Adventures in Global Health: Volume 1

I'm volunteering for a year in rural Mexico. This may be a theme from now on. Here's just one story involving me, and river, and a box of pregnancy tests.
  1. I'm with the person I'm replacing for two weeks learning the lay of the land.
    And I mean physically. We've been walking 7 or 8 miles a day, and by walking I mean hiking.
  2. I am a slow, cautious hiker. He is not.
  3. We are both carrying water bottles and rain jackets. He is also carrying a box of pregnancy tests to take to the clinic where we are headed.
  4. It had been raining all day, changing the normally small clear stream that we had forded the day before into a muddy red torrent.
  5. We looked for another place to cross.
    There were none.
  6. We threw rocks in hoping to make a path.
    No luck. They all got washed downstream.
  7. He just jumped between the one big exposed rock and made it to the other side, leaving water bottles, pregnancy tests, and myself behind.
  8. We decide I should throw these things across before crossing myself.
  9. The water bottle makes it across just fine.
  10. The pregnancy tests do not.
    It is 100% my fault. In addition to being a bad hiker I really can't throw.
  11. They are carried rapidly down the muddy, ever growing stream.
  12. After chasing them on both sides of the stream we admit defeat.
  13. I take off my shoes and wade across because this stream has already proved that if we go head to head, there is a clear winner and it is not me.
  14. We hike downstream, collecting a small audience along the way, where we find a single soaked pregnancy test.
    I attempt to help, but once again am mostly useless, only achieving sympathy from a number of local women.
  15. The single pregnancy test was in a waterproof pouch inside its box.
    One more woman in this town will get to know whether or not she's pregnant. So not a total loss.
  16. Someone else will find several other pregnancy tests downstream and will wonder how they got there.
  17. Now you know how.