Home and Clinic Visits & Trip to the Rehab Center
Today, we once again had breakfast at 8am. Breakfast was bagels and fruit. Following that, the home health aids picked everyone up for their home visits or the visits to the clinic.
The students that went to the home visits yesterday went to go shadow doctors and nurses at the clinic today, and vise versa. Therefore, Kei, Yui, Sayuki and Mion went for home visits.
On our home visit (Kei, Yui, Ms. Oobuchi & Ms. Peck), we saw three patients. All of them were affected by diabetes and COPD, and they used oxygen to help them breathe. Two of the patients had congestive heart failure, one had spina bifida, and another had a broken arm from taking a fall. The third patient was saw is a poet, and he gave us all a CD of poems he wrote.
Unfortunately, due to privacy reasons, Ms. Uematsu is the only one who could take pictures today with patients. Below are pictures of Mion and Sayuki at their home visit with nurse Kelly.
Following the home and clinic visits, everyone came back for a sandwich lunch and a short break. Then, at 3pm, we walked about 10 minutes to the town’s drug rehabilitation center. There, students received testimonies from two recovering drug addicts. Students heard about their path to addiction and their recovery process, and the difficulties that they’ve been through.
The first man we met explained that he had a hard childhood and was picked on in middle school. To fit in better, he began drinking and taking drugs. Then, after gradating high school, he went to Iraq and served as a marine. He stayed in Iraq for a few months and then struggled with PTSD and drug addiction when he returned. Eventually, he hit rock bottom and found his way to the rehabilitation center.
The other man who spoke told us that he was in and out of prison for most of his life. He told us that his prison experience was horrible, but he continued to do crimes to get money for drugs. Eventually, he also had a realization that it couldn’t go on like this, and wound up in this rehab center, his third since starting his path to recovery.
Both stories were eye-opening and interesting. Students had a chance to ask questions to both the men as well as other recovering addicts that joined the talk.
Next, everyone returned to the hotel for dinner. We had breaded chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, and brownies. There was a lot of left over food, so we went with Angela and Monica to donate it at the local church. At the church, many people welcomed us with hugs and big smiles. The congregation was small, but happy to see us. I was surprised, because the pastor was dressed in camo print from head to toe. We really are in the South!
After the church, everyone started work on their final presentations. Each student has already chosen a topic to talk about on their last day on the program. Today, they received the blank poster paper and planned out much of what they’re going to talk about. Since the students don’t have access to the internet, they must rely entirely on the notes they took this week and on interviews and conversations they’ve had with the people we’ve met, as well as the presentations given by Angela and Monica.
I’m really looking forward to seeing their presentations on Sunday!
Farmers’ market health fair, Walmart visit, and BBQ dinner!
Today the students wore their scrub tops for the last time. Today was the last health fair at the town’s farmers’ market, so after breakfast, everyone headed down the street to the nearby gym parking lot, where the market was held.
We all worked together to set up the tent and tables and everyone prepared their stations to do BMI, blood pressure, and A1C testing. Despite a slow start to the day, the students saw around 25 patients, and showed a lot of confidence when treating the patients.
The difference between the first health fair and this last one were numerous. The students chatted with the patients during their tests and got to know them better. Furthermore, after getting the results of the tests, the students gave good health advice, like eating less salt/ sugar, drinking water or diet instead of sugary cola, and getting more exercise.
The last patient of the morning was a clinic doctor’s father. He was so happy to have the students in town and he offered to treat us all to ice cream at the food truck.
The students talked and laughed with him a lot while eating ice cream, and took many pictures.
Following the farmer’s market, we packed up our things and went back to the hotel for lunch. Everyone made a sandwich wrap or quesadilla, and then loaded into the vans for the “cultural activity.” For their cultural activity, the students chose to visit the local Walmart! Needless to say, much money was spent…
After the “Cultural Activity” everyone went back to the Mountaineer Hotel to work on their final poster projects and rest until dinner. Since it is our last night in West Virginia, the kids chose southern style BBQ over pizza. We ate dinner while watching a movie about the famous family feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. Hopefully everyone gets to bed early so we can wake up tomorrow at 5:30am!