Friday, November 7, 2008

I Love a Parade...

Today at our weekly glucose/blood pressure clinic, I had to forgo blood pressures for a while. The elementary and high school students were having Districts. While I never got a complete description of that, it seems that it has to do with inter-mural sports. Rather than having basketball or volleyball as an extra-curricular activity as we are familiar with, everyone is included as part of a healthy living program during the school day.

A couple things we have noticed in our time here are the apparent lack of long-term planning and the low threshold for celebrations. We knew before coming that timeliness was of little importance here. It does not surprise me that I never hear the term "5-year plan". But it is almost comical to me how impromptu things can be. Last Thursday, the local government decided to make Friday a holiday so people could travel home for All Saints Day. It isn't like the holiday suddenly changed days. Earlier, we had been trying to coordinate our staff outing to the hot springs with the semester break at the school. Nobody knew when that would be, not even the students. Today, one of the SSM students who helped us at the clinic put it the best I have heard it. "In America, time is like gold. Here, time is like bronze."

As for celebrations, parades are popular here. Of course some are planned and communicated such as the Independence Day, Am-Among, and Lang-Ay. But there are several that just seem to happen that nobody knows about unless they happen to be in it or on the street when it happens. I cannot explain the basis for a couple I have heard about. They were over and nobody I talked to could really say why there had been a parade. As I understand it, one parade consisted of employees of various governmental offices - I don't know why.

Well today, we did not know about the parade until the police officers were positioning themselves to reroute traffic while we waited for the Municipal Health Office to be unlocked for our clinic. But we did find out that it was related to the Districts. Now back to my original statement - I had to forgo blood pressures for a while. While it would have been fun to watch the kids in their parade, we had a lot of patients. Many of them were teachers from the schools who are normally busy at the time of our clinic. So as the parade marched by on the street below, we continued on with our work - with one modification. It is nearly impossible to take blood pressures with a marching band outside your window. The faint thump noise made by blood squirting through an artery is no match for the drum corps. Once the parade was over, we were able to resume taking blood pressures. In the meantime, we just focused on testing glucose levels.

It did get pretty busy today. Fortunately, Alexie and Alayna were there to help. We also had two of the Student Sponsorship Ministry students volunteer to help today as well. One is a 1st year nursing student. The other is studying education with a major in science. She would like to be in nursing, but can't afford the additional expense. Jil, the nursing student, was supposed to have class today, but the college is still working through issues with registration so most classes have been postponed until next week. (Refer to the second paragraph.)


p.s. If you would be interested in sponsoring a student that is a part of our Student Sponsorship Ministry, please let us know and we would be glad to share more details.

No comments:

Post a Comment