After lunch, we worked to place the heavy structure onto the post and the Beast raised it. With the cables tightened, the structure was lowered again to put each blade on. Once completed, the Beast raised it again. It stood firmly above, better than before and it was a proud moment to say the least.
The highlight of the workshop this week was learning about the electrical and digital sides of the turbine. This included setting up a circuit that made use of the current generated from the turbine mounted on the roof of the workshop. I gained hands-on experience as I connected the components together and asked about their purpose, learning useful technical information.
In school, most students going into a medical profession will learn some "cardinal rules of medicine". These “rules” are there to help you when things get tough and also to make sure you can help patients as best you can. This week, one of these rules, Rule #2, was tested out as I helped deliver a set of twins to a sweet first time mother.
Much of the material in the medicine class was interesting to me. Most notably, Dr. Neira reported that 34% of the children in the community the clinic serves have anemia. Contrary to popular belief, the problem in Peruvian families is not necessarily a lack of income, but a lack of wisdom on where to allocate their resources. Dr. Neira explained the difference between symptoms (described about a patient by a third party of by him or herself) and signs (a measurable result of illness). He then went through the process of a general examination with us, and taught us the main Spanish words to know when performing these. We then practiced general examinations on one another, and on one young girl from the community that had spent time with us during the class.
12:00 am: It was time for dinner: hot chocolate milk, turkey, applesauce, and fruitcake. After dinner, we opened presents. Mommy got us each a purse and earrings. The whole family, including myself, found great joy in watching Mary’s, our host sister, son open his Christmas presents. I was amazed by the thoughtful gifts exchanged between our family members.
This is where health education comes into play; it must start at the top of the ladder and trickle down. Government officials need to realize the flaw in this policy. Peruvian doctors need to understand the danger in over prescribing drugs to patients. Without understanding that bacterial strands can develop resistance to antibiotics, it seems like there would be no repercussions for giving out pills as if they were candy. Doctors also need to advocate for more restrictions on pharmaceutical distribution. Individuals need to be taught to take antibiotics seriously.