Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Canadian Winter deep-freeze returns, my brain drifts south...

Well the weather here is intensely cold.  No better time to start having my thoughts drift southward.

Time is flying this month, and we're throwing together chili days... holy jumpin! Just hope that we get enough interest and enough chili.  I am going to throw one more together for Wednesday... just to make sure we have lots.

Then there are pub nights coming up, I'm going to do some cookie sales (yes, little ambulances and paramedics!!).  I'm hoping for some support from family and friends.  This week I need to get out and see if some businesses will support us by donating services and products for raffles.  Time flies.

I'm quite excited about the journey, but I am nervous about getting things done and doing them well.  I have been lost in time this week (I blame the head cold that is settling down on me).  It'll all go forward... and we will manage to get what we need!

Working with great translators
I realized that I am sortof missing the point though, that the fundraising is supposed to be fun! That the end justifies the means, as they say (though I don't recall who "They" is).  The new group coming is going to be the reason I am there, to share a little potentially lifesaving or limb saving information and skills with people, to have a few laughs together and to see what mischief we can get into.  I went back through those pictures from the past 2 opportunities, and I had a chuckle.  The labour and delivery videos and reaction to it still makes me chuckle, it was funny to see that the men handled it with great poise and the women actually were squirming (though some were quite young, and had never seen anything like it before).  We got pleasantly surprised that everyone wanted on their lunch and pre-dinner break, to take equipment and practice and do splints, boarding, bandaging, etc.  There were always great questions, and some fun stories.

There's time for a bit of exploration!
We had that group of boys for the past 2 sessions I was there, about 15 years old and from a rough neighbourhood in Jinotepe (next town over where we actually interact and help with informal training one night of our visit on some new equipment), they had some interesting stories from their year between, but a maturity, poise and they knew each other so well they almost didn't have to talk to each other and things got done with speed and accuracy of experienced paramedics.

We are also privileged to be nestled in a tiny community called Los Medranos.  There are a couple clothing manufacturers, known to pay well, decent hours and treat their employees well.  There are a few families there who I have been blessed to meet twice, babies who were toddlers last year and will be pre-schoolers when I return.  The girls from the English program getting more comfortable speaking English will be brave enough to speak with us.  Makes me wish though that I had more competency in Spanish... I'll see what I can pick up on line here... maybe I can figure out a few sentences?! Ha ha!

Never shy to work hard, well most of them...
Skylark is also keeping an inventory of supplies so that each community can come back with their patient care reports/statistics and restock.  They have seen a lot of good coming in from there, many opportunities and experiences for them.  The skills are being used, and the community better for it.  There were some that joined us last year that started asking for minor surgery procedures (I'm sure suturing and small wound repair), but we told them that was way out of our league.  We did get into some more indepth information, and I'm hoping to improve on things further this year, I want to get a glimpse of the wilderness first aid program and see what they teach and how.  

Finish teaching then off to Corn Islands to relax!
So I am reminding myself that this process is important, this little bit of stress and creativity and balancing the schedule is important.  That once I am there I can see why I did this all.  I can also see why others are so intimidated by this preparation.  It's not like booking a flight to Mexico, taking a bus to a resort and having time to frolic for a week.  It is a week of teaching, there is preparation required, and it does take a lot of energy.  There is the chance to see the towns, visit grassroots ambulance services and play some evening soccer with some of the participants for fun!  Is it worth it? You bet! :) Is it relaxing? In it's own way you feel damned good by the end of the day.  :)

So, for anyone wondering... I'm starting to get excited.  The -35 windchill this morning is making that much easier too!  I can't wait for the sun, warm temperatures, cool evenings and gotta admit the rum and proper coke (real sugar people!!). 

So thanks to those who are ready to help out, I hate asking for money but it sure does make this a great opportunity for me but also for the Nicaraguans who come to participate.

There is always a reward for hard work, right? Warmth, sun, a little bit of rum?

Thanks again Everyone!

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