a metal bowl to try to keep the mess to a minumum as I slwly unwrapped the handmade band_aid. I tried to keep back the look of whore on my face since I knew the father was already very worried, as it,d been a 45 minute walk for them to the CSB. I didnt know where the doc keeps all the clean rags... and dont even know if there is such storage. I found sterlized water and Betadine to rinse it as best as possible. Applied pressure with some cotton that I found and wrapped elastic around his shin to prevent blood from flowing sooo fast. After about 15 mins I was relieved to see the pressure slow down and the boy was coming around and talking a wee bit, but it was very obvious the boy needed a doctor to sew it up, after I found a clean cloth, wrappd it , gave them a big bottle of water that I urged he must drink at least a wee bit of water, slowly, to rehydrate while they hitchd a ride to the city to get to the hospital ASAP. Cleaning up that whole mess was another obstacle with no obvious cleaning agent or mops around but when it was all said and done, although I really didnt do much to help besides clean it very well, subside the bleeding, give hydration, and stress the importance of heading to the hospital, I felt good about being the lone health worker that was there to help. I realized my first responder skills were a crucial element to staying calm and analyzing the situation with a clear head. I missed out on celebrting Chrismas with all the other Peace Corps Volunteers, which to tell you the truth, was a wee bit sad, but there was a reason why I chose to stay and be with my village. Walking home at 3AM in the dark with the brigh shining starts above me, after watching my kids sing, dance, and praise the Lord Christmas Eve - Day morning for 6 hours was worth it. Here I am in the city enjoying the upcoming New Year,s with some friends, so Im getting it all in. LIfe is soooooo s,goooood. Hope 2010 brings goodness to yall as well. Amy menaraka. Cheers*

Friday, December 18, 2009

tratra ny krismasy sy toana vaovao!! merry christmas and happy new year!

WWWWAAAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!What another christmas season for me in Madagasikara!!! Again, its soooooo amazing to be back in my Homeland; just in time to celebrate the holidays with my lovely family of Antetezambaro!! i sense everyone is very happy to have me back and it feels soooo good to actually be working after my 8 months of stressful; nondirectional lounge time. This past week was Tazo Moka (malaria) week and USAID donated tons of mosquito nets to pass out to all homes for free! So i!ve been very busy being in charge of distributing them to the happy recievers since it being the hot, rainy season, malaria is rampant right now. I saw the worst cast of it my second day back at site, a 7 year old boy who was unconscious, eyes rolling to the back of his head, unable to talk, eat, drink, and only yelp out when he received the shot of prophylaxix that;s needed to clean out his blood. After 2 days he started coming back around but if his family didnt make the 10Kilometer trek to our med clinic; he most likely would have died. I take a weekly prophylaxis to prevent getting it, but the side effects include hair loss and crazy vivid dreams. so im thinking of just shaving my head since clumps can fall out at a time. And the vivid dreams i dont mind too much but it does take me a while to wake up and realize its just a dream. Small price to pay to get to live and work in a luscious, green;, tropical atmosphere full of smiling faces no matter how much stuff or money they have. Its been a breath of fresh air to be back and live the exciting yet simple life of picking litches; rice farming; relaxing under a mango trees and watching the taxis go by; playing cards or frisbee or dancing with my kids; and trying to get in every health message about how to clean the water, get all the needed nutrients to develop properly; have a safe pregnancy or resources to prevent it. Our clinic is all out of depo provera birth control shots which most women use in my village, since much of the international funding has been cut because of the ongoing unresolved political crisis. I actually just picked up a big order of shots to take back to my village since sooo many women asked me if i could. YES!! i defintey wil help them prevent zaza maro misesy (a lot of kids in a row; which is fairly common here) so families can be planned out and nourished with enough food and basic needs; its back to site here so until next time...Amy menaraka! wishing u all the bestes christmas and new years and try to think about the less fortunate and be grateful for all u DO have, most importantly ur family and special people around you. Im blessed to be filled to the brim with all these things for (hopefully) the next year and half, no matter how many miles from america i may be;;;cheers!!!