Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Saturday, June 7

The view of all that rain from my front door.
Since Gabriel is coming in a couple days, I have chosen to spend this weekend just relaxing as much as possible before I start having a couple very busy weeks with him.  So today I woke up and it was raining, again... and decided to spend the day inside watching TV.  I finished season 1 of Game of Thrones and started season 4 of Pretty Little Liars.  In between episodes I got caught up on my journal... I'm actually keeping 2 journals here in Mexico.  I started a detailed travel journal that I actually write down every detail of every day because I want to remember this amazing trip.... it's my first adventure I've ever taken alone.  My second journal is a 5yr happiness journal.  In this journal I write one to two sentences about important details of every day.  I do this journal no matter where I am, and it allows me to see how I grow, change, and evolve over the next 5years.
scribble scribble scribble

We all need a mental health day every now and then,
Maria Katerina

Friday, June 6

Today at work we had a VERY BUSY day.  There was a taxi accident from down the street and we got 4 of the victims brought in by ambulance.  Keep in mind that this hospital is only staffed by one doctor and one nurse, so I really got put to use.  I started IV's on 3 of the patients while the nurse administered medications and the doctor performed his assessment.  We worked as a good team... although when the nurse was asking me to pass a bag of IV Fluids, it took me like 3 times of her repeating it before I finally understood what I needed to go get... my Spanish still needs to work, but at least I'm getting great practice every day.
Me and Zelda before class starts.

I grabbed a lemonade at Cafe Brujula and picked up some bananas at the market on my walk to Solexico.  When I arrived at the school, the gate door was closed, but the chef told me to enter.  I then saw that there was a cute dog walking around.  She was drinking water from a puddle, and didn't have any tags on, but it was obvious that she belonged to someone by the way she acted.  She was dirty, but oh so cute, so I named her Zelda <3.  I wanted to keep her, but one of the other students made posters and hung them up.  Zelda's owner came to claim her later on that day... but we never learned her real name.

Today was my last conversation class for a couple weeks because Gabriel comes in 3 days!!!  We went to a park down the street and enjoyed some tacos, crepes, and nieve (like snow-cones mixed with italian ice).  I think this is my first time eating street food in Mexico... tacos here are NOTHING like the El Paso tacos I buy at Stop & Shop.  It's more like delicious chopped meat (not ground), with onions, cilantro, guacamole, pico de gallo, and fresh limes to squeeze on top in a soft fresh corn tortilla.

That night I started watching Game of Thrones for the first time.  It's a REALLY GOOD SHOW!  I feel an addiction starting.

Winter is coming,
Maria Katerina
Thursday, June 5

I started my morning as usual with volunteering for 4hrs at the Cruz Roja then heading to conversation class.  On my walk to Solexico I stopped by the market and picked up some fruits and veggies for the house.  I bought like 4lbs of strawberries because they looked so good!

For dinner that night, all the students and some teachers from Solexico met up to say goodbye to a couple students that were heading back to their home countries.  Noemi and I had to leave a little early because the people from the dance class were going to all go out to a Salsa Club that night.

Noemi and I enjoying some delicious dessert before dance class!
After dessert, Noemi and I headed to the park for a quick review lesson of salsa and then we walked to The Patio.  We grabbed a couple beers, helped move some tables aside, and started dancing all night.  I met a girl from California there and by midnight the DJ switched over to playing Top 40 hits from the States and it became so much more fun.

I decided to leave at 1am because I had a Skype date scheduled with Gabriel.  We talked for a few hours before I passed out from exhaustion... I'm not going to wake up for work tomorrow.

Dance like no one's watching,
Maria Katerina
Wednesday, June 4

Isn't this littler bird so cute!
Today at the Cruz Roja we weren't very busy.  The Dr. and I hung out in his office between patients and reviewed vocabulary flash cards I had made.  I taught him how to pronounce words in English and he helped with the Spanish words.  It was a good day where I got to learn a lot about his life and hobbies and it was great practice for my Medical Spanish.

I grabbed a lemonade at Cafe Brujula before going to conversation class.  In conversation class we did a fun activity that had us filling in the blanks of a story, and based on our responses, it could supposedly determine our subconscious thoughts.  I really enjoyed it and it was a different and fun approach to class.

