i have successfully returned from mexico, without apparently bringing back a single unfriendly microorganism in my bowels. either that or my bowels have become more diplomatic and don't just expel every foreigner it meets. ...wait, that's not what i was going to talk about. here, as promised, are some photos from the last week:
this or something like it was what the clinics we did looked like. in the foreground we have pete, the physician's assistant i worked with all week. in the background we have mexicans. sick mexicans, probably. this was the third of four clinics we did, during which time we saw about 350 patients (including 100 on this and the day previous). i enjoyed working with pete, and i think we made a pretty good team. this picture also hints at the importance of dust in the tiny poverty-stricken towns we visited. it's not just a reason to buy pledge and a medium on which to write "wash me" on windshields--it's also roads, sidewalks, floors, and the thing the hot dry wind blew in your eyes!
here's a shot of another clinic, before we started. this was most of the people who had already lined up before we'd arrived. no kidding, probably 75% of the kids in the picture have a cold, sinus or ear infection, or flu. and of those, about 3% cover their mouths when they cough. i, then, am a testament of the miraculous disease-preventing power of God, because i probably had an index of infectious saliva on my arm at any given moment during a clinic. the whiteys in this photo are, from left to right, johanna, kelly, and david.
this is the scene previous to a third clinic. the pastor's wife had made us a delicious crab salad, which you can see us eating here. while we all appreciated and were probably to some degree humbled by this generous gesture, david's facial expression, and johanna's watching him eat it, more or less sum up the group's feelings about the actual eating of this dish--it's hard to make out in the photo, but what we have here is crab meat pulled right out of the ocean, lettuce, and some kind of mayo base to the whole thing, which had apparently been sitting out long enough for the lettuce to wilt before we tore into it. i don't know how savvy you are on what not to eat in little tiny villages out in the middle of nowhere in mexico, but...i think i just listed all of the major things to avoid. but we soldiered on, and we all didn't get sick. when someone said we'd just have to smile and eat it and trust God with the rest, i said "so...you think we'll get sick." but somehow God sent neither lightning bolts nor amoebas to my belly in response, and we all lived happily ever after, even at great distances from toilets.
here's a shot of me in action. notice my form--i'm leaned way in, like i'm about to interpret the sound of her heartbeat, should it become necessary. for the record, the heartbeat sound in spanish comes out as "tun tun. tun tun." this was at the end of the day, which is sort of unfortunate because you can't really appreciate the crowds and general activity going on for most of the day while we worked. so you'll just have to take my word for it--we were pretty much rock stars. ROCK STARS!
in addition to working, there was a lot of playing. we stayed in a missionary house about a 10 minute walk from the beach, so in the mornings we'd go over there. one morning i went exploring a little and decided to check out an apparently deserted and under construction house. while i was there the watchdog ("pulgoso," i later learned he was called) alerted the security guard (gabriel) to my presence. gabriel is, i'm sure, an excellent security guard, but i found that he also makes a top-notch tour guide after minimal conversation. he showed me the house and told me a bit about the place and his life while we walked. the house was very cool, and i'm currently working on a good plan to usurp the wealthy americans to whom the place belongs in the near future. if it works out you can come down to party with me.
here, then, is one such view from the house. you're probably wondering what hair styling products i use, but try to focus. (but i'll let you in on a secret--i just use a hair compressing device known as a "baseball hat" and it does the rest. the deeper mystery is, why'd i take the hat off for this self-portrait if my hair looked so dumb underneath? and that's one i won't answer for you just now.) don't tell anyone, but the beach where we were supposed to be doing all this thankless work was pretty awesome. you can kind of see it in this picture.
so there's some pictures from mexico. there's a lot more, and maybe i'll show you later. or maybe you should come over and i'll show you. it's up to you later. don't forget, though--tuesday night is menomena's show here in chicago, and it's also wednesday morning over in china.