EWH Summer 2011 - Central America Blog
Our last week consisted of preparing each set of partners for our next journey in Nicaragua or Honduras. Our week started off with the typical schedule of 4 hours of Spanish in the morning.


We had our typical 4 hours of Spanish. Since we have reached our final week, it was “crunch time” with our Spanish training. Personally, I feel I have learner quite a bit but still have a lot more practicing to do before I can consider myself a full “first year student” with the knowledge of Spanish you would get in the first year of any Spanish class. Understanding is not at all difficult for me but being comfortable and less nervous about speaking Spanish will be a challenge I will have to overcome. Because Leah y Yo termine nosotros power supply semana pasado, we did not have to attend lab today. This was true for most of the groups, so J.J went ahead and scheduled lecture right after Spanish class so we could leave for home right away. This was a perfect way to start off the week! In lecture, we have been continuing to cover machines you could see in the hospital but was not in the lecture manual. At this point, I am just getting very anxious about getting to Roatan and working in the hospital.


Spanish class is becoming a lot easier especially being with our group! Laura is the best teacher! Very patient, laughs with us, and is always encouraging us to keep trying en Espanol with speaking with each other. We are getting a lot more conversation time in our class talking with each other. We are still learning the participios and the verbos irregulares. When Gladys came around last week to “test” our Spanish, unfortunately I didn’t do as well as I know I could. Even Leah was shocked because she knows I know a lot more and understood that I was extremely nervous. I explained to Laura that I was nervous because Gladys has such high expectations for all of us I definitely did not want to disappoint her.

The labs this week will not consist of hands-on work, but group discussion about what to expect in the developing world, our perceptions on it, and how we should act being from the U.S. It was interesting the topics we came up in discussion and things we all thought of but never went into depth about such as what standards makes a developing country “developing”? I noticed that a lot of the comparison is based off of the U.S. versus the country in question. I wonder if it is just the “American Mentality” or if the U.S. is really advanced as we say it is.


Today is Brian’s 21st birthday and we convinced our Spanish teacher to have the first half of class be all conversational and the last half to watch Finding Nemo en espanol.  Today is officially our last Spanish class, so we had to cover last minute Verbos and tenses and then we spent a lot of time talking with each other using the three tenses: present, past and future. We ended our class with watching Finding Nemo en espanol. It was interesting to listen and because we all already knew the dialogue in English, translating wasn’t a big problem. Our teacher encouraged us to pick up a popular book we would read or have read but all in Spanish. Mi novio Robin compriste mi libro por primero ano estudiantes de Espanol so I have been using that to practice. It had been great and passed around to my roomies back at my Homestay. So after the break, we finished our conversation time and began watching the movie. We purchased snacks from the local corner store beforehand and enjoyed the movie. Since it was dubbed, the voices of each of the characters were different, but that was a given.

Today, our On the Ground Coordinator for Honduras Julien is supposed to arrive in Costa Rica for our hospital de-briefing. Apparently, J.J had thought he had the days mixed up but come to find out, Julien did arrive. Our lab for today was taking apart the equipment some of us were shipped and getting hands on experience investigating them. They were not broken, some were brand new, but it was still a good experience taking them apart and putting them back together. Our task with the machines was to create a quick start guide for using the machines and translate them into Spanish. Leah and I teamed up with Melissa and Sam (because there weren’t enough medical devices for each group to have one of their own to play with) and first looked at a Vacuum pump for bodily fluids. It came with a manual but it was all in English which made me wonder how the hospitals in developing countries handle the translation part when receiving donated parts and equipment. We finally put it together and tested the vacuum pressure and checked all of the gauges to make sure they we working just as the manual instructed us it would work. As we tried to put the main chamber with the motor apart, we came across the problem with unscrewing it. It would not unscrew! Come to find out, we are not allowed to be able to take that apart because it is an electrical hazard taking off the covering and if we were to experience any problems with it, to send it back to the manufacture. After we put it back together, we had to ask other groups if they wanted to switch! We finally got our second medical device which was an aspirator and nebulizer. The first thing that came to my mind was the nebulizer Robin has at home. It was an experience to pull it apart but all I was a 1 printed circuit board with the fuses and some components and the fan which was attached to the motor. The motor was encased in a metal cylinder. The easy part was taking the nebulizer apart but it was hard putting the lid back on! The way it was designed made it so much more complicated than needed to be. Even James couldn’t get it back on! As we were packing up, Julien made a surprise visit to our room where we were working. After introduction, Leah and I headed home.

Since it was the premiere night for Transformers 3, some of students were going to go see it in Theaters. Usually Wednesdays is half-priced movie night but since it was opening night, the movies were regular priced at $2000 colones, which is the equivalent of $4.00! We didn’t make it to the 3:30 showing but we were planning on going to see the 6:30 showing at a theater near home. That did not happen! After getting home and comfortable, we did not plan to leave until going to the bar for Brian’s birthday. We finally left around 9 and didn’t get picked up by the bus until 9:40 pm. It was a fun night! We all just hung out and enjoyed each others company at the bar. Liz and I left around 11 because I was already drowsy from the anti-malaria medicine and I wanted to get enough sleep for tomorrow.


We indeed still had to meet for Spanish but our day would consist of all of us playing games in Spanish! Our classed played Pictionary with Spanish verbs and a game of “what am I”. Our teacher wrote on a note card an animal in Spanish and taped it to our forehead. In Spanish, we had to ask the rest of the class yes or no question which would clue us to what is the animal. We took our break but ended the class with playing a Spanish version of Pictionary with the cards, colors, and letters meaning a certain topic with the class who is a next level higher than our beginner class. Of course our class won but it was a little bit tricky. It really tested our knowledge of Spanish and not just verbal but understanding tenses and proper conjugation. After a night of enjoyment I was a little bit on the sluggish side. Again, our lab/lecture was us breaking into groups (Honduras and Nicaragua students). The students going to Nicaragua had their personal de-briefing per partner group and cleaned out the closets with their tools while we met with Julien and skyped Lillian, the one who is devising the curriculum for the BMET program. She explained some of the forms we are using for inventory and answered some lingering questions.

Once I got home, we all hung out and packed our things! I was still surprised to be “packing my things” to leave Costa Rica! It’s been a month already and now it’s time to work in Roatan. I am thankful at this point that my partner and I have connected very well and I’m going to truly enjoy my experience in Costa Rica! I have been truly blessed beyond reason. GOD has put me at this point at the place in this time for a reason and I can only be thankful everyday that I’m here serving him. I’m doing his work and can’t forget my purpose on this trip.

4/16/2012 03:49:39 pm

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