Today we got to sleep in… For an entire extra hour!!! We packed our things, hopped in the van, and traveled to a new location at 7am- a municipality called “Tola,” a rural area outside of the city of Rivas. The scenery changed drastically from crowded streets and stores to lush forests, fields, cattle, and hundreds of wild dogs.
We made our first stop at one of the main Tola health clinics, and we received a tour from the doctor of the clinic! Divided into groups, we spent the next few hours helping out the staff. Meghan, Susan, Indira, Brandon and I provided assistance in the family health/general medicine clinic, where we were taught a lot of information about how the nurses and doctors must know everything about all of the people in their municipality!
Brenna and Amanda worked in the ER where they helped with wound care and taking vitals!
Kimberly, Katherine, Angela, Mackenzie, and Ali helped out in “Mommy and Me” where they tracked and measured growth of babies and gave immunizations.
The clinic even had a natural health department which utilized the garden outside! Katherine got to sit in on one patient’s reflexology appointment! It was very exciting, although she unfortunately did not get to receive a massage herself…
We all loved the artwork and posters throughout the clinic, which contained educational messages about proper self-examinations, nutrition, and herbal medicine! The building was so colorful- a beautiful sea-green!
When we were done working in the clinics, the director of the Tola health ministry gave us a presentation on the health statistics of the area and the vector-born disease program. We were blown away by their public health program, and we told them so!
Carlos, a peace corps volunteer in Tola, was also very excited to meet us and talk to us today! He’s originally from New York, and was really excited to see some fellow Americans. We received a different perspective on Tola and the healthcare system with his point of view.
We eventually piled back into the van and made our way to the hotel. During the drive, we were stopped by several herds of cattle. I also accidentally scared the bus driver when I shouted excitedly about baby pigs and chicks in someone’s yard. “Lo siento, senor!”
We were FLOORED when we arrived at the hotel! What a beautiful place, and right next to the ocean!
After dinner we mingled some and then took a nighttime walk on the beautiful beach. Tomorrow we wake up bright and early for another day full of work at the clinic!