La Concepción, known among locals as “La Concha,” is a town about halfway between Jinotepe and Managua, but it feels more rural than Jinotepe. Ali and Emily work here at a new health center known in town as “El Hospitalito” (the Little Hospital) because it offers a number of services that other local health centers do not. It was built with aid from the government of Luxemburg.
Ali works in the office of one of the clinic’s doctors. When Doug was visiting she weighed the patients and reported the weight to the doctor. For children she measured their heights, and for adults she took their blood pressure. Emily works in the emergency room with the nurses. When there are no patients, she and the nurses fold gauze. While Doug was there Emily also gave an injection and measured the blood pressure of patients sent to the emergency room. Sometimes she also uses a nebulizer with the patients. Both students report that they are learning medical vocabulary in Spanish.
At lunch we went back to the house where Emily lives and talked with her host father Trinidad while her host mother, Nelda, made lunch for us. Ali’s host father is Efren, the son of Trinidad, who lives with his wife Mildred in a separate house behind Trinidad and Nelda’s house. Nelda makes Tres Leches cakes for a living and together they have a business they run out of the house of renting chairs for large occasions. Because Emily and Ali are both regular runners, and Trinidad also likes exercise, they are planning a long, scenic walk through the countryside to a neighboring village during an upcoming weekend.