I have been so busy and having so much fun that it is hard to find time to write… but I know everyone is SUPER excited to hear about my crazy life here so I will keep writing!
Christmas Eve… I went with my mama during the hospital during the day. I put on the operating room garb, a mask and shoe covers. Then, I headed into the operating room with her, another doctor, an anesthesiologist and four nurses and the patient. My mama is a gyno/delivery room doctor. She invited me to watch a cesarean! The girl was only 19 years old and she was so tiny that a cesarean was her only option. As she came into the operating room, I could see the look of terror on her face… she was obviously very scared and I do not blame her. I surely admire her courage for being so young and preparing for the biggest change of her life. I will basically summarize what happened. She was given an IV and a shot in her spine. Then they put up sheets on her and a sheet up so that she could not see them operating on her. My mom then took the knife and cut her open… the skin cut so easily. I eventually saw my mom break her water… it was basically like a water fall and they had a tube to suck the water out so it would not go all over the floor. I saw a head of a baby boy… and I got tears in my eyes! It was even more touching when I saw the two nurses showing the mom her new baby! Giving birth is truly a miracle and such a blessing. Now I understand why guys cry when they become fathers. Then, my mom pulled out the placenta that had the umbilical cord attached to it and she threw it in the garbage. It reminded me of a jellyfish… I still do not know entirely why. Then, my mom showed me the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries… she just pulled them out of the girl like it was nothing then shoved them back inside and sewed her up. Later on, I found out that they gauze pads are hand folded individually by a lady… they are not in pre-wrapped packages. Well… this was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so thankful that I has able to watch the miracle of life! This experience has made me want to become a nurse even more but we will see where my life will take me!
On Christmas Eve, we ate dinner a little before midnight. We had turkey, beef and potatoes. My family said that it was their first time having turkey for Christmas. I think they were trying to make me feel more at home. However, there was no tree and my family said this is the first year they did not put a tree up either. The only Christmas decoration was a little santa that sticks to the window and sings “Jingle Bells” but only the 1st line and it repeats 3 times in the most annoying voice ever… IN ENGLISH! My parents were kidding with me and telling me to go from door to door and carol because people do not carol here. At midnight, we went outside and watched fireworks. Random people set off fireworks at their house for Christmas and my I heard there are even more for New Years. There were fireworks in every direction and it was absolutely beautiful watching them go off all over the city. Some of them kept going until one in the morning. I guess in past years, my brother liked to set them off. But, my Papa showed me where bricks were missing in my neighbor’s fence because of my brother…. Lets just say that all the fireworks didn’t explode in the air like they were supposed to.
Christmas, I went out at 3amwith my sister to her friend’s house…. That is right, Christmas time here is a time for family, friends and fun. Anyways, there was a little party at her house then we all went and partied on the street outside the club. My friends did not feel like paying 60 pesos to enter so we just waited until the party was over and we greeted some of our friends that were coming out. I also witnessed a horrific fight. In the middle of the street, outside the club, these guys started throwing fists. Then, of course, other guys had to join. I saw blood on the one guy’s neck and I grabbed onto my friend because I was actually pretty scared. Then, the police came in with masks, shields and nightsticks to break it up. The one kid would not stop throwing punches so the police had to crack him really hard on the back of the neck and head with his nightstick. I never seen so many policemen… let alone with shields! After they broke the fight up, nothing really happened. The guys did not even get any type of punishment… now I understand why there are so many fights here!
My brother’s girlfriend gave me a shirt for Christmas which was very thoughtful. It was writing in English but it really does not make sense. My “aunt” got me a figurine of two people dancing the tango and she still thinks my name is Carla. My parents got me a nice black dress that I plan on wearing for New Years.
I HAVE BEEN HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE! My host sister is home from college on break and so I have been able to meet all of her friends. They are a little older than me and around my sister’s age back home. I love actually hanging out with people here that can drive! I have had so much fun the past few days cursing in the cars and trucks. Sadly, we end up trying to jam way too many people in a vehicle that only seats half the people that we want to go. I was able to meet my sister’s friend that was an exchange student in Belgium and she is an absolutely wonderful person. In her car, she makes sure everyone wears a seatbelt. I have been getting home around 8 in the morning and that is normal for me now. Before, I would stay up until 3 and be dead tired now I can stay up even longer… my immunity is built up but I will definitely need a few weeks to adjust to not staying up all night back home! The other night, well morning, we were hanging out with my sister’s friends and they started arguing. THEY ARGUED FOR 3 HOURS. I was basically in tears. I hate arguing… let alone in Spanish?! The one kid was complaining out how he does not like the President because she does not do anything to help the middle class. But my sister was trying to point out that if it wasn’t for his mom, he would not be middle class. Right now, he is about 22 years old… he doesn’t go to school or work… and his mom has a job but his dad is a drunk and just gets luck gambling at the casino. My sister says that he needs to learn from his dad. Then they started arguing about he casino, so I laid my head on the table and fell asleep.
I love it here how teenagers do not have jobs… they tell me that it is because there are not a lot of jobs. That may be true but I think it is also the way their culture is. Parents just give their kids money… they are NOT learning how to manage money. Most of them end up sending the money on cigarettes and alcohol at parties. Parents support their kids financially until they get their own job. Do not get me wrong, sometimes that is the case back home too but most of the time, the kids get their own jobs to help out financially.
My sister’s one friend keeps calling me a Yankee… it makes me laugh. They all think that I am so odd because I do not drink alcohol. They said that all the other exchange students drank that I am the first one who does not drink or smoke. My brother’s friends said the same thing. They said that some exchange students came and did not drink a lot but they were drunks by the time they left and they said that would be the same with me. I told them no and I know I will prove them wrong. Legally, I am allowed to drink since I am 18 years old… I could easily walk into the grocery store and choose any type of alcohol I would ever desire. But, I have fun without it and I refuse to waste my money on it when I do not even like it. Also, I am not supposed to because it is a regulation of my exchange program. However, that does not stop the other kids, As for me, I play mom and I take care of everyone because some people still do not know their limit.
I am loving summer vacation…
I have about a month more before I have to go back to school.
I hope that everyone had a wonderful CHRISTMAS!