So we had our last day at the hospital and I have to say I left still feeling like a stranger. The day started off pretty chaotic because I was leaving straight from the hospital and had to have my bags packed and ready to go. As I may or may have not mentioned we have not had running water because there has been a drought and the nearby river is so low that the houses only receive water when it rains. I really needed to wash my clothes before I left and since it rained throughout the night I woke up at 5 am to wash a small load. The family bathes themselves with the water that collects in the wash tub out behind the house, so during this time I was able to be a part of both my host dad and host brother’s showers. Watching my host dad pour a bowl of water down his boxers was far too intimate of an experience than I had ever wanted. I was able to get the load of clothes into the dryer before breakfast was served (pancakes mmm). Just as I finished breakfast I saw that the son was almost ready, so I rushed to fold them up and get them in my pack before we heard the beep. You see we drive with the son everyday to work and even though he walks by our door to leave to the carport, he beeps the horn to let us know that he is ready instead of simply saying that it is time to go. This is something Kara and I find extremely frustrating. As we headed out the door, our host mom Jacky told us that the son had already left. All that rushing around and for nothing, we still had to take a cab to work and now I had a bag full of wet clothes. I got really upset because there was just a constant lack of communication between the men of the house and us and we really found it to be out of disrespect. I decided I needed to just get over it and say our goodbyes because this was the last time we were going to see the family and I had been spending lots of time with the host mom Jacky and I had really grown to like her.
This feeling may not have been mutual because our farewell was actually very nonchalant and had I not motioned for Jacky to get up and give me a hug, I think she would of just continued to eat her breakfast and gave me a quick wave. That and we didn’t get to give Andrea, the adorable 8 month year old baby,
who belongs to the maid who lives with us, a hug and kiss goodbye. I will really miss her.
When we got to the hospital we realized that the connector pieces for our privacy screens that we had ordered last week, and were promised to us last Friday, and then promised to us again on Tuesday had still not arrived. Our bus was leaving at 12 and we needed to finish the screens and deliver them to their respective wards by 11:30 at the latest. Out of desperation I asked Rigo, our head technician (who is also our host dad, and who hardly acknowledges our existence) to call the hardware store for us. After a phone call with no answer he asked for the receipt and offered to run up to the store to pick them up. A few seconds later I picked my drop up off the ground and thankfully handed the receipt over. Within the next half hour Rigo was back with the parts and our work continued. We quickly realized that some of the curtains were much shorter than they were supposed to be but we went and grabbed the saw and 40 minutes later our privacy screens were ready for delivery!
Dropping them off was very interesting. The first ward we went to was women’s surgery and the head nurse who had requested the screen was not there and everyone was just kind of looking at us like we were crazy. The only acknowledgement we did receive was from the staff at the desk of Women’s Medicine across the hall. They wanted to know where there screen was. When we had started our project they were the only ward that had one and in fact we used it to make the measurements to base our designs off of. They told us that the screen had broken since then. I felt bad but we had already promised the other screens to Men’s Surgery and Men’s Medicine, but I did leave the a list of the parts that we used so that they could construct one themselves if they funds were available.
The delivery of the screens to the Men’s wards went much differently. While in the middle of my delivery speech to Men’s Surgery, the head nurse from Men’s Medicine tapped me on the shoulder, with a huge grin on her face, and said oh that is ours you can place it over here. haha. Imagine how mad the other nurse would have been if we would of actually done that. I assured her that we were going to be delivering a screen to their ward shortly after. Both wards were extremely grateful and even the patients thanked us in Men’s Surgery.
After that I went to visit my favorite doctor in the Pediatric Emergency room to make sure he got an electronic copy of the manuals we had created for some of the equipment there. He walked right up to me to greet me and shake my hand as I entered the ward. This was a really nice gesture because we had really grown to respect and like him and it was nice to see that the feeling was mutual. I also felt a little more relieved being able to give their department a copy of these documents as well because things had a tendency to disappear in the maintenance room.
By this time we were really starting to cut it close so we moved our tool kits into the maintenance room said our quick goodbyes. Surprisingly there were no tears had by any of the maintenance guys , more like a few grunts. We met two of the girls who were stationed at a neighboring city at the bus stop and we have been traveling on buses since, making our way to Tegucigulpa for the end of the program conference.
I am so happy to be sitting on a couch and not a bus seat. I am even happier now that I have had a hot shower and with free water, coffee and a continental breakfast I can only imagine the joyous mood I will be in tomorrow. So excited for the conference where we will get to see the rest of our group and to hear all about their experiences in their hospitals.