Yesterday (Tuesday) we had the day off because it was a Belizean Holiday called Baron Bliss Day. The weather was once again cooperative as it was mid 80s and sunny!!! We spent the afternoon sitting along the river and enjoying the sunshine and eventually ended up cooling off in the water. That evening we again visited San Ignacio and made our way back to the little Italian restaurant for some pizza. It was delicious!
Today we had a day of work. We went out to a village called Arenal where we worked in an empty building seeing women and children. We saw many children with cough, cold, fevers and some with GI symptoms likely due to parasitic infections or infectious gastroenteritis. We had 2 positive pregnancy tests, one being a 17 year old. Rob was lucky enough to have plenty of GYN complaints…..his favorite!! haha.
Afterwards we visited a small thatched house where a 1 yr old little boy was sick with vomiting and diarrhea. Luckily he was eating a fresh tortilla when we saw him and his symptoms seemed to have resolved. We also got a sneak peak on living in Belize. We often see living situations from the outside, but nothing could have prepared us for what we saw inside. The house was dark…..small, and it seemed as though the area for “living or sleeping” was small compared to the area to cook, wash, etc. This family happened to run a small shop out of their home as well, so they had shelves filled with random goods for purchase. They had 7 children (9 if their 2 cousins were included) and the size of the house was that of a living room in a typical home in the US.
The children here seem happy though. Of course they probably don’t know life outside of Belize. We met a group of dentists from Georgia who worked in the clinic this week. They are much needed as the dentition here is awful and it seems good dental care is hard to come by.
Tonight we visited a town nearby called Benque which is right on the Guatemala border. We went with a couple of girls who work in the clinic and enjoyed some Chinese food. Crazy that the Chinese food in Belize is better than most I’ve tried in Ohio. The Chinese are smart though…..they have taken over the supermarket business and are doing very well for themselves here.
Tomorrow we have the day off and will be off exploring more of what Belize has to offer as well as preparing a lecture for the nurses in the clinic about infants of diabetic mothers. More updates to come….