Lonely in Paradise

The chickens are cock-a-doodle dooing.  It must be 5:30 am.  I get up and look out the window.  Ate Mareli is standing outside, trying to shush the rooster in the tree.  She sees me in the window and a sorry look comes over her face.  I look over at Nadia, jealous that she is always…

Exposed

Me and the chickens have a hate-hate relationship.  They don’t like me to sleep past 5:30 am, even if I went to bed at midnight.  Every morning around 5:15 the sunlight pours into my room, and they begin to call to each other in the yard and throughout the neighborhood.  If that doesn’t work, the…

Family Time!

Today is a holiday due to the start of holy week, so we get a chance to explore Tablas island as well as the surrounding area.  We have decided to go to Calatrava after seeing some pictures from one of our local friends.  Our host mom, Ate Mareli has never been there before either so…

Project SuSAN (Suporta Sa ANAK at Nanay)

One of the Philippine national health goals is to reduce and eliminate maternal death and children under 5 mortality.  In order to reach this goal, the municipality of Alcantara created Project SuSAN, an incentive based program for pregnant women.  There are three main goals of project SuSAN: enroll all mothers to PhilHealth, pregnancy tracking and…

They Do Good Work Here

The sweet smell of a sleeping girl in my arms once again….hmm I miss my babies.  Next to me, her mother lays on a bed in the clinic.  In the middle of having a tooth pulled, she passed out.  Now, she is resting with a drink and oxygen.  Suddenly another family member whisks the baby…

Videoke: The International Language of Fun!

After traveling on this cool ferry with beds: we finally arrive at Tablas Island.   We eat before our hour drive across the island to Alcantara, where we will be working for the next 2.5 weeks.  After being up since 3:30 am, finishing my last assignments medical school (graduation time, whoop whoop!), minimal sleep for days,…

Boracay: Paradise, Foreigners and the Hidden Hustlers

After traveling ½ the perimeter of the Panay island, having a funeral and seeing the land of my Lola (grandmother), we deserve a vacation!  My aunt, uncle, Abby and I take a 15 min ferry to paradise: Boracay! We go to the white sandy beaches, I float in the water, see the shops eat good…

The Result of a Difficult Decision

Dedicated to the children of Faustino and Delores Faustino had a dream: he wanted to have doctors and lawyers in the family.  He packed up his wife, Delores, and 5 children, between 15-6 years old, and moved them to the United States.  Not because he was poor in the Philippines, in fact, he was pretty…

Fake Filipinas

Today I will meet up with my family from the states; they happened to plan their trip to the Philippines during the same time I was already here for my rotation.   They came to bury my uncle and the program is going to allow me to go with them.  I am so excited to see…

Private Hospitals and the WHO

We walked around a private tertiary hospital today.  The outside is nice; there is a fountain and a place to drive up and drop off people.  When we get inside, the first thing I notice is the marble everywhere.  Here this facility offers a huge range of services: cancer treatments, dialysis, everything you would expect…

Inequalities

Today we visited a public academic tertiary hospital, Philippine General Hospital.  We start in the outpatient setting, passing dozens of people waiting for the different specialties: pediatrics, orthopedics, dermatology; all in their own separate waiting areas.  There are few large air conditioning units, but it doesn’t even feel like they are on.  People come from…

The Boy on the Street

The three of us decide to go see Beauty and the Beast.  In the middle of the movie we feel something move.  Turns out the earth was moving; it was a 5.4 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale!  I hardly noticed and the movie continues on as regularly scheduled.  Guess earthquakes aren’t that big of…