Contribution from Sallie Weissinger
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Chelsea Kreitlow and Rebecca Rich share a lot in common. Both are college students planning on a likely career in medicine; both love to travel and have a passion for doing humanitarian work; and both are accompanying their gynecologist mothers on PINCC's Nicaragua trip. They spend their days working together in the hospital, doing patient interviews, entering patient data into the PINCC computer, helping clean equipment, and doing whatever it takes to keep the process moving. When necessary, they run out to a pharmacy to buy pregnancy tests, hold anxious patients' hands in the exam rooms. and answer a variety of questions about supplies, charts, and people's whereabouts. They're amazing!
Chelsea, 22, comes from Wisconsin and is in her final semester of college at the University of Minnesota, where she's majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in Spanish. She says growing up with a doctor mom meant she always got honest, straight-forward answers about the human body. She remembers being very young and asking her mother where babies came from. Hearing the facts of life she immediately said, "Mom, you're lying." She laughs about it now, and is intensely proud of her mother's work. Chelsea enjoys the culture and language in Nicaragua and most of all the chance to share this trip with her mother. "It's very rewarding to get to help the women here. And it makes me happy to see my mother being so happy doing this – she's such a giving person."
Rebecca, 20, has just finished her second year at Occidental College. Born and raised in San Francisco, she's majoring in Urban Studies with an emphasis in Public Health and is taking pre-med coursework. Becca recalls being a child and loving to tell her friends that her mom, Laurie Miller, was a doctor and delivered babies. She also remembers being frustrated at times that her mom couldn't come to all her soccer games or pick her up after school, but "it taught me independence and how to balance work and family. It's awesome to be here. I'm so proud of her taking her skills around the world. I get to see her in action and see how good she is at her work."
Both young women talk fondly of having spent time at their moms' workplace – the hospital – when they were younger. They got cookies and chocolate from the cafeteria and candy and stickers from the nurses "if they were good." They both rememer how the smell of the hospital made them feel comfortable, very much at home. That sense of comfort will take them far - it's already brought these two impressive young women to Nicaragua with PINCC... and they're just starting out.
Thank you, Sallie!
Sallie has developed a prototype Bounce necklace featured in our photo. Here is a description: - pink / PINCC necklace with three pink plastic keys attached with three rustic ivory strips of Bounce. Orders are starting to pile up, so ACT NOW to get yours in time for the summer mosquito season!!
Leon City tour with Julio
A group of us enjoyed a city tour featuring an Art Museum with paintings ranging from the 1600's to contemporary works by Central American artists. We also visited San Francisco church, and took a photo of our group in the doorway. Our tour guide, Julio, made Nicaragua's recent history come alive. Imprisoned as a teen by Somoza, Julio became a Sandinista guerilla in the mountains, studied in Cuba and St. Petersburg Russia, endured a failed attempt to migrate to the US, and finally found his calling as a learned and entertaining tour guide here in Leon. Julio will travel with us to Laguna de Perla, and we expect to learn more about the difficult history of this fascinating country.
Our day in the hospital
The photos speak for themselves. Mary's photo of the hospital entrance speaks to both the poverty and color of this tropical city. It was a busy, fulfilling day. Once the clinicians and their trainees had seen all of the patients that had been referred to the hospital for treatment, the team was able to do screening for a number of hospital employees.