PKBatth's Travel Journals

PKBatth PK Batth

 
What is your most embarrassing travel experience?

The second time I had traveled to Belize, I had some terrible luck with nature. I had over a 100 mosquito bites and a terrible rash (or allergic reaction) broke out on my entire back causing every inch of my body to be itchy. Then one night while hanging out with my friend, a group of fire ants decided to walk over my feet! I lost it and started crying, repeating, "Belize hates me!" My friend, a local, quickly made me snap out of it. As a self proclaimed tough girl (and/or tomboy) I find that moment so embarrassing!

  • From Windsor, Canada
  • Currently in San Ignacio, Belize

Belize 2011 - Mission Accepted

Reuniting with Belize, my long lost love! This trip is more than a getaway, as I have some serious goals I hope to achieve during my time in beautiful Belize.

3 Days, 150 Patients, & 1 Amazing Experience

Belize San Ignacio, Belize  |  Aug 11, 2011
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 Sometimes our own emotions can be our own worst enemies, but we have to learn to not let them get in the way of our personal goals. 

Dear Journal,

      This past week we set up project clinics in homes all around San Ignacio. We did diabetes screening by taking blood pressure, blood glucose levels, checking family history of Diabetes and investigating the eating habits of the people who came to see us. After collecting this information we either advised people to go in to see the local doctor to get a proper diabetes test done or talked about how to effectively reduce the risk of falling victim to the disease. I also squeezed in my personal dental project where I showed many of the children that came in how to brush properly and handed out toothbrushes and toothpaste to promote healthy dental habits. From Tuesday to Thursday, we saw more and more patients each and every day! Tuesday we saw over 20, Wednesday we saw over 60 and finished the project clinics on Thursday with over 70 patients! It was so great seeing such a great response to what we were doing. 

     Tuesday was a tad on the slow side, but reaching any amount of people with the message of healthy living habits is a good day. Wednesday, however, was a VERY challenging day. Although it was great to see a large amount of patients, many of them were ill informed as to who we were and our mission. Many had the perception that we were pediatricians and licensed doctors coming in to see patients. We ran into many who were asking for medications, most of which they didn’t need but wanted just in case. Since we didn’t have a medical professional with us, we were not authorized to give out anything. It was tough because we had things that could help with some of the sicknesses we were coming across, but were unable to give it out. Some parents were very persistent and were nearly begging for things like cough medicine and vitamins.

     I did a presentation with a group of kids there on proper brushing techniques. Usually the children are really into the short exercise, but I think because of how large the group was there, they were more into laughing and teasing their friends then learning what I was trying to teach. I also found parents and children alike were racing to get the free toothbrushes I was giving out, many trying to take more than one each. I knew the people there were in need, but it is hard to deal with feeling like people are taking from you and not appreciating your effort. Trying to smile while containing my frustration with the situation was emotionally draining for me. We did see a lot of people that day and did as much as we could, but sometimes it feels like your best isn’t enough. Wednesday was one of those days.  In retrospect, however, I learned a lot. Not only is communication very important, but also with any mission a person takes on, they are going to run into “speed bumps.” I was proud that I kept going and tried to reach as many people as possible that day. Although I was upset, I didn’t let that one day break my faith in the Belizean people and my hopes to continue doing good work in the area. Sometimes our own emotions can be our own worst enemies, but we have to learn to not let them get in the way of our personal goals.

     Thursday, however, was one of my favorite days up to this point. Since we had done these clinics seven times before, we ran like a well-oiled machine. The patients were much better informed this time, thanks to the home stay owner, Sandy Perez, who told everyone coming we are not giving out medication.  Since we recorded height and weight, I decided to bring along with me a body mass index card for adults and children, that way I could give people a good estimate of how much they should weight. It came in very handy. It was clear almost all did not know how many pounds they were over or under-weight. Many of the women that came in were normal to overweight, but many of the children were under-weight. I gave advice on how to increase the weight of the children and how to effectively lose weight to the men and women with high BMI's. I was able to hand out the last of my toothbrushes and other supplies as well. It was a very successful day, and very much so made up for my taxing Wednesday. 

     It was sad to see my last day of Project Clinics come and go, but I am excited for next week that will bring in new experiences. I start working at the local public hospital on Monday and am itching to get in there. I have been listening to the other volunteers talk about their time there and each and every story I hear gets me more excited to go. This also marks the halfway point of my trip and I cannot believe it! When you are doing what you love, time really does just wiz on by.

Great experiences gained on this project, but it is on to the next one, Belize! 

Best,

PK

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  • User Profile Photo
    mom wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2011
    keep it up . i am proud of you. Love YOU
  • User Profile Photo
    Grace wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2011
    This is awesome, PK. I'm so proud of you and so glad that you're helping many people live a better life. <3