Greetings from the FIMRC house in San Salvador! Here are some updates on the goings-on around here over the past few days...
To start off week 2 in El Salvador, we took on Volcan de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Volcano) on Sunday. This is the highest volcano in the country, so the view is quite spectacular. And, the volcano features an amazing sulfur-based crater lake, making the trek well worth it.
In classic LMU-El-Sal-2012 formation atop the volcano: Angela, Julie, Steve, Mike
Julie and the view into the beautiful crater-lake.
Another picture at the top: Marloes (FIMRC Field Operations Manager), Angela, Julie
We spent Monday morning seeing patients of all ages with Morena, including several sick children and a number of the community's elders. Many of the elderly here are quite healthy--the Las Delicias lifestyle is extremely active! On the opposite end of the spectrum, end-of-life care here is a lot different than in the US, and experiencing those differences has been informational, rewarding, and quite memorable.
Cardiology Consult, Stat!
We have two more volunteers in the FIMRC house this week-a retired cardiologist and his wife-who have become regulars around Las Delicias in the past few years. The couple makes a week-long trip to Las Delicias every few months, and the cardiologist has established a cohort of patients here. Additionally, he is happy to see new patients, and we were able to send one of Monday's elderly patients to him for an EKG and cardiac evaluation. Each of us will also be spending a half-day with the cardiologist this week, and he is eager to teach us the subtleties of the physical exam which are so important in a resource-poor medical setting.
On Tuesday morning we led a charla (chitchat/informal teaching session) covering the "Mi Plato" ("My Plate") nutritional health model for a group of a dozen mothers in the community. Just a healthful reminder--each meal should feature a plate of food containing 1/2 fruits and veggies, a little more than 1/4 carbohydrates and/or starchy foods (ie, potatoes or yuca--a starchy, tuberous root native to Central and South America), and a little less than 1/4 protein, plus a serving of dairy (ie, a glass of milk). ;)
Mike and Julie performing their charla act for a full house!
On Tuesday afternoon some of us had Spanish class, but others got to finally meet the "Teen Group". This is a group of adolescents from Las Delicias who were chosen to participate in weekly sessions at the clinic to prepare them as young community leaders and activists. Their leadership activities include various health initiatives (ie, anti-Dengue campaign), identifying and assisting families in need, and setting an example for their peers and the young children of the community.
Teen Group ladies: organizing clothing donations for local families in need.
Teen Group gentlemen: posing for the camera in a signature FIMRC t-shirt.
That's all for now, folks!