PINCC

Nicaragua 2012 trip diary: Felicidades a Mamá

mothersday

By Tina Romenesko

There was definitely an energy of celebration in the air as we headed toward that hospital in the morning. Mother’s Day in Nicaragua is a national and obligatory holiday. Imagine that! Only the restaurants and stores are open and everyone is shopping for mom! As we passed the market, I saw a large table completely filled with mother´s day cakes, a yellow cake with bright white frosting and lots of red frosting roses with Felicidades a Mamá written across the top. I bet there were 50 of them, monitored by two young boys, towels in hand, swatting at the ubiquitous flies that were trying to land on these masterpieces.   Details


Nicaragua 2012 trip diary: Healing

healing2

By Tina Romenesko

The chairs were two deep in the hallways when we arrived at the hospital for our second day of the mission.  By 11:00, we had interviewed 30 patients and were well into seeing them in the treatment rooms.  There are usually 4 treatment rooms running at one time – each one lead by one of the four medical professionals on our trip.  Pam, Ilana, Ann, and Karen.  Our mission is to teach the Nicaraguan staff and ideally graduate them to teaching their own staffs in outlying hospitals how to perform the cervical screenings and remove pre-cancerous lesions on their own. Sadly, most of the clinics don´t have the equipment needed to remove the lesions, either by freezing them (cryotherapy) or excising them with a live wire (LEEP).  Training is one issue and funding equipment to do so is another. Details


Nicaragua 2012 trip diary: Where the streets have no names

nicaragua streets

By Tina Romensko

We began the day on the rooftop of the Hotel San Francisco, connecting our DFW hearts and minds with a gentle yoga practice overlooking the city of Granada. It felt so good to move and breathe together.  I taught the group Trimurti and Yoni mudras (hand gestures associated with the feminine body, mind, and spirit), uniting our intention of women helping women, as we headed for Leon and the beginning of our true meaning for being in Nicaragua, our medical mission with PINCC, or Prevention International:  No Cervical Cancer. Details


Nicaragua 2012 trip diary: Today I fell in love with Lake Nicaragua

lake nicaragua

By Tina Romenesko

Manuel, our guide, and the lovely Flavia met us at 8:00 for our kayaking excursion on Lake Nicaragua.  The double kayaks offered us a stable entry into the second largest fresh water lake in Latin America.  We began our journey exploring the calm estuaries of the Peninsula de Asese.  Surrounded by water lilies and mangroves, we wove in and out and around small islands that are most likely the result of volcanic activity from 10,000 years ago.  Details


Nicaragua 2012 trip diary: On our way

By Tina Romenesko


The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  -Lau Tzu

Headed for Nicaragua TODAY – for a medical mission – my first!  The opportunity is part of the Dining for Women program – thanks to Jill Haas for inviting me to be a part of the Milwaukee chapter.  I will have the opportunity to visit numerous projects funded by this group – including a completely independent women’s sewing cooperative in Managua. Details


El Salvador 2012 trip diary: Training day

By Ruthann Marquis
Portland, OR

An early start to our first day with the PINCC team included a hearty breakfast at 6:30 and filling two vans that headed out of San Salvador to the town of Nejapa.  There we joined 33 doctors and nurses for a day of training.  The nurses and some of the doctors (this week known as students) learned about the disease process of cervical cancer and the visual inspection procedure with acetic acid (AKA common kitchen vinegar) known as VIA.  This is the low cost, very transportable, visual screening that PINCC takes on the road to low-resource countries. Details


El Salvador 2012 trip diary: Reflections

By Patricia Spross

Today is Wednesday and I woke with a migraine.   So I stayed home to sleep in my dark room until it passed.  Waking in the early afternoon, I take this time to reflect on my first day at the clinic.  Nearly 60 women were treated in an energetic setting of Salvadorean doctors whom PINCC has trained to teach the screening procedure (maestras).  Also present were about 15 to 20 doctors and nurses being trained by the maestras to perform the vinegar procedure.   Details


El Salvador 2012 trip diary: At the clinic

By Patricia Spross

Today we worked at the clinic in San Jacinto, about 45 minutes outside of San Salvador. The doctors saw about 45 women.  Once again, I was given the opportunity to do interviews.   Nearly half of the women I interviewed had experienced some form of sexual abuse.  They never included those experiences when they gave the number of their sex partners.  There were psychologists on hand to counsel these women.  Details


El Salvador 2012 trip diary: First Day in Action!

By Ruthann Marquis
Portland, OR

Our first day in action with PINCC sped by! Severe traffic delayed our start which added to the frenzy. We worked at a Pro Vida clinic in Nejapa, where women had already been screened for the services offered today. There was an entire courtyard of women waiting when we arrived! Work stations were established, rooms were stocked, paperwork was stacked and patients were seen. Details


Nicaragua 2012 trip diary: The poetry of Dario

DFW PINCC Nicaragua trip 073

By Tina Romenesko

Before heading for the hospital, Patricia and Carol worked together to assemble the group, in full scrubs, for a photo. These two groups have melded seamlessly into one over the past 5 days. In our group meeting, the PINCC volunteers admitted they were skeptical about the  “Dining for Women” volunteers when we came in on Sunday. They´d already had a full week together and were very close, but the lines have completely blurred now and I can sense a gratitude that flows beautifully both ways between all of us.  Ann and Karen have even expressed an interest in joining a DFW group when they get home. Another full circle.  Details


Nicaragua 2012 trip diary: Endings

Julio, our guide, arrived at 8:00 sharp for our walking tour of Leon. After a few short blocks, he conscientiously sat us in the shade in front of a large mural that related the history of Nicaragua from its indigenous roots to the current president, Daniel Ortega. Interspersed with our history lesson, Julio encouraged members of our group to read aloud pieces of literature in English, merging sentiment and imagery with fact.  Lezli and I took turns reading A Roosevelt by Rubén Darío, which speaks directly and frankly to the bullying of Latin America by the U.S. government. Details


Nicaragua 2012 trip diary: In a country this poor, every donation is appreciated

nicaragua_truck

By Tina Romenesko

Friday morning.  Our last day with the medical mission.  The workload was lighter than expected as a group of 19 women, that we were hoping would arrive from a distant village, were unfortunately not going to be able to make the trip to the clinic.  The interpreters were sent into the hallways to do patient education and do interviews assessing the level of knowledge patients had about health issues in general, and cervical cancer, specifically.  Details


Nicaragua 2012 trip diary: We can fix this

datainput-PINCC

By Tina Romenesko

By 8:00 a.m, we were in the hotel lobby, wearing our scrubs and ready to go.  We each made a name tag that could be easily pronounced by our Nicaraguan patients. Lezli, Catarina, Daniela, Lina… then made some adjustments.  The hospital was crowded, inside and out, packed with people waiting to be seen.  We moved through the non-air conditioned hallways, heading toward the air conditioned conference room to meet the Nicaraguan doctors, nurses, and residents.  This is a teaching hospital, and some of the medical staff has worked with PINCC in the past three years, practicing to gain proficiency with the procedures to prevent cervical cancer.   Details