I started my home visits this week. In my Healthy Homes program I am required to go around and visit the families in my community to introduce myself, explain my work and see in what condition the families live. On Tuesday morning I walked around with the President of the COCODE, like the city council, and a lady who is on the Comisión de Salud (Health Commission). We walked around Sector 1 of Pett. We literally hiked up and down these huge mountains in more mud. I was carrying Lubu most of the time and I had a few close calls but I managed to stay on my feet all day! We visited about 20 homes. The first house I introduced myself and tried to ask if the family had any health concerns and they were like “No, we are very healthy.” A little more prodding revealed that one child has a respiratory infection, the number one illness in children in Guatemala. I quickly realized though I would need a different approach in going to these houses. The families, mainly women, were all very weary of me. I decided it was just best to present myself and my work and not ask about any illnesses. I tried to take a mental survey of the condition of each home. The main thing I noticed is a lack of a cement floor and also a clean latrine. One home just had a wooden seat constructed over a hole in the side of the mountain as their latrine. I think Sector 1 has the most need of the whole community and this gives me “ganas” (excitement/happiness/desire) to start work. I still have 4 other sectors to visit and after I see the whole community I will be able to assess the community and how I will begin my work.
Today I also met with my counterpart at the health post in the big town. He is going to meet with all the community leaders and discuss our problems and also try to give more information about our jobs just to clarify a few things. Also, he talked about my idea for doing a Recycled Plastic Bottle Health Post. I originally wanted to do it in my community but they want to start building soon so it wouldn’t work. My counterpart wants us, Rebecca, Cathaleen and myself, to have our communities help gather bottles and then expand the health post in the main town of Santa Eulalia. I think this is a great idea because the health post needs to be much bigger and then it will also serve as an example to other communities how the whole process works. I am SO excited to get started on this project!
Finally, I played soccer…err Futbol! Cathaleen and I played with the women who work at the health post in Santa Eulalia. It was an indoor game and I had so much fun. Some of the women were very competitive and aggressive but the little soccer player who still lives in me came out and I showed them a Gringa can hold her own on the soccer field. I even scored two goals. I had a blast and it was nice getting to know the staff better outside of work. Cathaleen and I are going to play on the official Santa Eulalia Health Post team in September when we have a whole gathering of all health posts in my state! Represent!