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Journals from HHPA/HESC 398 Island Health Care: Type 2 Diabetes in the Bahamas January Term 2012

2012-01-17 Clinics (not really), schools, fires and bugs.

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Don entertaining us on the beach

Today was the second day that we split into two groups and switched between clinic visits and presenting at the schools. Today was my day for the clinic visits, and we had heard that the plan was to join one of the nurses in her visit to a local school and help with physical check-ups (most likely taking height and weight.) We were dropped off at the clinic and told to wait for a good while. Then one of the nurses came out, obviously feeling under the weather, and told us that she told the other group that she MIGHT be going to the schools this week…but since she wasn’t feeling well, among other reasons, she did not plan to go to the schools. The 6 of us were stranded at the clinic, and we were supposed to be there until 3…we got there at 9. We offered to help package cotton swabs, but the nurses got together and tried to figure out something else for us to do, while Nick tried to arrange a ride for us. Eventually, we found out that the nurses called a nearby school and arranged for us to give a presentation at 1, so Nick finally got in touch with someone from the Island School to pick us up at 2. We spent the rest of the morning outside of the clinic, near the road, because we didn’t want to interfere with the nurses during their busiest times. We had a good time still, brainstorming for our presentation, which we didn’t expect to be doing, as well as eating the packed lunches that were given to us. Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and apples did me good. At about 12:45, we walked over to the school with one of the nurses to present.

The Wemyss Bight Primary School pulled their 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classes together for our presentation, so we had a large group of 37 students! Plus their three teachers, so 40 altogether. This group was so fun to talk with, and they had so many questions for us about not just diabetes, but where we were from, what we like to do, cancer, earthquakes, etc. Even the teachers war asking us questions, and I was glad that they were engaged too! We asked the kids what some bad things are to eat, what they should avoid, and one person said, “Shells!” Christian responded and said that they are probably bad for your teeth At the end of the talk, we opened it up for questions, and we got quite a few questions about cancer. One of my favorite questions was if we ever experienced an earthquake, and some of us shared our experiences. I talked about how I had been in two that I remember, and I told a story about the first. I explained how I used to love shaking the table during dinner because I thought it was funny to see everyone get scared for a little bit so there was one dinner where I shook the table, and my mom said, “Ok, cut it out.” Then I shook the table without my hands, and just used my feet, and she knew it was me again after a little bit. Finally, table started shaking again but it wasn’t me this time, but my mom still said, “Erika, enough!” Then we looked at our hanging light and realized it was swinging, so it really was an earthquake that time! The kids laughed at it, but I think the teachers laughed harder than anyone. Overall, the interactions with the kids was well worth the one wait during the morning on the side of the road, I really almost forgot about it until we brought it up again at our later meeting. I had a great time with them, and the teachers seemed very appreciative of us coming in as well.

In more news, the bugs are starting to make an appearance here on Eleuthera! They are called No-See-Ems, and they are very good at sneaking around and biting people. Their bites don’t really itch afterward, it is just the initial bite that pinches just a little bit. And they are EVERYWHERE. The wind shift has caused them to come up so hopefully, the wind will shift again so they can’t fly against the wind! But it is a minor pest, nothing we can’t handle :) Once the moon started rising, we had a nice night on the beach, making s’mores and having a little jam session where Don showed us his musical talents and played guitar for us while Travis played the wooden blocks (two pieces of firewood), and the rest of us tried to sing along and add onto the beat. I think we may be releasing an album soon, keep an eye out for us.

Erika

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