Giving Thanks -Gail

It was an early morning clinic in the Belén area of Iquitos. Women, most of them with children in tow, trudged up the wooden stairs of the stilted home where our clinic was located for the day. There were two exam rooms for the cervical screening, and I set up a Dermatology consult table on the…

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Save the Cervix -Lena

Every year, more than 300,000 women worldwide die from cervical cancer. Over 85% of those deaths occur in developing nations. In fact, cervical cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths for women in low and middle income countries. Perhaps the most unsettling factor: Human papillomavirus (HPV), the group of viruses that cause cervical…

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Scabies, Rabies, and Monkey Babies -Lena

Surviving the Wilderness (Manu Jungle) Day 1: mosquito bites: 0 (v. g.) suitcases: 1, bottles of DEVACURL 4 (excellent), number of spiders in bed: 0 3 am: why the heck am I awake 7 am: morning sunrise over Andes mountains, and only 10 hours of travel to go~ very good progress 9 am: you call…

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Machu Picchu -Julia

It’s awesome to say that you’ve been to a ancient wonder of the world so I was super excited. For those who don’t know, Machu Picchu is an amazing ancient Inca city of ruins, which is on top of a mountain. Machu Pichu means old mountain in Quechua, the Inca language. The Inca temples are…

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Kausay Wasi Clinic -Gail

Maybe it’s that this town is too small, or maybe it’s that we’ve been here too long, but everyone is starting to look pretty familiar. When we walk in the market, our patients greet us and introduce their families to us. We know the local “collectivo” driver, who races his white van up and down…

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Spinning in Ecuador -Gail

This was the week I had been both dreading and anticipating.  Andrew was heading back to the US for a whirlwind week of seeing patients in DC and NYC, and I was staying in Ecuador with the kids. You would think that after spending no less than 1,800 continuous hours together, we would be ripe…

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Cuenca, Ecuador -Lena

Hour 1: “Still cannot believe we fit everything in the back of the pick-up truck” -Gail Hour 2: “are we there yet?” -Julia Hour 3: “Mimi get off of me, you’re the worst” -Lena  Hour 4: “I can’t see the road- we are driving through a cloud” -Andrew Hour 5: everyone (except our fantastic chauffeur…

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Halloween -Gail

Each year, Halloween becomes a bigger and bigger deal in our house.  Decorations, parties, candy gingerbread houses, and usually a cauldron of witch’s brew made of dry ice left over from some shipping containers at work. This year, the mourning for a Halloween misspent started early.  Where will we be on Halloween? No one celebrates…

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I’ve just been fingerprinted -Gail

I could tell this story in real time – that is, if you have six weeks to listen to it.  I’ll try to speed it up, but you’ve got to feel a little bit of the excruciation.   Getting  to the airport in the Galapagos involves a taxi boat (bags piled high on the bow), 45…

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Conjugations! Help!- Mimi

One thing that I don’t miss at all in Maryland in Spanish conjugations. Not only have they caused me hours of stress, but they still haunt me to this day. Ironically, of the few things to follow me to Ecuador, conjugations have hitched a ride in one of our many suitcases to Cuenca. Every day from 3…

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