Monday, March 25, 2013

Pavlov's Med Student

It seems like every time someone asks me the question, "So, is med school what you thought it would be?" my answer always involves some variation of, "It's more work than I thought - but the exams are the worst. I'd probably love it if it weren't for all the exams."

And that's true. I love the learning, I love figuring out new ways to solve problems and commit material to memory. Figuring out how to learn each subject (because for me at least, I can't learn Biochemistry the same way I learn Anatomy, or Microbiology, or Physiology...) is a challenge, and when it works out, it can be fun.

Except for exams. Some people like the challenge of exams. I hate them. Mostly, I hate preparing for them - and the 5-10 minutes that we have to wait, exam upside down in front of us, while they read us the SAME instructions at the beginning of each test. Once I'm in the exam and cruising, I calm right down and am able to get to it, blocking out all anxiety. For the Wheel of Time readers out there, I'm in the void. So taking exams isn't that bad, it's just the horrible anticipation - going to bed the night before, waking up early that morning for a couple more hours of review... Yuk.

Enter Pavlov:

Most people know his experiment (I know, it's way over-referenced... bear with me here.), but if you don't, here's the gist of it: Pavlov rang a bell, then gave a dog a treat. He repeated this a million times until eventually the now extremely obese well-fed pup would drool whenever it heard the bell ring, anticipating a treat that may never come. It was conditioned to like the sound of the bell because it knew food was coming.

My application isn't too far off. I'm going to treat myself to some extra special food at some point each day after an exam gets done - regardless of how the exam goes. IF exam, THEN food. One of my favorite new places is known affectionately by me as The Cone. They have EVERYTHING - Koegel-style hot dogs, home-cooked meals, gyros, sandwiches, burgers, salads, appetizers, and - best of ALL - 24-HOUR BREAKFAST FOOD OF ALL VARIETIES. Scrambler skillets, omelets, specialty pancakes and waffles... It's amazing. Here's the menu. They're open all day, every day, and have an early-bird special that's perfect for people like me who get up between 5:00am-6:30am each day: two eggs, hashbrowns, breakfast meat, and toast for $2.99. Whoop whoop!

So here's to hopefully starting each exam day with a little drool on my pillow and hunger-grumble in my stomach when the alarm sounds, rather than the traditional romping of nervous, buffalo-sized butterflies. And to The Cone, for its brilliance in culinary artisanship and diner excellence.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

An Update - Grandpa, Wife, Costa Rica, and a Pigeon

My grandpa officially passed away at 7:15am EST today, March 16, 2013. He held on a while longer than anyone expected, but he is now at home in heaven, reuniting with his wife and two daughters, and meeting God face-to-face! Though the hardest part is over, and my family and I can now rest in the peace that he is no longer struggling against his cancers. This is a strange adjustment, to think and know that my grandpa is no longer on this earth, but it is very comforting to think of him at peace in heaven.

In other areas of life, Wife is currently chilling on Spring Break with some friends in sunny Florida. They spent the past day driving down, and she sent me the photo to the right this morning. Am I jealous? Just a bit, given that I took this picture just yesterday afternoon:

