Sunday, September 04, 2011

First full day in Puerto Rico

First full day in Puerto Rico

After the bumpy start, I’m pleased to say the trip got much smoother! Our first full day was spent doing outreach at nearby colleges and medical schools.

We visited San Juan Bautista Medical School in Caguas. Donna gave the HPS presentation to a combined group from the classes of 2013 and 2015. I’d guess maybe there were 100 students and others from the school that came just because they were interested.

Not surprisingly, Donna managed to move everyone in the room with her presentation. After her talk the medical students were lining up to look into our eyes and see nystagmus and transillumination of the iris. No one had a pin light, so they were using the flash lights built into some mobile phones these days. We were, of course, happy to let them look.

We also had a chance to sit down with some of the faculty of the school. They were very welcoming and wanted to find some projects their students could work on collaboratively with the HPS Network. That was very exciting. I’m hoping that in the next few months I can tell you more about this, but some very important details need to be ironed out first.

I got a preview of the school tour as I tried to sneak away to find a restroom, and when I returned the whole group had gone. So, I started wandering the halls (the school isn’t very big) and bumped into some students who helped me find the group. They were going to attend the lecture and actually seemed excited about it.

Next we went to a junior college (I have to double-check the name). Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures there. I was a little pre-occupied with my tummy that was acting up.

The group we met with at this college were students and facility who are training to be counselors. Some will be therapist-type counselors and some voc. rehab counselors. The group was smaller, maybe 20, but the school was out on vacation at the time. We did the powerpoint, but it was more informal, sitting around in a circle and having more of a conversation about some of the psycho-social aspects of living with HPS.

We ended the day at Columbia University – not the one in New York – grin! There, we gave the presentation to some of the nursing faculty.

It was a full day!

We were all pretty tired and decided to eat in the hotel that night and go to bed early.

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