On the Saturday, before the beach, the doctor had to go on an errand for his mother-in-law
. Because his 4 week old baby was ill with a cold, he had to go to a small farm down a long gravel track to find a chompipe (a turkey like animal), this bird has some funny, rastafarian-type hairs growing out of its chest, these will ward off the evil spirits that bring colds. We had to pay a lot for these ahirs (almost as much as for the steak!) because, apparently, it´s a bit like the birds mojo, and once removed it will not mate anymore!
The beach was disappointing as it was quite cold. I think it was the beginning of this week of bad weather, brought in by hurricane Gustav & tropical storm Hanna. Yesterday I couldnt leave the house as the city was in flood after 24h of the heaviest rain ive ever experienced. The roads were literally like rivers, would have had more luck in a kayak. Will upload a video soon. By thw way, new photos on the Flickr website. I tried to leave once to the bus stop, but would have had to wade through at least 10cm deep water to get to it. I got back to the house after a 4 minute excursion and was completely soaked throuhg, even with a raincoat on! The city & region declared a state of emergency, everythingh was cancelled, buses, schools, non-emergency hospital procedures. 2 people died upstate. I did not leave this morning for Esteli as I had planned.
The rain has now completely stopped and the roads are dry.
Since my last update, not too much exciting has gone on. I´m back to full health, and been working in the hospital, seeing quite a few operations, helpig out in them, and suturing in emergency dept. Last Friday was the birthday of the chief surgical consultant, the guy who authorised my placement here. It was supposed to be a meal starting at 5pm. We arrived punctually at 6, and only about 4 other people were there. They are all residents (mid level doctors) and thought that a restaurant where you pay 4 pounds for a steak was too much, so we drank some rum instead. The way you do it here is to order whole bottles of rum, along with ice & a mixer, and share. A lot of these were down by the time the consultant arrived at 9.30! It was then only me & the consultant who ordered a steak! Ended up going to another town with 2 of the doctors and staying at one of their houses for the weekend.