Sunday, June 5, 2011


I have been here almost a month now and it has been going so well. I am beginning to become more active with different trainings. Thus far I have led one training on the Moringa tree at a housing area for women about to give birth. I also did a community health training in a small town in a beautiful area called Miraflor. They have asked me to return for another training in July. Today I led a first aid training to a group of volunteer firefighters. For all of these trainings I have planned, gathered information,and led them all. Each one is a challenge and a blessing. It is such a great joy to teach others basic skills that may help save their lives and the lives of others. I have found my life's calling and feel blessed for this opportunity.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Teaching CPR to hospitals

I was recently asked to teach CPR at a local hospital in Esteli where the organization is based out of. I initially understood that they were medical students, however, once I arrived I learned that they were medical doctors and were soon to begin rotation. I introduced myself and added that I taught basic first aid to community members and so my explanations may be a bit simple compared to what they are used to. Overall, the presentation went well. We talked about the reasons to use CPR and I also presented how to use it in rural settings in case someone has a heart attack not in a hospital. I asked many questions which they answered readily and scientifically. There were some instances that I didn't understand everything they said, but that's okay. We then began the fun stuff, practicing. We reviewed the steps for adults, kids, and babies. Since there were no dolls to practice with, one of the doctors volunteered to be a patient. The training lasted about an hour and I answered what questions came up. It was a challenging yet interesting experience. The students appreciated the discussion and the practice. Which is what is the purpose of the training.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First trainings set up

My second day here I created an assessment form that was sent to the Peace Corps volunteers in the northern region where I hope to work. The assessment specified what information I could teach and asked what that the community members specifically wanted. I received one response thus far and it is to teach 5-6 topics to 30 health workers in the town of Jinetega on June 25. Yesterday I also went to a safety and security meeting for Peace Corps volunteers in the northern region. I introduced myself and passed out copies of the assessment with my contact information in the hopes that I can schedule more trainings. The Director and I passed by the firestation in Somoto and met the fire chief Freddy. We set a date for June 5 to have a refresher training on first aid and practice mock scenarios. On the way back, Rodney and I discussed ideas of how to make a training video so the firefighters could keep it and review it whenever they wanted. I set that as an activity to look up or find someone who could be willing to edit videos we made.

Last night I met with the coordinators of Global Glimpse to discuss what I will be training them on Monday and Tuesday in regards to first aid. I informed them on what we would be discussing and listened to ideas of what they wanted. The meeting ended with everyone excited about the training.

Monday, May 16, 2011

arrived in Esteli

I arrived yesterday in Esteli and have been speaking with the Director of ERSLA, Rodney, about the various projects that I will be working on. As Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) we understand the importance of sustainability and working with interested community members.  Of the projects, from teaching first aid to first responders, community members, and more to teaching about a local tree Maranga with many health benefits, it is important to ensure that the interested parties are as committed to learning as we are to teaching.

I'm really excited to be here and be part of a grassroots organization that is focused on addressing community health needs.

My first job is to design a first aid class that will be taught in about a week to a group of Coordinators for a local non profit organization that works with youth. I have only been recently certified in First Aid through the American Red Cross and so my knowledge is rather limited. Yet with internet access, reference books, and previous community health knowledge from working in rural areas I know enough of the basics to make the class a success.