Sunday, May 9, 2010

I'm way overdue for an update here. Caught an adorable baby girl today at the hospital. It wasn't Mother's Day here, but it's Mother's Day at home so I suppose that's close enough. :) We went in to the hospital twice yesterday but there wasn't much going on. We got lots of homework done though, so that was good. I finally got a bunch of work done on my senior paper presentation, so I'm happy about that!

Ok, this is kind of gross, so if you're sensitive to that you may want to jump ahead to the next paragraph. It's normal for women to pass stool while pushing their baby out, lots of them do. We just wipe it away and move on. The one today had a big worm in her stool... I just pulled it out, tossed it in the garbage, and hoped there wouldn't be any more. Ick, that was a first.

We've been seeing a lot of meconium stained fluid here. It's strange to deliver a baby with thick mec, because we just don't do that at home if we can avoid it. A lot of babies get suctioned, some serious stimulation, they cry a bit, and then that's it. It's interesting how many babies just cry for a brief moment, then go to the warmer and just lie there quietly. The babies just don't seem to cry much here in general, except when they're getting their 3 shots (Hep B vaccine, TB vaccine, and vitamin K).

A few random observations:

People tend to just hang out on the edge of the street. It's a little disconcerting at first to be walking by groups of guys hanging out on the street corner, but then you realize that it's just what everyone does.

The streets near our lodging and the hospital seem to be a bit more poor than most of Vila... at least that's my impression from all the walking around and riding buses that we've been doing. Couldn't say about the rest of Vanuatu of course. Many homes in general seem to be put together with random found materials and have dirt floors. The street directly across from Tradewinds is interesting in that they seem to have their cooking/eating area in the little strip across the street from their homes. 

There are random chickens and scrawny dogs everywhere.

You can say hello to any Ni-Vanuatu (native Vanuatu) and they'll say it back to you.

People from Australia, New Zealand, and the like don't seem to be especially fond of Americans. Not that they treat me poorly, but they do tend to make negative comments about Americans in general, especially before they've found out that I am one. I guess I've heard that people don't like Americans, but I wasn't anticipating that.

There is not much tequila to be found here. Or fresh milk, it's all in aseptic boxes. Fortunately they also have boxes of soy milk, since I don't drink regular milk anyway.

The fruits and veggies at the market are cheap, but pretty much anything in the grocery stores is expensive, even more expensive than home sometimes. Eating out is surprisingly pricey too.

They have surprisingly good espresso here.

There is not a single stoplight anywhere that we've been.

There are apparently not any poisonous snakes or spiders here, and the bugs aren't bad either although there are enough that I'm glad for our screens. There are a lot of tiny little ants that like to crawl on the kitchen counters though. 

I'm really thankful for this experience!

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