Lindsey and Eryn Cross Country 2008 travel blog

Lotsssss of bugs!

Home Sweet Home...Rehoboth Christian Mission School

I LOVE CACTI!


Ya'at eeh from New Mexico (greetings from New Mexico). I've been at site for two days now, and I think I'm really going to like it. Yesterday was pretty boring. We just got our temp ID badges, toured around, took a lunch, sat around and filled a few scripts. They were "extremely busy" and they filled about 180 scripts. For a comparison, a "busy" day at CVS is about 400 scripts. However, each script that is given out in the Indian Health Service, the patient is counseled on. If it's a new medication, it's one type of counseling, if it's a refill it's another.

Kofi picked us up yesterday, so he could show us the way and show us some things on the reservation. The Navajo Nation is the largest reservation in the US. Tohatchi (where we are) is one of the chapters. The reservation land is wide and open, with houses here and there. There are horses, sheep, and cows roaming free all over. There are also "res" dogs that are just wild dogs wandering everywhere. Kofi had described it to us as a third world country, and I guess I really didn't believe him until I saw it. If you live out of town, there isn't any running water and only some places have electricity. They have to haul their water in from town. Town is really just a larger cluster of houses, a chapter house, a school, and the clinic. If you're lucky, you'll have running water in town. The reservation is about 25 miles from town, and people are constantly hitch-hiking back and forth. The clinic is truly beautiful, and has alot to offer the people.

We wanted to go for a walk yesterday when we got out of site, but it's apparently monsoon season here. It was a heck of a storm, and it lasted for a few hours. So, we ate dinner and lounged around, because we were still pretty wiped out from the travel, the time change, and the altitude.

Today, Lindsey was in the pharmacy and I got to round with Dr. Buffaloe (he's a white man with red hair). My long blonde hair sticks out almost as much as his does. It was really interesting to see patients and they all have stories to tell. One of my early patients was a girl around my age that is mentally retarded because she contracted pnemococcal meningitis as a child. Americans generally don't contract this, but she wasn't immunized when she was younger. She now lives in a group home near Tohatchi, she cannot speak, she wears diapers, and is in a wheelchair, along with her other medical problems. It was a horrible thing to see, but she was a beautiful girl and very responsive to voices. We also saw a woman who needed a medical note so she could be moved up on the running water list. She has eczema so severely, that she has open sores on her arms and chest. She was hoping that her wait would be less than a year. Another patient (that taught me to say hello) wasn't sure if he was 71 or 73. He said that his father had 10 children and none of them had birth certificates because they were raised on the reservation. His father was then required to register all his children with the government, and he couldn't remember everyone's year of birth. So, either he's 71 and his sister is 73 or vice versa. All he knows is that he was born when the snow falls. To add a twist, he was then raised by a Dutch family in Wisconsin before returning to the reservation. One of the last women we gave medications to told us she was running late because she was shearing sheep all morning!

After we left, we ran into a flash flood (I'll post a picture a little later). The land is so dry, that when the monsoon rains come, the water has nowhere to go and just rushes to lower points (the roads being one of them). It wasn't raining in Rehoboth where we're staying, so we went for a walk before dinner. After dinner we worked on projects and watched the MLB All Star Game. It's currently the 14th inning and it's 1:15 am EST. I can't go to bed until I know who wins!

Keep sending messages, we love them. If you're interested in the Navajo language, look up information on the Navajo code talkers during the second world war. It's really interesting, and some of the older natives still remember it.

~Eryn



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