Monday, April 25, 2011

Dog Bite....

Well, some of you have heard, a dog bite me on the leg this past week. Franci and I had just talked to Ana for a few minutes at her door and left to go meet up with some other contacts in Yanamayo. We started walking down a dirt road and two dogs came out barking. This is common in Yanamayo and I'm generally not scared. Or in better words, I can't be scared because Franci is terrified, we can't both be scared! So just imagine Franci and I, standing in the middle of the street, Franci swinging her backpack at the dogs and me yelling at them. Franci fell down onto the dirt but got back up. While we were busy with the two dogs in front of us, another dog came up from behind and bit me. I pulled away as soon as I felt the pressure and walked a few feet away from the action. There was a hole in my pants and a pain in my leg. I called Amanda right away and she called the nurse. While waiting to hear back from Amanda on what to do next, Franci and I continued visiting a few contacts, unsure of what else to do. I got a call back from Amanda and she said I need rabies shots. So, we said bye to our contacts, went home to get money and paperwork, then went to the clinic for a doctor to clean up the cut and went to the hospital to start the series of rabies shots. Today I'll get shot 5 of 10, woohoo,halfway there! The shots are a series of 7 daily shots and then 3 more spread out over a few weeks.

It's been quite an interesting experience. I really feel priviledged to be able to have been born in the 80's but experience the 50's. Literally, most everything in the clinic and the hospital is from the 50's or 60's. They have old metal beds, they keep medical supplies in wooden cabinets with glass windows and everything is painted white or a classic light/seafoam green. I've seen movies set in the 50's or 60's. But now I get to experience it firsthand! I do have to admit I was scared about the lack of technology as one man typed out my information on a metal typewriter then went to the ice box to pull out the vaccine. But, everyone is really nice and the bite is healing up well. Actually, I'm sure they don't see many white people in the hospital here. I walked into the triage room and one nurse came in and started laughing. Then she yelled for other people to come in and take a look. I'm assuming she didn't know I could speak spanish because then I said in spanish, 'yeah, everyone come and look at the gringa' and she looked quite suprised.Needless to say, its been an interesting experience. But, I'm grateful the bite wasn't worse and that I am able to get the rabies vaccine for peace of mind.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Part of our technique is that I teach English words to help make connections with people in the community. Thanks to Chad's mom who teaches ESL in the states, we have some great material to help us teach. One of the worksheets I've used in the past few weeks is a lesson on clothing items. I teach words like....shirt, socks, dress and more. Well, one of the drawings on this worksheet is a pair of slippers. I have decided to just call them sandals and teach the world sandals instead of slippers. The reason behind the change is that the word slipper(s) has little meaning here. I have slippers and wear them around our house here. But, most houses in the outskirts of town and even some in town, are not condusive to slippers. I wish you could be here and go into some of these houses, or even just look in the door. Being invited into a house and seeing how people live is usually the most humbling experience for me. Since you cannot be here I'll try to describe the houses to you.

Usually there is a wall with a metal door. The wall is generally made of bricks, bricks of mud and rocks. But when you go through this metal door, you are not walking into a house like we would expect, but you are walking into what I would consider more of a campground. You are still outside and your standing on dirt. You might see an outhouse or a little cage for the hens. Also, you will see little "houses". These little "houses" are their rooms. The rooms are separate and the "hallway" is outside. I can't help but think of a campground, little cabins close together. But its not a campground, its not a place to stay for a week or two, it is their house, their home. Another type of house, a step up from the campground but still not condusive to slippers is concrete including the floor. And we are not talking smooth concrete, not cool studio style concrete, I'm talking about raw, rough, uneven concrete. With horrible roofs there is water leaking in from the rain and dirt everywhere.

I wish I could explain in better words what it is like to be in one of these houses. To be honestly grateful to be invited in despite the smell, the cold, the dirt, the water, the hard chairs and more. So, through a simple English lesson, I've been reminded of how blessed I am to have a place to wear slippers in Puno and in the states.

You're blessed when you're content with just who you are - no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

Matthew 5:5 msg