Monday, April 20, 2015

You are Bolivian

     Onto a new week! We had a wonderful, somewhat restful weekend. We could choose to stay back at the hotel or go into Santa Cruz for shopping, dinner and airport pick-up/drop offs. I probably could have used the rest to stay and relax but can never pass up an opportunity to see stuff, get out with people and see a new city. Plus, there were a few things I really needed! I'm sort of falling apart. Forgot to pack underwear, so bought some right off the street in Santa Cruz yesterday, as well, I had a cavity fall out this week, so I'm really turning into a wreck!
     We started the day with a fabulous tour of a coffee plantation which despite the fact that I am a tea snob, I find the whole process fascinating, the smell intoxicating, the whole coffee culture I love, so it was really cool and the scenery phenomenal.
     We said a sad goodbye to 6 of our teammates at the airport. 5 of us are staying on for another week. Then we waited for a few hours for a large group of 15 OB/Gyn people all from the same hospital in Connecticut to clear customs with all their drugs, medical supplies and gear. Bolivia seems to give Americans as hard time, as I was waved through. I rode the “party bus” back from Santa Cruz last night with the Bolivians. The front window had tassels swinging across the windshield, and this nice pulsing strobe light and the same beat music. I slept across the back seats from midnight to 2 am back to the resort despite the Latin party music.
     The new group are super organized and a bit overwhelming, after our tight knit group we had last week. So a real shift in my mind. My Canadian phlegmatic attitude comes out even stronger because I am always a balancer - finding what is missing in a situation and taking that role whether in tasks or personality. If organization or leadership is needed, I can find myself there; if someone calm is needed, I fit there well. When I was sitting in the airport last night, I thought I could easily go home right now to my sweet family, but just need to really take some time to make that shift in my head to move forward, hard when there's a bit of fatigue setting in. I'm looking forward to another great week and having some more nurses to help in pre-op, recovery room, post-op.
     So I pray especially for peace and grace, real bonding with the new team members, and God to do some more miracles in the lives of our patients as well as the team as we serve Him and each other.
I got the best complement today from my new Bolivian friends, they said, “you are now Bolivian”. They love with such amazing servant hearts and open themselves up to new friendships. They are inspiring in their ability to work hard for the sake of their own country and serving in whatever way they can. So that was a real gift!
     I can't wait to have to get my buddy Ramiro (our translator) to translate words like uterus, vagina, cramps, panties :) Gyne is not really my area of expertise or interest, but loving these cute little ladies that I get to take care of is. I say little because they are all about 5 feet tall, and I am towering over them. And they all giggle when I tell them my name (which means pretty in Spanish). I'm sure they think I had some loco parents who named me.

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