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.
- •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.
- •I am a slow, cautious hiker. He is not.
- •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.
- •It had been raining all day, changing the normally small clear stream that we had forded the day before into a muddy red torrent.
- •We looked for another place to cross.There were none.
- •We threw rocks in hoping to make a path.No luck. They all got washed downstream.
- •He just jumped between the one big exposed rock and made it to the other side, leaving water bottles, pregnancy tests, and myself behind.
- •We decide I should throw these things across before crossing myself.
- •The water bottle makes it across just fine.
- •The pregnancy tests do not.It is 100% my fault. In addition to being a bad hiker I really can't throw.
- •They are carried rapidly down the muddy, ever growing stream.
- •After chasing them on both sides of the stream we admit defeat.
- •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.
- •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.
- •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.
- •Someone else will find several other pregnancy tests downstream and will wonder how they got there.
- •Now you know how.