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Not Sure How To Feel About It

sunny 80 °F

WIFI IS BACK ON!!!! It came on right before dinner.

So my alarm went off this morning and every being in my body wanted to go back to bed. I didn't, though, because I was supposed to meet three other people to run. The sun began to rise, though, and no one had shown up, so I went off on my own. I ended up seeing one of them along the way. I'm glad I got out running, but I think I'm going to take the day off tomorrow and sleep in.

Running has been nice on this trip because it has kept me relaxed. We sit a lot and I would be so antsy if I didn't exercise. After running, I took my laundry in for the first time. It was washed, folded, and ready by 1PM. For morning project, I was on wound care. I thought it was going to be very gruesome, like an episode of Grey's Anatomy, but it was much more doable than I had expected. This project really made me question volunteering abroad though. There were four of us students with a caregiver. It felt like we were extra, in the way. It was also weird because they had so few supplies. Like latex gloves, for example. I really didn't feel comfortable working around the bloody/open wounds without using gloves. This made me question the work we were doing. The more I thought about it, the more I realized what bothered me about this experience in general. We spent an entire semester before leaving for the Africa learning about responsible volunteering, and it feels like we are breaking all of those rules. We never communicate with the locals. Of course, this is hard because of the language barrier, but we never listen to what the people actually want. For example, when we were giving a lesson on healthy eating at the clinic the other day, a woman said, "next time you come, bring healthy food for us". They don't want to be lectured about how to eat healthy; they want access to healthy foods. Obviously, the biggest problems require changes at a government level, but I feel like we would be doing more good if we built community gardens and taught yoga classes. Show them how to live healthy lives rather than just reading facts about it. Rant on that over.

New rant. The food situation. I feel like an animal because I'm always worried if there is going to be enough food. All of us feel that way, especially now that a new family just came to the Lodge. Also, there is never meat in the meals!!!! It's driving me crazy! I can't live off of meals of potatoes and rice! It's okay. Things are pretty good here. Before dinner, we took a walk to the beach and just sat there soaking in the last rays of daylight. That always makes for a good end to the day. We are currently watching Moana and I found some pretty good microwave popcorn to eat while I listen to the movie and play Sudoku. Feeling content, and having wifi definitely helps!


Posted by kfkeane 11:50 Archived in South Africa Tagged sunset beach friends sun run hot relax experience volunteer movie exercise early

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Yeah I definitely don't think you should be working around open blood because that is a universal precaution. Especially when working around people with a high possibility of HIV. That is why we wear gloves. Maybe even face masks and gowns for wounds. Potatoes and beans were a big diet for people in Guatemala as well because they grow well in those environments. Also meat might be a bit dangerous to eat there because they don't have the health standards we do. The safer meat would probably be fish, especially being on the ocean like you are. Hopefully you get a better meal soon, but at least you can eat everything they feed you.

I am currently in integument class learning about wound care, so that was a funny coincidence.

by Casey

What great thoughts! You should definitely provide the feedback at the end of the program regarding your first point. The designers of the program should hear that feedback. Casey has really good feedback about the food. Although not that appealing not getting any meat, it might be for the best due to how they would preserve and prepare the meat. It’s too bad you’re not getting your iron fulfilling foods given your body’s propensity to be very low in iron.

by Kevin Keane

Yeah, it definitely does not sound like the program was designed to maximize positive impact. It definitely does seem odd that after emphasizing the importance of responsible volunteering that the class would not pick a more intentional program to partner with. Although it could also speak to the state of the area that you are in. It's possible that so much of the population is in need of aid & volunteer time that the organization you are working with is spread very thin and cannot be as intentional. It should be interesting to see how things continue to pan out in the next few weeks.

Hope that you can see the new place soon too. Sunmin's sister is probably going to stay with us for a few weeks. She found a job in the Northern CA area. It's exciting that we will all be in the same area soon. I'm also getting some projects assigned in my new role, which is exciting. Learning a lot about different surgery names - very confusing to remember them all!


by Kaitlin

Casey: Those are good suggestions. Tonight we had chicken for dinner so that was REALLY good!!!!! Also, Friday we are having a Braii, which is what they call a BBQ (I don't think I spelled braii correctly) but I see protein in my future. I'll let you know if I have seafood. I haven't had any yet, but sounds good. Like shrimp or something. I haven't eaten out yet! Trying to save money for souvenirs

by Kayla Keane

Kaitlin: Yes, so it's interesting. UMich, had us do the class before leaving through a group called Kaya - who taught us about responsible volunteering - then Kaya connected us with the volunteer organization called African Impact. So there are so many different connections, which probably doesn't help things run smoothly. You make a really good point though. Maybe there's just so much need and I'm only seeing a small part of the impact the organization is making.

That's so exciting for Roxanne!! It's nice when family is close together <3 LOL I think it's funny that you are getting some medical education at your job! Can't wait to call and hear all you are learning about the company and all of the technology.

by kayla keane

Kayla, be careful about eating out too because they don't have the same health standards as we do in the US, so be selective and you might want to ask around to see where is best for food or go as a group and find somewhere to eat.

by Casey

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