This week has been a busy, at times bumpy ride. I would like to take a moment to remember the Burch family’s dear puppy Pippa who had to be put to sleep two days ago. I would also like to celebrate the life of my dear grandmother, Pat, who passed away a year ago.
Sunday was another fun day. At Infinity Bay, we played rounds and rounds of beach volleyball and tried to soak up the sun that barely filtered through the thick grey clouds overhead. Though we did not have the best beach weather, we still had a wonderful time snorkeling, romping in the sand, and reading.
On our snorkel, I saw the largest parrotfish ever. Seriously, from the side view, it was as large as a standard boogie board. It was also at least a foot thick. Its body was chocolate brown, while its lips and tail were splashed with sage green. I hovered in place for at least 5 minutes, watching this magnificent specimen nibble on the top of a mound of coral.
We also got to see another eagle ray, this time on the edge of the drop off. I got a great view of its back, which looked like a piece of diamond-shaped slate that had been doodled all over with little circles and squiggles. It flapped far below me before sinking into the deep.
So far, my clinic shifts have been long, but rewarding, this week. I have been translating and observing Robert, a PA doing a rotation at the clinic. He is a fabulous teacher—very patient and genuinely interest in making my service here informative and fun. I have been learning so much! I really admire the way Robert talks to patients. He builds trust through compassion and patience and meets them where they are. He uses the words patients use to describe their symptoms, which helps to ensure that they feel comfortable in the often overwhelming, unfathomable medical environment. For example, Robert used a patient’s own term, “nerves,” when asking her to repeat her description of a psychological symptom she was experiencing. He also uses the term “suga” when he asks patients about their diabetes and asks them if they “drink their meds,” phrases that are common in Island English. Translating for Robert and James, a volunteer resident, has been a wonderful, rewarding experience; my Spanish is flowing freely and easily!
More to come soon. I’m planning on posting a few patient case studies next! For now, here’s a photo of the volunteer team at Infinity Bay: