Hola everyone. It has been blazing hot here the past couple of days and super humid, with torrential rain in the afternoon and evenings, I kind of wanted to check the weather channel just to make sure we weren't in the middle of a tropical storm or something. It's only Tuesday but I feel like this week has been really long (in a good way). I'm over half-way done and I don't really want to come back yet.
On Monday I got to experience public transportation in a new way, via the car system. The cars run routes within the city and cost only 10 pesos. First of all, all of the cars look like they had a former life as demolition derby cars, and they are all toyota corrolas or a similiar size car. You can easily fit 7 people in these cars (who needs minivans and the extended SUVs). So on Monday we get in an F car and there were only three of us in the back seat and three people in the front (including the driver). The two people in the front seat get out and we pick up another guy with a bag and he sits in the front. As he's getting in I hear clucking, that's right clucking. He must have seen the look on our faces because he turns around and says "Pollos" (which is spanish for chicken). I have been on guaguas with bundles of bananas, plantains, rice, and a number of other produce/vegetation, but never chicken. So that's F car story number one. Story number two on our way back on Monday we pick up a security guard with a pistol strapped to his belt, and there are 7 people total in a toyota corolla and I'm thinking "I really hope he has the safety on." then I think "Do they even have the safety feature on guns here?" I guess I should be glad he didn't have a shotgun or rifle with him. F car story number 3, pretty sure today our car was dragging on the road with the 7 of us in there. And my final F car story doesn't involve one I was on, but something I observed. The driver was helping a mom load her kids into the car and then he gets in the driver's seat and she puts another kid on his lap! She gets in the car and they drive off.
Yesterday we had a new high for number of people in a guagua, 26 in a small guagua, that may be a new record. Today our guagua driver did a little offroading, in the states it would be considered driving on the shoulder, but they don't really have shoulders here, they have grass and a drainage system and there were several times with I thought we were going to either hit a car or spill into the drainage system. At one point I actually closed my eyes because I couldn't watch. One thing that's nice though, is the at the guagua drivers and the copratoras(the guy who collects money) recognize us and will leave the route and drop us off closer to where we pick up the F car. And they also stop traffic at noon to load us on the guagua. They yell out "Licey, Licey, Licey" we give them the head nod and then they wait for us.
An update for you on things seen on the back of motos (motorcycles/dirt bikes) 1)a toilet 2)a flock of turkeys(in a cage thingy) 3)large sack of potatoes.
Today we went to a house to see a patient and as we were trying to figure out how to help break up his tone, Erin says "Just so you guys know, I think they are training a rooster for cock fighting outside." I didn't I'd ever hear someone say that. I'm really enjoying my clinical sight, we have to do a little more work with documentation and stuff, but it's great to see the different parts of the city. And when we go to a neighborhood and the little kids come out and yell "Americano, Americano." We call it Americans on parade, today I even hummed a little John Philip Sousa as we walked down the road.
Yesterday we actually split up to see some kids and my group was done first so we were waiting outside the clinic and soon drew a crowd of kids. Some of them were doing a little street luge on a homemade luge. I called it a TBI trap (traumatic brain injury, PT school has warped me). Because these kids are riding down a hill on a piece of wood on wheels with trucks, cars, and motos whizzing by them. Anyway we got tired of waiting and being stared at, so I busted out the burbujas (bubbles) and man those kids loved it, even the older kids. It was really fun to play with them and see that something a simple as bubbles could get the whole block excited.
Well I think that's about it for now, I'll try to put some more pictures up tomorrow. Thanks for the comments on the guestbook and emails. Talk to you later.