As much as I like Summer, Fall, and Winter in Michigan, Spring is worthless, at least before mid-May. ALL RIGHT - enough about depressing weather. Blog topics have been starting to pile up, so I might as well write about the crazy end events of Costa Rica before I forget it all.So, on the last night in Costa Rica, my group of guys (me and two others) had one girl left to drop off at her house. The neighborhood we were staying in was a little sketchy, which was why we always walked in groups wherever we went. As we neared her house, five loud gunshots sounded from the house across the street - POP POP POP POP POP! It sounded like a smaller, semiautomatic handgun. We all froze, staring at the house, then quickly hurried the last ten meters to her front gate, which she frantically unlocked before darting inside. As she worked, I looked across the street.The door to the house across the street stood ajar, which was definitely NOT normal. Everyone locks their doors, especially at night. Our house had (literally) three doors and five locks on it. After my classmate got into her gate and locked it, we continued on at a faster pace. I kept throwing furtive glances behind me toward the door of the house across the street, only to see a shadowy figure emerge from the house. He looked both ways as he stepped out into the street and noticed us, stopping to peer after us down the street as we reached the corner. We were probably 40 meters down the street or so, and I remember having the odd thought of, I wonder if my laptop would stop a bullet at this distance? before we rounded the corner onto our street. It was not without a little tremors in my hands that I unlocked the front gate to our house.Once inside, I found several worried texts from the first group of girls we had dropped off. Apparently, they had heard the shots from their house and were (understandably) worried about us. So worried, in fact, that one of them almost left their house to charge down the street and see if we were okay! Luckily her housemate (who grew up in Columbia) had the additional wherewithal and street smarts to stop her, opting to text us instead.I immediately called the program director to notify him of what happened, and he informed me that, though these things are not common, it was likely one of two things. Either an intruder had entered the house and had either fired the gun or been fired upon, or the owner of the house had gotten spooked and fired shots into the air. Regardless, he said, make sure no one leaves the house for the remainder of the evening. That was fine with me!My group only had about three hours until we needed to leave for the airport anyway (it was about 11:30pm, and we were scheduled to be picked up at our houses by 2:30am). However, one of the guys in my group had realized on our walk home that he had lost his wallet somewhere between paying for dinner at 11:15pm and reaching home. We immediately set about making the international calls to cancel his credit cards, and by the time that was done only had a little time left before the bus was scheduled to arrive. By this point, we were so exhausted that we both drifted off to sleep with the lights on.I woke up to him charging into the room, sleepily worried, saying, "Hey Justin, we've gotta go. I think we overslept - it's 3:00am!" Adrenaline surged, and I grabbed my cell phone. Which said 2:00am. Apparently his phone was still set to obey the Daylight Savings Time change from back in the US, which neither of us had remembered would be occurring that night. We got our stuff together, chuckling about the ridiculousness of the night, and went to wait in the living room for the transport bus.And we waited. And waited. 2:30am came and went. I tried calling the program director, but could only seem to get, "El celular que Ud. ha marcado no está en un área de servicio. Favor de esperar y luego marcar de nuevo." "The number that you have dialed is outside an area of service. Please wait and dial again later." AWESOME. I dialed every number I could possibly find, but no response. After nearly an hour of waiting for our ride and communicating with the other program members in other houses who were also waiting for a ride, we decided to call a cab.And guess what happened. The cab and the shuttle ride pulled up at EXACTLY the same time! I felt bad for the cab driver when we told him we no longer needed the ride, but that was all we could really do. The shuttle driver had apparently thought the program director would meet him to take us to the airport, and had been waiting for him at a predetermined location. When the program director never arrived, he waited for a while and then came to pick us up.We made it to the airport in plenty of time, even making it to our gate about a half-hour early - more than enough time for some napping:

From there, it was smooth sailing home. I have now been on 44 plane rides. Yes, I've counted, ever since I won the paper airplane competition in elementary school and was given a ride on a small, single-propeller plane at the local airfield. That was a crowning moment for the young Jintus, and when I first yearned to become a pilot or astronaut. Those dreams faded with time, but I've never lost my love of flight. I don't think I'll ever get tired of views like this:

I should mention that the trip was smooth-sailing for us. It probably wasn't the best day for whoever ended up having to catch this vagrant pigeon who had decided to infiltrated the airport in Newark, New Jersey:

Wish me luck on Monday's exam - the last exam of the year for Physiology! Speaking of which, while I've done a considerable amount of studying today, a lot more remains to be done. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


My grandpa's life is coming to an end. According to the doctors, he will likely pass away before midnight tonight. While we did not anticipate a specific day, this is not a surprise for me and my family.  I haven't written about it on here before - and for good reasons - but I write about it now in a limited and respectful way to honor his memory before he passes away.

Around early February my father's father was taken by ambulance to the hospital after some episodes of confusion. Initially, they thought he'd had a stroke, and once he was stabilized he was flown by helicopter to a larger hospital. After they did some imaging of his brain, they found that he actually had many tumors in his brain and around his heart and lungs. The tumors were far too numerous for operation or treatment. At the time, the doctors gave him approximately one month to live. While I was in Costa Rica last week, I received an email that his condition was deteriorating.

His time is now coming to a close, so I ask that you please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers. Though my grandma died when I was a teenager, this will be my first experience as an adult with the death of a loved one, and I am not quite sure how to deal with it. I think it will help to have been able to prepare for it ahead of time. I also believe that there is life after death, and I believe my grandpa will be celebrating with Christ, my grandma, and two of my aunts in heaven in just a few short hours.

