Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on March 25, 2010

Vaccine #6: Rabies (part 3 of 3)

“This is the hardest job you’ll ever love,” is the PC saying. Well, this hasn’t felt like work so far. *knock on wood* CBT is almost halfway over and site interviews are coming up.

I’m decompressing from this hub so random ramblings to follow:

A PCT shared an interesting anecdote about her CBT community: At one CBT site, past PCVs have been of Asian decent so the community developed the idea that all Americans shared such common features. Thus, the townspeople were surprised when other people from America didn’t resemble the “Americans” they hosted before. I saw the humor in this is a case of incorrect racial profiling and laughed when she told me.

PC provides a lot of training for their future PCVs. Sometimes the topics can be long but overall, I dig it. I also received my full PC medical kit (it’s massive) and PC cookbook (excited to put to use!).

Harassment and Unwanted Attention session was today. Although I’ll meet other PCVs throughout my service, people from my Stage are/will be my best support network. It definitely feels like PCVs really look out and advocate for each other (gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.)

Active PCVs can participate in working groups (boy, I wasn’t sure I’d hear those two words used together again) and committees. It’s too early now but I’m excited to learn more and join one (or two)! (Yes, things like this make me happy. J)

A couple nights ago, I chipped a tooth while flossing. Yes, you read that right – chipped my tooth while flossing. This has been happening lately – I’ll floss and the string tears mid-floss. Well, the other night, the string didn’t just rip. A small strand got stuck in between two of my teeth! It was uncomfortable and the strand was so short that I got frustrated at one point and stopped trying to dislodge it.

First attempt, I tugged and tugged on the frayed end of the floss and it would not budge. My hands got tired so I stopped for a rest. Second attempt, I successfully dislodge it! However, in inspecting my mouth, my tongue notices that my tooth feels different. I check the dislodged and ripped floss and discover a small piece of teeth. Insert sarcasm: Fan-tas-tic.

I don’t feel any pain afterwards so I don’t think much of it. The next day, yesterday, I’m able to eat fine and without any pain. Seriously, the chip was a very small piece of tooth. However, since I’m at hub and I need to visit the medical office to get vaccinated anyway, I decide to let the attending nurse know.

FYI, he’s quite fabulous (in the professional sense). He’s attentive and concerned when I tell him. He asks me to let me know tomorrow  (today) if anything develops, pain or otherwise.

Lo and behold, last night, while munching on dried apricots, I experience a little pain. I attributed it to chewing differently so didn’t think much of it.

This morning, during my vaccination visit, the nurse asks how my tooth is doing. Fine and masi musql, I think, but I go ahead and tell him about the pain. Next thing I know, he has me scheduled for a dentist appointment for this afternoon. He admits not having the proper equipment to evaluate my teeth so he wants me to see a dentist, just in case. Honestly, this man is amazing. After CBT groups start heading back to their sites, he (and another one of my CBT mates, awesome person too!) accompanies me to the dentist. He explains in Darija (and possibly some French) why I’m there and translates for me.

I was nervous about seeing a dentist in Morocco but I’ll push that aside to take care of my health. As it turns out, my tooth wasn’t just chipped – it had a cavity! (o ho, I know!!!) So right then and there, I had my first experience receiving medical treatment while overseas. Thank goodness PC has a network of medical providers because there’s no way I’d be able to navigate one here! Anyway, the dentist was good. She fixed my teeth (even though at one point I thought she was going to extract a tooth because of the equipment she used) and my teeth are back in shape. By the way, shout out to the dentist who was willing to see me before all her other patients immediately after lunch! Bonus points for speaking a little English too!  The entire visit, including waiting time, was about 45 minutes. Bra-vo.

After we returned to the hotel, my CBT mate and I gathered our packs and headed out to the taxi stand. We found our way to the correct taxi and waited for other passengers to fill up the grand taxi. Very thankful she offered to stay with me. We chatted all the way back to Agouim.

Back at home stay I was very happy to see my host family. I lose track of time here so I forgot today was a school day and was surprised to see them indoors. After tea, we (kids, cousin, and I) went for a walk. With my family, I

  • saw so many people I knew – a CBT mate with her family, another CBT mate’s host sister and cousin, and the chefs from school with their friends. I greeted everyone possible for practice;
  • Sampled the flora beside the road; and
  • Crawled through a tunnel that carries water down from the mountain and flows into the river.

Fun times!

Finally, bug bites season started for me. I counted 10 just now. Hopefully I don’t get too many once the warmer season finally arrives. Then again, what am I saying? I’ll most likely be wrapped in my mosquito net wherever I go.


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