Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Frugal Dougalls

I bought produce for salsa yesterday. 
I purchased:
3 bunches of cilantro
7 tomatoes (roughly 3lbs)
1 medium onion
4 medium avocados
3 jalapeno peppers and 1 Serrano pepper
2 limes
2 large oranges (not for the salsa but were on sale)
2 yams (also not for the salsa)
...and I feel like the hungry caterpillar...
Guess how much I spent??

If you guessed close to $15, then you are shopping at the wrong market. 

My total came to $5.10

Yes, that's right.  Just in case you were wondering how I pulled it off--the avocados were on sale 4 for $.99, oranges were 6lbs for $.99, the 4 peppers came to $.14, the cilantro was 5 bunches for a $1, tomatoes were $.59 a lb and the limes, onions and yams were also significantly cheaper than any other local grocery store. 

John you've got some competition.  You are not the only frugal Dougall in Utah County. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Teaching in a Haitian orphanage

Wednesday has been the best day by far.  Jay, Lynda and I were assigned an orphanage we have not been to yet this week.  There are over 100 kids at this location and a mixture of kids with disabilities and children who were malnourished and have ended up here for refeeding programs.  I toured this orphanage once last year and was very impressed with all the leaders do for the children here as well as the programs in place-a fish hatchery, a chicken coup, rabbit cages, a garden, etc. 
He is deaf and mute but has a smile that melts your heart
Last year the caregivers received all 26 lessons from our teaching manual.  This year they requested we complete hands on teaching for all of the nannies of the disabled kids.  The first assignment was to help with bathing.  I opted to watch the kids while Jay and Lynda helped with the teaching.  I hope I don't sound too graphic, but the biggest concern with bathing was teaching about cleaning an uncircumscribed penis, hence why Jay was assigned to help with bathing.  Many of these children had never had their foreskins retracted and it was important for the caretakers to learn that this needs to be done every day. 

Jay walking one of the CP boys.
Most of the disabled kids have cerebral palsy.  Therapy is an important part of their care but a therapist is only able to come in twice a week and spends about 10 mins with each child.  For those of you aware of therapy needs, this is not nearly enough to make improvement in these kids.  We taught the caregivers a few exercises and discussed range of motion activities for them to do with the kids.

Schniedo had a laugh that would melt your heart! What an angel.
 A huge concern for the leaders of the orphanage is how the caretakers lift this kids.  Frequently the kids are picked up by wrists and ankles and almost tossed from chair into bed or bathtub.  We did hands on training with each caretaker on proper lift techniques and back protection.  It was rewarding to see the caretakers learn a new skill and begin to apply it with some of their patients.  Again, I hope it sticks...because if it doesn't I heard word that they will be fired. 
notice the kid in the red shirt...playing basketball with one leg and no crutches.  What a stud!
 Eating and choking was the last important point of education we touched on.  Meal time is a literal shovel fest as they lay this kids down and shovel huge portions of rice into the mouths of these kids.  This is they way the HAitians were taught and the way they have always done it.  Additionally they told me that if they didn't feed the kids fast they would have a seizure.  Wow-lots of education here was needed and lots of convincing that this is not safe for the kids. 
Jay overseeing the caretakers lifting one of the kids into their bed properly
There is WAY more to say, but the power has gone out multiple times and I'm running late this morning for leaving for clinic.  Got to run! Sorry if there are spelling errors or missed words.. This was typed very fast!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 1 and 2 and TMI

random photo I took while driving in the van.  There is a lot of traffic and with miscommunication Jay and I spent 2 1/2 hrs the first day getting to the orphanage to teach. 

 On Monday Jay and I taught the caregivers at Food for the Poor, an orphanage for disabled children and adults.  The class participants learned and practice transferring patients using a blanket, appropriate lifting techniques of assisting their disabled patients up from the ground with a draw sheet and many other subjects.  I was surprised their interest in massage.  Thanks to Jay's D.O. schooling he was able to give them a few good tips regarding massage. 

