Thursday, May 13, 2010

Public Health Center

In a previous post I had mentioned a rather interesting experience that I had in a Public Health Center here. The way that health care works in Nicaragua is that everything is free, yet being the second poorest country in the western hemisphere right after Haiti, you can imagine that it's not the best quality of health care. They often don't have medicines or materials in stock so the people end up having to pay after all to purchase whatever is lacking.

There are several public health centers throughout the capital and each center meets the needs of the people in it's surrounding area. The health centers are where you go for a doctor's appointment, immunizations, etc. If you need to see a specialist or do certain testing you to go a hospital. The health center is always full of people and a guaranteed several hours of waiting before seeing the doctor. Sometimes it can even take a whole day to get in and out. The buildings are in poor condition, no a/c, limited seating and I could keep on describing but think it would be best not to.

Anyways, I was told by my doctor that I needed to get a tetanus shot. Supposedly all pregnant woman here get a tetanus shot. I read online and it's not like that in the U.S. I had a tetanus shot a little over 2 years ago and U.S. doctors say it's not necessary. Yet, I began to think a bit and maybe these Nicaraguan doctors recommend getting the shot because it's necessary here. The Nicaraguan doctors know the Nicaraguan people and their needs best. I wanted to apply U.S. ways and knowledge, but I think is this case the Nicaraguan way may be the best.

So, Jader and I headed off to the health center to get my tetanus shot and a shot for H1N1 because they're giving it to all pregnant women. Of course it was packed, halls lined with people, and we almost turned around and left due to the ammount of people. We thought we might as well ask since we're here and they directed us to an empty room with a guy sitting behind a desk and this is where they give immunizations. I showed him my pregnancy control card that all pregnant women have in Nicaragua as proof that I'm pregnant because sometimes people still don't believe me. :( I think my belly is just now starting to show. He explained that they don't have the H1N1 shot but they do have the tetanus.

He asked where we live, and Jader told him the name of the neighborhood. Then I watched as a nurse approached me with the injection. I was pleased to see that it was a disposable needle with a plastic protective cap and in a sealed bag. I thought to myself "This is a good sign." She approached me while I was standing in front of the desk, gave me a jab and that was that.

I was suprised that they didn't write down my name. They didn't ask health history questions, allergies, nothing. I filled out no form and showed no proof that we actually live in the neighborhood where we said we live. Also, the shot was given while standing up in the middle of the room in front of their main desk. I don't know how they keep records without recording any information.

We were in and out in a flash and despite the conditions and different protocol of doing things I was actually quite pleased with the experience. It's a different way of doing things, but I'm learning that things don't always have to be done the American way.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Family Picnic

We're excited because this Saturday will be Word of Life's first annual Family Picnic here in Nicaragua. The purpose of the Family Picnic is to share the gospel with those who don't know Christ. Bible Club youth and church members from the 8 churches we are currently working with, invite their family, friends, and neighbors. The day is full of activites and fun competitions between the different churches. Each church brings a representative banner and wears a specific color to idenify themselves and the winning church brings home a trophy. There are competitions for babies up to the elderly. There will be a winner for the person who has the longest nose, the biggest head, and for the oldest and youngest person present. Midway through the activity we stop and share the gospel whole group and then we also have several leaders who evangelize one on one as well. :) It will be a very fun day and we are trusting that God will touch many lives through the sharing of His Word.

Recent happenings

I've been disconnected from the blogosphere lately for various reasons. We've had computer problems. Serious problems. The screen doesn't work at all. We found out the solution but the computer part wouldn't get here for another 2 to 3 weeks and by that time we'll be in the U.S. so we bought the part on ebay instead. :) Right now we have the computer hooked up to a large old computer screen that a friend let us use. We're just so glad it's functional!

Yes, I mentioned the U.S. We are excited because in less than a week we'll be in the states. It's been over a year since we've been to the states and we're definitely looking forward to this time! We've been incredibly busy preparing a ministry video, display, prayer card, etc. It's amazing how God provides people in the Body of Christ to fulfill needs. One of our Bible Club leaders is studying graphic design and another leader is studying photography. They have been a big help with putting together these ministry tools that help us communicate what God is doing here in Nicaragua. Also, another leader speaks English really well and knows how to make videos so she's helping with our video which has a narration done in English. It's great because the Nicaraguan youth are taking part in things we bring to the U.S. to share about their country and the spiritual need here. I feel so thankful because God is such a great Provider!

I haven't written much about my pregnancy. It has flown by. I'm right at 21 weeks. Also we found out in a recent ultrasound that it's a girl! We're pretty sure we have the name picked out but are going to wait a little bit before making it public. :)

I haven't had many different cravings or much of an increased appetite. For awhile I was craving potatoes cooked in any form or fashion. We were eating potatoes like crazy! Potatoes were substituting our rice which is a serious thing here in Nicaragua. You don't mess with a Nicaraguan's rice. :) Jader was a great sport about it though. There were times he wanted to serve me by making a special meal and without fail, it had potatoes. I believe my craving for this starchy vegetable has waned though. We're back to rice again. Although, just writing about this makes me want to whip up some mashed potatoes! Hmmm.....I think I might go do that!

I'll be posting again soon about an interesting experience that I had in a public health clinic today. :)