I also think it will help to focus on the great memories of my grandpa that I have from my childhood. Things like catching minnows and fishing off of his dock, feeding the ducks, digging for worms (and eating fresh tomatoes) in his garden, summertime family reunions, and wondering where in his house he might have hidden his fabled stash of gold coins (he lived through the depression, after all). I loved playing with the micro machines and miniature pinball machine that he kept for when we came to visit. I loved looking through all the photos of the far-off and exotic places that he and my grandma had visited during their life together. My grandpa lived a sometimes difficult but very full life, and I count myself blessed to be his grandson.

Please pray for my family, and also that my grandpa's passing be as calm and painless as possible. Thanks to everyone for your support.

Monday, March 11, 2013

We Live In The Future

I'm back from Costa Rica! I have a ton of crazy stuff to share, including everything from the five gunshots that were fired as I walked home on the last night, to one of my students losing his wallet, to the guy who passed us in the street late one night only to immediately cross to our side and start following us (read future posts to find out why), to freaking out about an almost-no-show of the transportation vehicle that would take us back to the airport. Obviously since I'm writing this everything worked out fine, but now I'm firmly back in the swing of things with very little time to write! I also waited to write about certain things so that Wife (and Mom and Dad and all of you) wouldn't worry about my safety. Wink Face.

Tonight's docket includes a joint Grand Rapids / East Lansing Student Council meeting in Portland, MI (hooray for delicious bowling alley food!), followed by LOTS of catching up on all the Physiology lectures that I didn't get around to reviewing over Spring Break.

In the meantime: proof that we live in the future! In defiance of the obvious self-contradiction and temporal impossibility inherent in that statement, I present to you an unedited photo I snapped during my flight from Panama City to Newark, New Jersey yesterday:

Seriously, how can you NOT look at this without thinking, "SPACESHIP!"
Some day, I really will fly into outer space.
Mark. My. Words.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Costa Rica - Panoramas, Patients, INBio Institute, and Talking with the Leaders

Me in front of the main entrance of the forests of the INBio Institute in Costa Rica.
Today was another eventful day. We started the day off by having guided patient interviews with people who have experienced first-hand the care and treatment of both the private and public sectors of the Costa Rican socialized healthcare system. There were a lot of really interesting and engaging stories by patients with good and bad experiences in the healthcare system. I was selected to be one of the interpreter-facilitators for the sessions, which meant that I interpreted for patients as they told their stories, while also facilitating Q&A sessions after patients were finished presenting. The stories were each very involved and would take too long to write out right now, especially considering it's already 11:25pm and I need to get up around 5:00am tomorrow morning. We will be heading northeast to Guanacaste where we will visit an EBAIS before heading on to a resort in Tamarindo!

Julie gets some goods.
Anyway, after the patient experience we stopped by a small market near IHCAI headquarters to get some food. Some got a little more excited than others, turning a quick meal trip into a souvenir extravaganza:

From there, we headed to the INBio Institute, a gigantic nature preserve that has over half a million different species. There, we gained considerable perspective on the biodiversity of the country, and were introduced to the ideas of how biodiversity and the pharmaceutical companies interact. It was a great experience, though fewer of my photos turned out than I had hoped. There's something to be said about the limitations of using a cell phone's camera when trying to photograph nature in varying lighting conditions...

Panoramas will follow the bulk of this post!

After the INBio tour, we headed to a conference held with Dra. Sissy Castillo, the Vice Minister of Health of Costa Rica, and Dr. Rolando Araya-Monge, a former member of the Costa Rican Parliament and founder of the political party, "Alianza Patriotica." Though the talk was a little more scripted than I had anticipated, I appreciated the fact that they gave students an opportunity to ask questions directly to the Vice Minister of Health. Many of the questions that we asked weren't able to be answered directly ("Why aren't physicians employed in the public sector required to sign a non-compete agreement that prohibits them from simultaneously working in the private sector?" and "What is being done to reduce the long wait times that many patients experience in the public health care system?" being just a couple of the questions asked), but that is probably because the answers would be both fairly involved and very politically charged. It was interesting to be able to stick our noses so directly into the situation of Costa Rica's health care system, but it was also important to remember that we are only just learning about this problem, and it is the life's work of these people to figure out how to make this system function the best possible for the Ticos. There's no way we can possibly learn everything about the system, let alone understand everything necessary to enact any sort of effective change. Here is a terrible, digitally-zoomed photo of the participants of the conference:

Dr. Mario Tristan (left), Dra. Sissy Castillo (center), and Dr. Rolando Araya-Monge (right)
After the talk, the IHCAI Foundation's Board of Directors took all of us out to eat at il Pomodoro, an amazing Italian restaurant in downtown San José. The food was amazing, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Even better than the food was the conversation with my fellow classmates. We are growing even closer than I would have expected on this trip, and everyone has been consistently great the whole time! I couldn't be happier with how well a group of 18 people has gotten along with one another.

