Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rice Makes Everything Better

Today I encountered the first real issue working in this field. We had planned with the health center a couple weeks back to have an HIV testing day. We even mobilized and announced it at our sensitization. There was some miscommunication between the community, the health center, and us. The community thought that UVP was holding a testing day with outside nurses and staff coming, but we had partnered with the health center to hold it. Still, the nurses at the health center were not helpful. People had waited outside all day to get tested, but the staff just told them to keep waiting. When we finally found out there was an issue, the nurses said that the people never came up and asked her for anything. Yet, she did not openly go and talk to the people either. After discovering there was an issue, we realized that the community does not trust or value the health center. At first, I thought it may have just been an exaggeration, but I’m beginning to learn why the relationship between the health center and the community is sour. The nurses have difficult jobs, but they are also difficult to work with.

After trying to patch up our failed testing day, we picked ourselves up by planning for Family Planning sensitization on Friday. Around 5, we (Isaac, Andrew, and I) headed to the rice field with the favorite family and some others. We hung out atop one of the hills in the middle of the rice fields where the kids sit during the day yelling to scare the birds away. We played cards, took pictures, and danced. We sat and watched the sun set over the rice fields and it was absolutely gorgeous. We also had pork for the first time for dinner, which was really yummy. NOMS.

(A picture one of the kids, Batale, got of me)

(the field!)