Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Chiles y Días Rellenos (Stuffed Peppers and Days)

Ally tests an old ultrasound unit, showing that Daniel indeed has a heart
Following a fantastic morning with our international undergraduate engineering peers at Universidad del Valle, the team headed back to El Hospital Infantil Juan Pablo II to finalize our repairs and assessments of the clinical equipment inventory. The team’s productivity on Monday left us with only a few device reports to finalize. However, we were determined to make the most of our last hours at the hospital and deliver the best information and resources possible for the clinicians and patients there. In addition to all the progress we blogged about yesterday, several patient monitors were restored to function, including one that had previously been deemed worthless. We also cleaned up two infant incubators and verified their function.
The entire group huddles with the JP2 administrators to deliver
our final equipment report summaries
Sara brought them a new ultrasound monitor and verified that it worked with the old ultrasound unit. Utilizing a bit of improvisation, the team was able to substitute some hand sanitizer for ultrasound gel and take a look at Casey’s renal artery and Daniel's heart (yes he has one)! Orlando was able to troubleshoot the tricky power supply needs of a pair of pulse oximeters and order a new AC/AC transformer to replace a faulty one and restore the device to clinical usability. Mary Kate determined that an old ECG unit was unusable, allowing the hospital to eliminate clutter in its equipment inventory. During our testing of the ventilators, Michael and Jake determined the output volumes were insufficient, but were unable to fully assess their functionality and had to recommend that the hospitals solicit further investigation of the devices by certified technicians. They were, however, able to verify the correct functionality of the associated humidifier. The team also verified the functionality of an
audio testing unit and supplied the clinic with a backup photic stimulator bulb, among other projects.
After the team’s final summary report to a few of the hospital staff members, Lorena Sóto, one of the hospital directors, was brought to tears as she expressed her gratitude to the visiting students and faculty members.
“Queremos que ustedes sepan que Guatemala siempre sera una pequeña parte del mundo donde simpre estarán bienvenidos,” she told us (translated: “We want you to know that Guatemala will always be a small part of the world where you are always welcome”).
The entire group gathers as we close out our time with our friends at El Hospital Infantil Juan Pablo II
Incredibly gratified and humbled, we said our goodbyes at JP2 and packed our bags for Antigua. Decompressing from a whirlwind afternoon doesn’t come easy in a van packed with luggage and short-tempered college students. But nonetheless, about an hour later (seemed like 15 hours, I’ll have to take Israel’s word on it though) we arrived in the beautiful, ‘ancient’ city of Antigua, Guatemala. Pulling up to the Casa Mía hotel, we dispersed briefly to our quarters and soon rejoined on the rooftop to enjoy a breathtaking view of the valley. Chris continued his weeklong swing dancing saga during a little rooftop routine with Mary Kate (dipping her head scarily close to the roof’s edge multiple times… but don’t tell her that!). After taking in some astonishing vistas of the misty mountain tops, we took to the streets and hoofed it
A view of our excellent Tuesday evening dining location from the balcony
over to the Restaurante Fonda de la Calle Real. I must admit that the “TripAdvisor Certificate” displayed in the entryway made me slightly skeptical of RFCR as a genuine local flavor, but a fantastic menu and atmosphere forced me to quickly retract my earlier sentiments. Daniel and Michael were crushed to learn that there wouldn’t be any tamale
s served tonight, but the extravagant three-course (and sometimes four) meal that followed more than quelled their disappointment. Feasting til full on chiles rellenas, lomito de carne, papusas, plátanos and many other Guatemalan delicacies, the group enjoyed one of its most memorable meals of the week thus far, with plenty of great conversations and laughs to spare.
We let our meal settle by taking a short stroll in the brisk park near the restaurant. Antigua is truly a beautiful city. 

Ally displays one of the excellent dishes served at Restaurante
Fonda de la Calle Real
  •  An awesome intercultural experience meeting Guatemalan students at Universidad del Valle
  • [Orlando speaking to team troubleshooting an ultrasound machine] “You can put on my belly, see if there’s a baby in there.”
  • Dr. P loves baby koalas.

No comments:

Post a Comment