Our students at Food for the Poor with Teachers Jay, Jordan, Marcus and me.
On Tuesday Jay and I went separate places.  I worked with Penny, a pharmacist, at General Hospital.  Our assignment was with an American doctor who has been working in Haiti for 2 years and set up a TB clinic.  We spent the first hour assisting patients with feeding and ambulating.  Many of the patients were severely malnourished and literally just skin and bone.  Sorry no pictures of the patients at the clinic.   

Jay spent the day at the Healing Hands for Haiti clinic with a Haitian spine doctor.  Healing Hands for Haiti specializes in bone and muscle injuries, strokes, and patients needing prosthetics.  With a Haitian doctor at the clinic, he saw some pretty incredible 3rd world medical patients.  One patient had a broken jaw that was never reset.  Another patient with a T-11 spinal cord injury was given instructions for the MD a few weeks ago in treating bed sores.  The patient decided to see a voo-doo doctor for a second opinion, a common practice here in Haiti.  The second "doctor" told the patient to not allow anyone to move him and to leave the compression stocking on his leg and not remove.  After 3 weeks of not moving, this paralyzed patient returned to the healing hands clinic with the worst bedsores I've ever seen.  Stage four sores on coccyx, bilateral ischial tuberosities, and up the entire side of one of his legs.  Although Jay took some very incredible photos, I will forgo posting as it will probably not be appropriate for non medical people to see. 

Jay and I under the mango tree
 And as for the TMI-the mosquitoes are plentiful, especially at night.  On one of the first nights here Jay experienced the hard lesson of mosquitoes.  They don't always pick the most ideal locations.  Jay got two mosquito bites on his upper thigh while using the toilet.  Talk about major itch!  Last night before bed Jay said to me-in all seriousness-I really need to use the bathroom, but I think I'll wait until morning.  I just don't want to risk getting another bite.  I couldn't help but laugh.  The sacrifices we make in order to prevent malaria.  Thanks for the doxycylcine, which we take nightly, to prevent the disease while here in Haiti. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Haiti 2012

First Haitian meal-Goat Vertebrae.  Don't beleive my face-I eat goat every year.  It tastes good.  Jay was giving us an anatomy lesson of vertebrae while we ate.  

Dillon and Jay playing around Sunday afternoon at Healing Hands guest house

Here's the team.  3 pharmacists, 6 nurses, 1 nurse practitioner, a med students, a nutritionist, a pre med student a prenursing student, and Marcus, the comedian. 

At church.  I see this little girl ever year I come.  She is getting so big
Some of the Haitians lives in houses and others are still living in tent cities.  This is a view of one of hillsides. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

After 16 hrs of traveling

We arrived in Haiti at noon today after a red eye from LAX into MIA.  Due to schedule changes, the flight arrangements were a mess but luckily Jay was able to fly standby on my flight and we ended up being able to be seated next to each other on the red eye.  Hooray for a shoulder to sleep on. 

It's my 5th trip to Haiti and, as always. it feels a little like coming home when I arrive at the Healing Hands for Haiti property.

It's Jay's first trip and so far he says he loves it.  (Granted all he has seen if the traffic between the airport and the guest house and the beautiful property, including a swimming pool, here on the compound).  After arriving we unpacked bags of supplies, organized it and then spent some time relaxing by the pool waiting for the rest of the team members to arrive.  I took Jay on a small tour to see the 7 acres of property here including where the clinic was before the earthquake and where the new clinic is being built.  He also got to see a view of Boudon town next to the Healing Hands for Haiti compound.  (pictured below)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Oh the Places We'll Go

While Jay brings birding to the relationship, I will be bringing a passport full of stamps and a computer full of photos from places I've been.  With the expenses of dating long distance, wedding stuff, a move to AZ, med school loans, needing to find a job in AZ post move and graduation, family, etc. it appears that my traveling bug may need to take a hiatus for a few years.  (How did this frugal Dougall end up with such an expensive hobby, anyway?!?) 