On my way up to my apartment, I ran into Octavio (Mrs. Irma's, my house mom's, son)- he had caught a bird and put it in a cage.  A WILD BIRD!!!  He has so much patience to spend the day observing and catching birds.  It's so cute!
New workout clothes for Zumba Class
Ready for the Coffee Social

That afternoon, I changed into workout clothes and went to Zumba Class.  After Zumba I headed straight to Cumbia class and enjoyed a fun class in the park with Noemi and Myriam.  After Cumbia, Solexico students were meeting for a coffee social, so I went home changed and met up with Rocky and Crystal before we headed to the bar.  It was a fun and eventful day.

My dancing skills are definitely improving,
Maria Katerina

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday, June 3

A sign hanging at the Cruz Roja.  It translates
to "How much love fits in your heart?"
I had a very eventful day at the Cruz Roja today.  Our first patient of the day had a huge abscess on their finger that needed to be drained.  The doctor told me to do it!  So I cleaned it up and poked it with a needle, but it wasn't really draining because the pus inside was too thick... so then I took a scalpel and made a small incision which finally allowed the pus to escape.  Quite a bit of pus came out and it was definitely great to perform hands on care.  The doctor stitched the patient's finger together because I have not done stitches yet.... I'm practicing with the medical students so I will be ready to stitch one of these days.

After the I&D, I went upstairs to the ophthalmology clinic.  I spent the last couple hours checking patient's blood pressure levels and discussing lifestyle changes for patient's who did have hypertension.

I grabbed a lemonade from Cafe Brujula before conversation class.  During class there was a lot of music that was getting louder and louder from outside.  When we went outside, we saw a marching band coming our way.  We took a pause from class to watch them play and parade down the rest of the street.

The Marching band as it's about to pass Solexico.
Cooking Class

Cooking Class started at 2pm.  I don't remember the name of what we made!  but it was spicy chicken with onions and peppers in a tomato based sauce wrapped in tortillas.  I didn't try it because spicy is NOT my favorite thing.

I went home and changed out of my ugly white scrubs.... I can't believe they wear white every day all day in an Emergency Department.... they just get so dirty!  That night I went with Crystal to Bachata Class.... which is by far my favorite dance!  It's very sexxy and fun!!!

Bachata... Our instructor is the guy in green.
Crystal chose not to dance, and instead she watched and was eaten alive by mosquitoes!
 Dance with me,
Maria Katerina
Monday, June 2

Breakfast to go on my first day of work....
I don't think these scrubs could get
more ugly!!!!
Today was my first day of volunteering with the Cruz Roja.... I LOVE IT THERE!!!!  When I was first deciding where I wanted to go, I was worried I wouldn't get this position because they prefer volunteers with Advanced Spanish.  My Spanish is by no means advanced... but I try hard and I think that counts for something.... apparently they did too because they accepted me!  It took me about 35minutes to walk to the hospital and then I met with the Dr. that would be showing me around.  On a typical day, there is 1 nurse and 1 doctor and 0-3 medical students... ooooh and ME :D

I don't really remember what I did at work my first day, but I do remember being overwhelmed by the Spanish.  I think having no other option than speaking in Spanish was EXTREMELY beneficial to my Spanish education.  When I got out of work, I walked to Solexico for my first conversation class.  I stopped for a lemonade at Cafe Brujula, which I got a frequent member card for, and then grabbed a torta before class.  In class everyone thought my Spanish was much better.... I don't think it was much better, I just think that after a day of ONLY speaking in Spanish, I was more comfortable with speaking it.

One day I will stop looking at my feet and actually look up while dancing with confidence.
After class I went home and changed out of my all white scrubs..... which were already dirty!  and put on some workout clothes so I could go to zumba class.  After Zumba, I went straight to the park for Cumbia Class.  I think I'm getting better at this dancing thing.  A few of the newer students from Solexico joined me and we had a ton of fun.
Even though I'm not smiling, I do really like these dancing classes and all the people I get to meet here.

la cerveza ya tequila y tu boca con la mia... ya no puedo mas,
Maria Katerina

Sunday, June 1

Do you want to know how interesting my life is?  Today I made French Toast.  I ate it in bed SMOTHERED in syrup.  I then Skyped with Gabriel for literally the rest of my day!  Like more than 8hrs I was talking with him.  And then I went to bed. ....Probably the most relaxing day of my life.

"Jarabe" means syrup in Spanish... Gabriel thinks I say it wrong... I think I sounds exactly like him when I say it,
Maria Katerina