Here are some interactive panoramas from today and the past few days:

View of a park in Costa Rica.

View of IHCAI headquarters in San José, Costa Rica.

View from the parking lot of one of the hospitals we visited this week.

Med students outside another of the hospitals from this week.

Us and some cool trees at the INBio Institute in Heredia, Costa Rica.

View of the lake/pond with TURLES at the INBio Institute.

View inside the butterfly house at the INBio Institute.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Costa Rica - Health Care, Tours, and Peeing on Trees

The past two days have been a blur. We started the day off yesterday morning with a talk (shown here) hosted by 
Dr. Mario Tristan, the IHCAI Foundation General-Director.

Note: if you don't want to know anything about socialized healthcare and Costa Rica's health system, skip to the photos below! 

The talk focused on how health care in Costa Rica has changed in recent years, as well as its current strengths and flaws. Basically, health care in Costa Rica is completely universal. Everyone pays a percentage of their income into "CAJA" - the big fund for national health care. Everybody pays, whether they use the public healthcare system funded by CAJA or not. Even if they opt to only use the private, pay-as-you-go health care system, they still pay into CAJA.

If you're a Tico and you go to a public hospital, everything is covered. All of your tests, hospital stays, medications, procedures, surgeries, anesthesia - COVERED. Great, right? Ideally, yes. However, the system is so backlogged that only the most urgent cases get seen in a timely manner. Also, unless it's a traumatic, life-and-death situation, you can't just "go" to one of the national hospitals. There are three levels of referrals that you have to wade through - first your regional EBAIS (Equipo Básico de Atención Integral en Salud), then your regional primary care physician's office, then on to the main hospital. You have to be seen in each location and it has to be determined that they do not have the resources to treat your ailment before you can be referred to the next level. This process takes forever.

Not only that, but once you get to one of the big hospitals at the end of the referral chain, it can take months to years to finally get the procedure you're hoping for. For example, let's say you have gallstones. They hurt. A lot. You are in constant pain. You go to your EBAIS. They send you to a doctor's office. The doctor's office schedules a consult for you in the main hospital in the central valley. When you meet with that physician, they determine that the condition is currently not fatal, as the stones are mobile, so you're not at risk of obstruction. They determine that your condition will eventually worsen to the point where you have no choice but to have your gallbladder removed. They add you to the list of people waiting to have their gallbladder removed - a waiting list 440 days long. This is not an exaggeration. They tell you that eventually your condition could become complicated due to obstruction, and that in this case your symptoms would worsen and your skin would take on a jaundiced, yellowy appearance. You can have you gallbladder out when your turn on the list comes up, or your condition becomes emergent - whichever come first. Until then, you're given some meds and told to deal with the pain.

Enter the reason for the private healthcare "business" system. Basically, these private "hospitals" popped up to supply more timely options (and thus much more expensive options) to the wealthier clientele. They say they're targeting the Costa Rican "middle class," but this middle class is rapidly disappearing into a polarized high- and low-earning class duality.

The private hospitals do the simpler procedures, but bill every single thing to the patient. Anything traumatic or more involved gets turfed to the public system. None of the privately-performed services are covered by the public healthcare system, but they may be partially covered if you've subscribed to additional, private insurance - just like here in the States.

And thus, the world of medical tourism is born. Even though these private healthcare costs are crazy high for the average Costa Rican, they're way lower than they would be in the United States and other developed countries around the world for the same procedures. An operation that might cost $12,000 - $14,000 elsewhere might only cost $3,500 in Costa Rica. So, even with the cost of a plane ticket, it makes more sense to have this operation in Costa Rica.

That's the gist of what I learned about the Costa Rican healthcare system - both the private and public sectors - over the past 36 hours. Yesterday, after learning the basics of this (which were actually fleshed out more thoroughly today), we got some coffee, talked some more, then went out for lunch at this awesome restaurant called Don't Remember The Name near IHCAI headquarters:

After lunch, we went on a tour of the city and saw all this cool stuff:

El Barrio Chino - Chinatown in San José, Costa Rica.

