Sunday, May 19, 2013

Médica Tec100, la casa de Montse, y bailando la salsa

Friday I accompanied Mary and the nursing students to Médica Tec100, one of the private hospitals in Querétaro. They had already spent the previous day at this hospital but I was unable to be there since I was with Ryan at his campus. I had read the course blog post written by Katie that described the hospital but I really wasn't sure what to expect. Upon walking through the automatic glass doors, however, it was like I was transported back home. This hospital has many of the accommodations and resources that are used in the hospitals where I've had clinicals. I noticed air conditioning, hand sanitizers outside each patient's room, electronic vital signs machines, and was able to see the vast amount of modern technology available. The hospital was so clean and sleek and aside from all of the staff speaking Spanish, it was like I was in a hospital from back home. It was difficult for me to think about how this hospital is solely for those who can pay for it and therefore receive state-of-the-art care while the majority of the population goes to places like the general hospital, where care is compromised. 

Sarah and Hannah had gotten to the hospital early at 6:30am (which we later learned had actually been pushed back to 7:30am) to observe a surgery. We met the rest of the group in the lobby at 9am and proceeded to drop them off at each department that they were assigned. We left Heather and Elli M. in the surgical unit, brought Katie to the NICU, and dropped Ellie B. off at the cath lab. There wasn't anything for me and Mary to do so we walked through the hospital, got some coffee, and read for a little bit while we waited. Since there weren't very many patients in the hospital to begin with, none of the girls noted anything remarkable about their mornings other than being able to hold some infants in the mother/baby unit and observe the surgeries. 

After finishing up at the hospital, Mary and I returned home to get ready to head over to Montse's later in the evening for lunch - their lunch usually is between 3-5pm while their dinner takes place around 8pm or later. She had received a beautiful blouse from them the previous year and wanted to wear it, but was unsure of how exactly to style it. So I came to the rescue :) We went downtown and found a cheap but pretty belt to put with the blouse tucked into a skirt. She looked great!

Montse came and picked us up around 5pm and drove us to her home about 15 minutes away. I met her mom, Keta, who cooked us an absolutely delicious meal of pan-seared chicken with mole sauce, rice, black beans, tortillas, jamaica (a type of flower) water, and a gelatin for dessert. I had to keep myself from totally scarfing it all down at once! We were stuffed - or as we have been saying the whole time we've been in Mexico, we had food babies (so much food in your body that you look like you're pregnant from it all popping out). Seriously. Then we played with Cailen (no idea on the spelling), one of the children that Montse and her family take care of throughout the week for one of Abby's (Montse's sister) former university professors. She is only about 6 months old but has the biggest smile with huge dimples! Throughout the whole night she was so happy and always smiling. 

Montse had to run to the ATM to get some cash for salsa dancing later that night, so Mary, Cailen, and I piled into the car to run the errand with her. We actually went to the hospital that she works at, since that had the closest ATM and we wanted to see the floor where she worked. We were also able to meet Guillermo (nicknamed Memo), the guy she has been seeing recently. He's also a nurse but works in the emergency department, while Montse works on another floor. She showed us around the hospital a bit, which is another private one but less selective than Médica Tec100. One thing I found interesting is that the hospital features four master suites, which are for those who can pay for them. The entrance into the area is exactly like a hotel and much different from the rest of the hospital. There is a large sign on the glass door indicating that these are the master suites. We weren't able to look in on the rooms, but Montse said they have a large living room for the families to stay in and it was very apparent just from the lobby area that this unit was set apart from the rest. 

After we returned home, the parents of Cailen and Bastián (the other child who Montse and her family look after who is two years old) were there to pick them up. Queta showed Mary and me some of her Herbalife products that we could try (some aloe concentrate that's added to water, a refreshing facial spray, exfoliating face scrub, etc.) since she is a distributor. We found out that each morning she or someone in her family opens the door to the people in the community and make and sell Herbalife smoothies/shakes to them. Many people walk to work and often pass their house and there is always at least a few people that come buy the drinks. Queta said that she makes more money selling packaged items, though. After the product demonstration, Queta's friend Claudia and her one-year, ten-month-old daughter Valeria showed up for a visit and then Abby and her boyfriend Alan arrived, too. Queta immediately excused herself from us and set about getting food for them. I guess it's common in Mexico to have lots of friends (and family) in and out of the house throughout the day and to feed them! 

We headed out for the salsa dance club around 9:45pm and arrived at 10pm, which was when we told the rest of the group to meet us there. We got in and it was EMPTY - we were EARLY! It turns out that people don't really start arriving and dancing until midnight! We got a spot with four couches pushed together in the second level and got settled in. We ordered our drinks and by the time they arrived, that was when the rest of the people started trickling in. By 11:30pm the place was packed and people were on the dance floor. At one point, two guys approached Sarah and me and tried to have us dance with them. I was actually so bad and trying so hard to really keep my distance from him that I am pretty sure he left within a minute of meeting me because of my inability to get into the rhythm. I had Alex, Ryan's host brother, teach me a few moves to help get me acclimated to moving to the music. It was funny because when I asked him if he knew how to salsa dance and if he could teach me, he said he only knew a little bit. But when we actually started dancing, it turned out that he knew more than just basic moves and could really dance well! The girls and I lamented over how learning to dance is just part of this culture and how we wish it could be the same in the U.S. We had a great time dancing the night away until 2:30am, at which point our ears were ringing and our (or at least my) feet had been stomped on by multiple women's spike heels and we were really getting tired. Alex hailed a taxi for me and Sarah, who decided to stay over at Mary's and my house, and we were home by 3am. 

It was so much fun going out and dancing and totally worth the meager 4.5 hours of sleep I got that night since I had to be up bright and early to head out to San Miguel de Allende for Saturday (today). Even though the cover charge was 50 pesos, all the drinks were outrageously overpriced, and the taxi ride home cost another 60 pesos, it was definitely a worthwhile experience and I hope we do it again before we leave :) 


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