Monday, April 30, 2012

Brigade to Honduras Part 3: Days 9 to 12

The Lindsay Brigade, April 2012, on our last day of work.
(photo credit: Jess Evans)
We resume our tale halfway through the journey, where back on the ranch...

Day 9.
... everything was fine until our ride home from from brigade.  We had a normal day of work, at a nice school with lots of buildings and shade.  On the way through Las Lajas we stopped at a boot shop and I suddenly felt nauseous.  I took a Gravol from Liz, but when we got back I stayed on that downward slide, until I decided it was a good idea to lie down, and then that it was a good idea to get to the bathroom before I threw up - which I did, but only one time.  Kathy gave me a shot of Gravol, a pack of Immodium, and a huge dose of Cipro. Pray for sleep (and not the shits).

Day 10.
Eventually I fell asleep last night and slept through, rather than having to get up a bunch of times.  I've just started feeling better, which I suppose makes sense if it's a kind of 24 hour deal.  I was essentially useless all day, which made me feel bad, but there was nothing I could really do about it.  This morning before we left for the 45 minute bumpy drive of hell, Kathy gave me some kind of very powerful anti-nausea tablet that they give to cancer patients.  Well, it sure did the trick.  Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be right as rain.

Everyone's been really awesome too.  Emma is very good at taking care of people, including me, and Tango was really nice today and got me things to drink.  Eventually I lay down in the truck for a short while this afternoon.  Meza came over at one point to see how I was doing and said in English "I'm worried," which was very sweet since he's shy in general, and even more-so about his English, and speaks very little.

Right now we're hanging in Brent's room because he has the Presidential Suite (read: a wooden table, a plastic chair, and an extra bed that no one is using), and it's thunderstorming outside.  I'll skip dinner tonight - I haven't eaten since lunch yesterday.  I'll stick to Gatorade and water until tomorrow.

Day 11.
Some of our patients
(photo credit: Jess Evans)
I feel much better today. So good that I even drank a beer (and then another).  I was with the dentist again today, but not tomorrow.  Hopefully that'll be triage.  I liked working triage a lot when I did it on day 9.  I worked with Tango and Kat, and hopefully tomorrow I can work with Tango and Emma.  Emma and I haven't worked together yet, interestingly.

Four people felt sick today and ended up coming back to the ranch early.  Sam is very sick, and I feel bad for her.  I think she has the same thing I had, and was mostly lying down in the donations room today, trying not to vomit.

We had another thunderstorm today when we arrived home.  They're impressive.  We got back a bit early today, which is also nice.

Tomorrow is the last day of brigade.  I can and can't believe it - it feels like its been a long time coming, even though the days feel like they go by so fast.  We've all got our eyes on Tela!

Day 12.
I'm writing this on my back. My stomach is a little upset after dinner.

The line-up to go through triage - I'm in the red shirt in the
background, coaxing a small child onto the
Big Scary Scale of DOOOOOM!  An impossible task.
(photo credit: Jess Evans)
Today was the last brigade day, and it ended with a bang.  I worked with Emma and Tango to do triage all morning, and before lunch we had sent through around 160 people.  The pharmacy was crazy backed up, so Emma and I went in there and I started taking the baskets that were full of the prescriptions and writing labels for the baggies that everything went into.  It was fairly straightforward, but I had to ask Emma or Liz any time there was medical math involved - like with the weight-based antibiotics for kids.  It was busy though, and so the afternoon flew by.  We also had to do the final inventory of drugs to see what we were leaving for the next medical brigade, coming in June, and what we should donate to the hospital in Comayagua.  That didn't take so long, as almost everyone was in there counting things out.

Colleen is feeling sick, and is getting an early flight out of Honduras tomorrow.  It sucks - she's missing one of the best parts of the trip: relaxing in Tela!

I'm so pumped! We're up at 4:15 tomorrow to be on the road at 5, but all that is so that we can spend the entire afternoon on the beach.  BIG SMILE.

After work today, I went on the beer run with Tango, Meza, Gracia and Jenny.  Whenever we want beer we have to give the Hondurans our money to go and purchase beer for us, which they do with very little complaining and is awesome of them.  We bought the beer at a spot that was still open on a Sunday (hard to find) and then I sipped on a beer outside of the place - drinking outdoors and on streets seems to be legal here, or if illegal, then not enforced at all.  [It might be the enforcement option, because it seems like there are a lot of the same laws here as we have in Canada - regarding clear cutting, for example - that are just broken with impunity.]

Two of the guys who run the place that we bought beer at came out and started to talk with us.  I noticed that the younger one had '666' tatooed on his forearm - not very original, I thought to myself.  I later noticed that the other guy had 'SSS' tatooed on his forearm, and then saw that the sign above the shop had '666 SSS' under the name.  I asked Tango what that meant but he didn't know and said he wasn't going to ask - he said that it's some kind of cult in Honduras.  What kind of cult, I don't know, but it might be religious because of the 666 part.  The two guys seemed nice and non-creepy.  Anyway, it was a strange and interesting thing to tick off of my bucket list - drink a beer while talking with two (potentially Satanic) Honduran cult members.  Check!

The Band plus some of our Crew! Herman is
on the right in the purple shirt.
(photo credit: Joe Barbero)
Also tonight, after dinner, Herman, the man who has been our guide throughout the trip - and I'm convinced the only living human who knows all the roads in this part of the country, because not a single one is marked and even the people who live in the towns don't travel around enough to know how to get places - surprised us with a local band performance to say thank you for coming.  So cool!  The band was composed of four guys, three with guitars of different sizes (all hand-made by one man's father) and one with an accordion.  They played Honduran music for us, and sang some songs, and Herman danced with a few of us to show us how it's done.  The dance was a little bouncy kind of two-step done in a circle, with a lot of energy.  It was super fun.

Tela tomorrow, home in 3 days! I'm so excited!

1 comment:

  1. laughed several times at this one. really enjoying catching up on your trip!