Saturday, January 12, 2008

Not what you think

Despite all indications to the contrary, this is not Zooey and her litter box. No, this is Zooey and a birthday cake made for a cat crazed friend. Layers of cake, butterscotch pudding, chocolate chip muffins, vanilla pudding, topped with crumbled cookie and artfully carved tootsie rolls. Served (because presentation is very important) in a new litter pan with scoop for dishing out the, well, stuff. Note the clever addition of a tootsie turd hanging over the edge.
This is not a cake for the faint hearted, and I nearly turned green myself as I was assembling it. Not something I will repeat, though carrying in a filled and used litter box to the office gave me some kind of perverse enjoyment, and I wish I could have seen the looks on Amy's two boys faces when they saw it. If only I had had the internal fortitude to spell out Happy Birthday Amy in poo script- that would have been a fine finishing touch.
Next year Amy can make her own cake.
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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Where we are not...

The front lawn of Fusimana, Lajas de Yaroa, Dominican Republic, home base for the team of nursing students and others taking part in the Partners for Rural Health in the Dominican Republic winter trip.

Right now there are sixty or so souls down there who have given up the joys of a Maine winter to travel south to deliver health care to Dominican villagers. Our teams arrive twice a year with medications, supplies and most importantly, caring smiles and hands. In little mountain towns that exist with minimal infrastructure, treacherous roads, unreliable power, questionable water sources, and a non-existent social safety network the teams arrive and set up clinics. The students are learning the basics of the physical exam and the intricacies of cross-cultural care, but really they're learning about the world and their place in it. Those who make the trip often say they've received more from the folks in our villages than they receive from us in terms of soap and tylenol and diabetes teaching.

I'm thinking a lot about the team that's down there now, and I send them health, strength and safety. Here's to them, and our friends in El Hoyaso, El LLano, Yayita, Rincones, Yaroa, Caya Quemada, La China, Arroyo Ancho, Pajones and all the other people in places that are so dear to my heart.

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