January 31, 2012


San Salvador Stuffed Roast Chicken & Baked Yuca Fries

Stuffing Ingredients:
Multi-Grain Bread
Falafel Mix
   Green Peppers
   Red Peppers
   Yellow Peppers

Chili Pepper

Soy Sauce
Teriyaki Sauce

1 Whole Chicken

1. Saute diced vegetables with olive oil, spices and sauces.
2. Mix in the rest of stuffing ingredients
3. Let stuffing cool.
4. Stuff Chicken
5. Cover Chicken with spices and olive oil
6. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius (yes- Celsius) for approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Baked Yuca Fries


1 medium yuca
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil

cilantro, chopped or torn
lime wedges

1. Peel and slice it into 4-5 inch lengths.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. 
3. Boil for about 30 minutes until tender.
4. Drain the fries and let them dry slightly on a dish towel. 
5. Coat the dried fries with the olive oil and bake them at 450 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.  turning once so they brown evenly. 


Vanakkam from Kodai!

We started our journey to Kodaikanal on Friday with a lovely reunion in the Detroit airport.  Our journey then consisted of a 7 hour flight to Amsterdam, unlike US flights we were fed generously with tasty food.  Our 6 hour layover included passing by the casino, visiting the library, seeing the museum and enjoying the full sensory experience of the Bohls exhibit.  We then boarded our 9 hour flight to Mumbai arriving at close to midnight.  After passing through customs, discovering one donation bin had not made the flight, filing a lost baggage report, passing through the baggage scan several times, walking all over the airport to print an itinerary to board the bus to the terminal; we arrived at the ticketing counter only to discover we couldn’t actually get tickets to pass through the plane boarding security until 7:30 am.  So we spent the next 4 hours of our 9 hour layover people watching, playing pictionary, enjoying the airport fare and attempting to sleep (thanks to the car honking and constant flow of visitors, that may have been less then successful).  Our flight finally left the airport an hour late and we arrived in Coimabore, where the remaining bags met us as well as Arun, the FIMRC representative.  The car ride (a supposed 4 hour trek) consisted of a lovely feast of South India food at a local restaurant along the way, fresh coconut from a roadside stand, monkeys, birds, and gorgeous scenery. Unfortunately, the “Elephant Crossing” signs were false advertising. We arrived at our new home Monday evening around 7 pm.  Brian, a fogarty scholar and future Columbian medical student, met us and with Arun gave a great orientation. It was quite the traveling adventure and I’m pretty sure we were all very thankful for a nice warm bed to crawl into.
            Our first day in Kodaikanal we split into two groups.  Brian accompanied Paul and Emily to KMHC (a local hospital) where they witnessed a D&C as well as took history on a patient with ecclempsia for a presentation they will be giving tomorrow. 
Arun, Shawna and I went to Possum (?) Hospital.  Here is a short history lesson on the hospital.  The main physician of the hospital (Dr. Massa) many years ago met two German missionaries who discovered that his goal in life was to provide health care to rural India.  They brought him to Germany where they put him through high school, university and medical school.  His goal of providing health care to rural India landed him a spot in a very competitive ophthalmology residency in Germany.  He then returned to India and began his trek via a “lemonade stand” table on the side of the road providing eye care to local patients.  He grew his practice into one of four hospitals in the state of Timel.  He has already expressed his deepest thanks for whatever supplies we will be able to contribute to his hospital. Throughout the year, he hosts various physicians from all over the world to provide several “camps”.  The next two week camp is in March and will provide plastic surgery to hundreds patients suffering from severe function impairing contractures from burns.  The posters are quite graphic.
            The tour of the hospital started with the inpatient wards learning about the various patients in the ward.  One patient was a child who had received a 3rd degree burn saving his younger sibling from burning hot oil.  We also met the dentist, watched teeth cleaning and learned about dental care in the area.  We then proceeded to the laboratory where we watched blood glucose testing, the process of measuring hemoglobin by hand and provided a sample for a blood smear.  Many patients are attempting to get on the list for the plastic surgery camp so the hospital has a high prevalence of burn patients.  Several patients that are currently healing from burns receive daily dressing changed and wound debridement.  After watching the process for one patient we returned to the lab to examine the blood smear and then were whisked away to a wonderful Tibeten feast in the town for lunch.  Arun and Brian then took us on a walking tour of the town. 
            So far our tentative schedule includes continued clinical work in the two hospitals this week.  Next week we will be administering home surveys culminating in a health presentation addressing some of the local health concerns.  The third week we will be heading to a private hospital on the coast to experience the contrast between the two areas.  Arun and Brian have graciously left the fourth week open to be tailored to the interests of our group. 

Pictures to come...hopefully...

January 30, 2012

First Day in Las Delicias

Today was an amazing first day in the rural village of Las Delicias, not far outside the city borders of San Salvador.  We had the pleasure of meeting the energetic, knowledgeable, and extremely dedicated health promoter in the community, Morena.  She had us jump right in and help out with her activities in the community.  We made home visits to pregnant women (there are currently 18 in the community), brushed up on our newborn exam skills, assisted with injections, and learned about all of the impressive work that they are doing in the community.

Exploring the community-
From left: Morena, Steve, Angela, Mike

 Morena with one of our pregnant patients, who is due this month!
(Fingers crossed that we can be there for her during labor!!)

Some stats on the age breakdown of Las Delicias.  There are about 35 births per year.
While the average life expectancy is 67 years, some of the residents seem to beat the odds, with 121 elders making it past that-- must have to do with all the great health outreach going on!  :)

Morena's "Risk Map"-- green = low risk, yellow = moderate risk, red = high risk.  
We saw the whole range in our visits today.

There are a number of programs dedicated to improving the health of the community of Las Delicias, including:

  • Vaccines for children
  • Pediatric weight checks and assessments for malnutrition
  • Vaccines and outreach to the local school
  • Elder outreach - flu & pneumonia vaccines, as well as a comprehensive meal program 
  • Adolescent support group
  • Dengue campaigns 
  • Animal vaccination against rabies
  • Pap smear campaigns
We will have the opportunity to work on a number of these projects during our time here, so keep an eye out for more updates!

January 29, 2012

¡Bienvenido a El Salvador!

We made it safe and sound to El Salvador! The only hold-up was at customs, where we have to do a little more paperwork to get some of the medical supplies released, but it should be resolved soon. Shout-out to the generous donations from faculty & staff at two of our community campuses, in Midland and Flint!  We couldn't have done this without you.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the fabulous FIMRC (Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children) team, including Marloes, the Field Operations Manager, and Italo, transport and tourism guide extraordinaire.  :)

Since we arrived over the weekend, we were fortunate to have some time to explore some local gems in the region of San Salvador (capital of El Salvador). Italo took us on the grand tour of la Ruta de las Flores, with stops in the villages of Juayúa and Concepción de Ataco, where we explored local cuisine, shimmied to cumbia music, and checked out the artisanal markets. We also had a lovely time at the cascada (waterfall) Los Chorros de la Calera, basking in the sun and cooling off in the crisp water.  And we had the joy of meeting the friendly neighborhood snake of
 Concepción de Ataco!

Here are a few pictures from our journey:

From left (in both pics!): Angela Kuznia, Julie Celebi, Steven Moyo, Michael Moffat (all 4th year medical students)

Tomorrow, we will meet with Morena, the Community Health Coordinator and local health promoter.  She is a lifelong resident of Las Delicias, the rural village where our clinic is based and where we will be conducting our health campaigns.  We are excited to see what awesome community projects we can be a part of!

Until next time...

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