I had a spark of creativity this year for Christmas.  Actually, it was less creativity and more of a wandering mind while attempting to study for finals that came upon a perfect idea.  (finals are good for something!).  I decided to give Jay an Around the World themed gift tying in my love of traveling and providing him with fun gifts to open each week until we get married.  I think we are on week 6 of 22.  So far he has been to Antarctica (a coupon good for sno cones this summer), the Far East (to celebrate the Chinese New Year with a package of spicy ramen noodles), Africa (a small donation to an organization that supports humanitarian work in Africa), Mexico (ingredients for Salsa), Europe (movie tickets to see Sherlock Holmes), and my favorite, and the first envelop he opened to kick off the Christmas gift, a tour around Utah the week of Christmas (plane ride in a 2 seater plane). 

If you look really close you can see a dot right in the middle.  That is the plane.
 Perfect weather for flying and a fun way to celebrate Christmas

Birding is little bit more of a budget minded hobby and one that we will enjoy until we can afford the places we wish to go someday together. 
Jay suggests that we can go birding in some of the countries we will some day travel.  This will increase the expense of birding exponentially.  I think we'll be staying but in Tucson for a while and enjoying the birds in a landlocked community. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's a bird, it's a plane....No, it's actually an Osprey

We all bring unique talents and strengths into any relationship.  We also bring all the knowledge that we have acquiredin life-what ever that knowledge may be. 

It didn't take very long after Jay and I started dating for me to realize his fascination of birds.  (I know-I thought the same thing-is this a boy in his 20's or 70's?)  It is such a random, unique quirk, I mean talent, that I think it is actually quite adorable.  Often when we are driving in the car or out for a run or hiking on a trail he will stop conversation and point out a certain bird that has caught his attention.  He will direct me to look at the birds tail or wingspan or the curvature of its neck and then explain based on these characteristics what type of bird it is.  He was ecstatic one night when I told him that I identified an owl sitting on a telephone pole.  Without me giving any information he suggested that it was most likely a screech owl.  And he was right.  A few hours later he emailed me a recording of the screech owl call.  Who does that?

A man + A bird. and his girl = happy Jay.

This Canadia goose bit my finger. 
Last week I flew to Arizona for a visit.  On Sunday after church we decided to go feed the ducks at a nearby pond.  Jay started identifying the ducks for me and showing me unique features of several species.  In fact, he was very happy that he correctly identified a Eurasian Widgeon.  (He went home and checked to make sure that he was correct.  He was.  Oh and marked it in his birding journal that he saw this for the first time.) I can't help but smile every time he starts displaying his depth of knowledge in this subject.  I was a few seconds too late in getting a good video of Jay throwing bread to the ducks and identifying the type of bird who caught the bread and whether it was male or female.   I had to pry it out of him in the video I took (which I can't get to load....so if you're ever interested in seeing it, let me know). 

A Eurasian Widgeon that Jay sent me via email.  Notice the hallmark mohawk of this type of bird.
Just trying to educate the rest of the world with the knowledge I'm obtaining one bird at a time.
Back in the fall Jay asked me if someday I might really enjoy bird watching with him.  (He owns several birding books and binoculars so I'm good to go whenever I'm ready to pick up the hobby.)  I told him I would really enjoy going with him, but I'm not really sure I'll ever really enjoy the "sport."  We'll see if with marriage come some changes...and what other unique interests will be revealed. 

 May I point out how appropriate it is that Jay is named after a type of bird.  It was meant to be--Jay and his love of birding. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hello 2012

Did 2012 finally come.  Do you know what that means??  It means this blog (and my graduate schooling) will be coming to an end shortly.  Namely August 9th 2012.  That is the goal, folks.  August 9th is the day I walk.  And I'll be doing a little more than just walking down a graduate stage at BYU that week.  I will also be walking away from Utah shortly after that and making my way to Arizona. 

And the timing of this blog ending happens to coincide perfectly with the next phase of life. 


I'm engaged to Jay Robertson.  The wedding date is set for May 26th, 2012 in Portland, Oregon.

Do I need any other new years goals??  I think this one makes up for the last 5 years of not accomplishing the yearly marriage goal.