I overlooked it – thought it was a corn crib and concluded that this house had no visible latrine. Jill Olszewski went further to see directly and found that the squat adobe structure with the slanting tin roof sheltered the household “facility.” It was a good catch. It’s the first such structure I’ve seen in the four years of walking Cuje’s mountains, and it reminds me of the creative and improvisational capabilities of these resilient people.
Our friend at INPRHU sent an email suggesting a partnership arrangement. Our role would focus on mapping – using our GPS technology to locate and record information of use to INPRHU, especially the location of local artisans whose crafts and talents could be marketed to tourists and prospects. INPRHU and others are committed to helping indigenous people of the region reclaim their heritage, and recent claims suggest that 90% of the region’s local populations are descended from the Chorotega people. INPRHU would like for us to help research the market prospects for tourism and for Chorotega crafts and cultural fare.
We have responded with cautious interest, suggesting that we cannot change course quickly or easily and that we have ongoing understandings with the Totagalpa clinic and the mayor’s office, but that we would welcome the opportunity to support INPRHU efforts. We will make some effort to share information with INPRHU this year, and we will consider their proposal very carefully in the coming year.
Today’s clinic was even more exceptional: 104 patients were seen and no one was turned away. Our formulary is not entirely adequate, but we are responding to the presenting symptoms with appropriate medications. The field teams completed interviews in eight houses and were treated to a short musical performance of traditional music at one of the homes. It’s possible that we’ve persuaded the musician to bring his band to the clinic on Friday for a brief demonstration of traditional music. Sadly, his guitar is the only instrument for the band. Still, he’s very proud to be keeping alive the music of his forefathers.