Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Words of Wisdom

Upon coming to Guatemala, I was excited to experience a new culture.  I felt like a sponge and took everything that Guatemala had to offer.  We hit the gown running when we arrived to Pahachile.  I literally felt like a chicken with my head cut off.  Every day I leaned something new.  Whether it was trying to understand the different Spanish dialect, the importance of listening to a patient, and even the importance of filling a prescription.

Even though I have been learning so much since I have been here, noting compares to what I have experienced today.  My Spanish is not bad but it is not the best to say the least.  I can understand and read in Spanish better than I can speak.  However, when Dr. Richard rushed to me and asked if I could translate for him, I was in shock.  I was thinking in my head, where in the world is Stephanie I. but she was with Dr. Laurie.  I stuttered yes, as Dr. Richard was looking at me for a quick response. The women who needed Dr. Richard was Valentina and she could not go to the clinic.

I was nervous the whole trip to Valentina’s house.  I was thinking of words to say in Spanish because I knew she spoke a different dialect.  My nerves really began when the taxi stopped at Valentina’s house.  As we got closer into her apartment, I said a little payer and then I was in her in her home.  It was a huge eye opener of how blessed I am.  I realized I take many things for granted in my life.  Her house was not small but I never saw that type of house before in my life.  I felt like I was in a movie because her house reminded me of a dungeon and it was pitch black when we were entering her house. Her floor was concrete with a very little kitchen with four other rooms.  

When I started to translate for Dr. Richard, everything started to flow.  I was able to translate for Valentina and her son-in-law.  I also had privileged to see the importance of at home health care. Dr. Richard was so kind and so gentle with Valentina it made my heat melt.   He treated her with the upmost respect.  I also really appreciated that her son-in-law understood English but he still spoke in Spanish.  Being in Valentina’s home was a great honor, especially, when Valentina and had words of wisdom.  After having personally conversation with her, I felt like I could do anything.  She only knew me for a short period of time and I left her house like I knew her my whole life. I am really grateful for Dr. Richard for believing in my, especially since he has never head me speak Spanish and Adam P. for having faith in me by mentioning my name.

Ashley Carter

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