Umm... una manta raya me murdío
Trip Start Jan 20, 2010
13Trip End Aug 08, 2010
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It's ironic. Students love to study abroad for the change in pace and the new lifestyle, but I'm learning that what I appreciate most is finding the swing of things. In the hopes of not sounding like a Metamucil commercial, I've done it, I'm regular. I've started to walk the fifty minutes to and from classes with my friend, Laura, and I am becoming a part of the repetitive heartbeat of this city. Last week I teared up from walking along side a street poodle dragging her broken leg across the street and this week my calves were practically abraded by her scruffy fur when she sprinted around the corner on three legs. I love passing the old woman in the park when I walk home for lunch (our first encounter ended with her throwing things at me, but now we just have a mutual understanding) and Patricio, the old man with two canes who I helped walk to the clinic, as he sprint canes in his wool jacket
It's time for a little Chilean praise now. Chile has both a public and private health care sector. As my program is a public health program, we've been exposed to several of the public health clinics and all I can say is wow. I am endlessly amazed at how integral, integrative, and innovative their system is. With an emphasis on preventative care and care for women and children, Chile has made primary health care free and easily accessible to everyone. Not only that, but medical practitioners take such a holistic approach to healing their patients' body, mind, and soul. For example, if someone who suffers from hypertension comes to the clinic, they visit a nutritionist to remedy their dietary choices, a kinesiologist (physical therapist) to determine their necessary fitness changes, a primary care family doctor, and sometimes a psychologist if their diagnosis is actually stemming from mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. All this information is kept in one patient file and is given to each provider. This allows for the psychologist to determine if stomach cramps are actually connected to fear or anxiety and rather than treating a person solely with some pepto bismol or extra drug, the system works to find the root of the problem to stop the stomach cramps from the source. Ah, I could go on for hours. Oh one more, treatment also takes into account social factors
Tomorrow my group is heading to Putre in the Andean highlands. We'll have a chance to experience rural medicine and watch the practice of traditional Aymaran medicine in some smaller villages. We'll be there for four days and I am stoked to see a new part of Chile. Green. Lush. Altitude Sickness. Volcanoes. Llamas. Vicuñas. Lakes. mmm, I think all this excitement is why I'm writing at 1:30 in the morning. Overloaded excitement insomnia. My friends and I are taking an excursion to San Pedro de Atacama for the long weekend. Starry desert nights, I am so ready!