Taking the lows with the highs

Trip Start Apr 21, 2013
Trip End Jun 30, 2013

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

After the intense heat of yesterday, there was only one thing that was going to happen.  There was a huge thunder and lightening storm all night and I awoke to a flooded out clinic ground.  I wondered if it qualified for the new flood defence team from Canada, to attend, but I think Kory has seen enough of rain and flooded drains for the moment.

I chatted to Olga whilst eating my breakfast, and we were confused as none of the 5 staff members had arrived for work.  We wondered if there was a big flood somewhere or if something had happened to one of the bridges.  We were meant to attend one of the communities again this morning, but as the storm was continuing to lash down on the town, Olga doubted that it would still go ahead.  I told her I would return to my room to finish getting ready, in case we still went and hopefully the rain would cease soon.  I really have no idea what happened, because within about 20 minutes Olga said that the doctors had already left to go to the communities, and as I wasn't there, they went without me.  My room is in the parking lot, you could shout from the clinic or from the car and I would hear it.  Therefore I was somewhat confused about what had happened and it left me feeling a bit un-wanted.  As there was no one in the clinic and Olga was happily chatting to her friends, in Kichwa, I decided to use the time to my advantage.  I used the WI-FI in the clinic to call my parents and had a long chat with them, which was LONG over due and much needed.  It was great to chat to them both and even better to hear that they had been reading my blogs and experiencing my adventure with me! 

When everyone returned no-one asked me where I was in the morning, or enquired what I had done with my morning, so I decided to let it wash over me and to put it down to bad timing.  We all enjoyed lunch together, which was the usual soup, followed by a plate of rice, with pasta, with cabbage on the side.  A strange combination but it was accompanied by a home made fruit juice that was really tasty and made from a fruit that was completely new to me.  They have a lot of different types of fruits here, and I seem to be continually presented with new and interesting flavours. 

After lunch the two girls from the States arrived to interview one of the women from the Ministry of Health.  The interview went well, although she was really nervous, as all of the interviews are recorded.  She spoke about her concerns for the customs in the region and the need for more equality of access to the health care services.  I couldn't help but think about the lady with the advanced breast cancer, and wonder if she would have felt able to seek treatment, if she wasn't indigenous. 

Following this the girls asked if they could interview me about my impressions of the clinic and the time that I have spent with the parteras.  Of course, I agreed if they thought that it would be helpful to them, but we decided to go to a nice cafe and do the interview with some ice-cream to hand.  I think it went well, as we discussed some of the interesting traditional skills that I have witnessed and some of the problems that I believe they may encounter with the union with the Ministry of Health.

When I returned at about 7pm, the clinic was all closed up and there was no-one to be seen anywhere.  These are the things that always confuse me, as I hear the midwives tell the women that they are here 24/7, and to just show up when they are in labour.  Then they either aren't there or they are on the site drinking.  There must be a step in this process that I don't understand, but I was generally more annoyed because there was no way for me to have dinner.  It probably would be safe but I don't feel comfortable walking into town and back after dark, as it takes about 20 minutes each time, and the clinic is in the middle of no-where.  I had told them that I would be back in time for dinner with them, and it left me feeling a bit annoyed and hungry!
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Paddy on

What a confusing day for you Gemma. I hope everyone is more inclusive in the days ahead than they were today. Keep your chin up.

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