This guy peeing on a tree, right next to where cars park.

The brand new sports stadium, where Costa Rica is hosting the Central American Games.

Some crazy jugglers, drummers, and gawkers.
And stilt-walking-creeper-clowns advertising for Claró! 
Lots of cool buildings, like this one! It was really cloudy - though that has since cleared up.
And this one - one of the several gorgeous churches around San José.

The crowds are everywhere - though it's not like you'd think. CARS have the right-of-way, and will hit pedestrians that get in the way. They seriously won't stop. Look out. Also, taxis MUST have yellow triangles like this painted on the side, otherwise they're illegal. The illegal ones are more likely to rob / gouge you on prices. No fun, that.
After the city tour, we hit up the National Gold Museum and learned about the beginnings of Costa Rica. Dr. Daniel Naranjo led the tour (he's an awesome guy), and explained the reasoning behind the tour by saying, "We took you to the museum so you could see how our country started and maybe understand a little bit more about how we came to the way things are today." It was a great idea, and I was fascinated by all of the amazingly detailed golden artifacts that were produced in a day/age with no modern technology:

My ticket, yo.

It always hits me hard at exhibits like this how horrible the conquest of the Americas was.
It's definitely something that should never be forgotten, and exhibits like this are key for that.

This is a map depicting where all of the original tribes of Costa Rica lived.
Today, there are only a few of these original tribes left.
Gold artifacts - hair brooches and ornamental pieces.

Gold artifacts 2.

Gold artifacts 3: Awesome Frogs.

My personal favorite gold guy was this dragon-lizard.

Here's a panorama of the whole gold exhibit room. Very cool.
After the gold museum, we headed downtown to an indoor market. As evidence of how I suck sometimes, I didn't take any pictures of the market, but here's a random picture of a spice display:

Costa Rican Spices. Better than normal spices back home?
I'll never know.
I bought four different kinds of freshly-roasted coffee from a shop on the street outside the market, and can't WAIT to see what it tastes like once I get back home. I also picked up a little treat for Wife, who loves surprises but hates waiting for them! She's finding out about this via my blog post, for the record...

After the market, we headed across town and back to our host families for a quick dinner, then hit the town for a few more hours to go out dancing. It was a crazy fun night that left everyone exhausted and sore from all the moving and shaking - something that made it a bit more difficult to get up for today - a day full of shadowing and touring of various hospitals.

We started the day off by going to a nearby hospital and shadowing in the emergency department. Fortunately for the people but UNfortunately for us, things were really really slow, so I was only able to shadow during the visit of one patient. Amazingly enough, I was able to follow everything that was discussed, both between the doctor and the patient, and between the various doctors during consultations! The patient presented with some vaginal bleeding issues early in her pregnancy. I was asked to hold the light while the physician examined the cervix using a speculum, and it was determined that the source of the bleeding was indeed the uterus and not an internal vaginal lesion. However, it was so early in the pregnancy that it could not yet be determined via ultrasound or fetal heart monitoring whether the baby was alive or not, so a 48-hour β-hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone) test would be required. Basically, throughout the first 8 months of pregnancy the plasma levels of hCG double every 24-48 hours, as long as the baby continues to live. Doctors can measure this level twice (48 hours apart) and non-invasively determine the baby's status. It was an interesting shadowing, and very emotionally charged, as it involved a lot of anxiety and fear on the part of the mother, and skillful counseling on the part of the lead physician.

After the shadowing experience, we talked about our experiences for an hour, then grabbed some Subway and set off to shadow three different hospitals. I wasn't able to take as many photos today, as it's generally frowned-upon to take photos while in the hospitals, but I did manage to get these:

View from the parking lot of the national women's hotel.

We were personally welcomed by the chiefs of each hospital that we visited - the
National Women's and Children's Hospitals, and one of the various private hospitals.
Here, the chief of the Children's Hospital personally greeted our group.
Non-standard Self-Portrait!
Here are a couple of my classmates who had no clue I was taking a picture
as they discussed the pros and cons to public and private healthcare.
And here's the group!

After touring through all three hospitals, each of which was very impressive in terms of quality and cleanliness of facilities, we took a bus back to IHCAI Headquarters to have a quick wrap-up session of the day. From there, we headed back to the host family houses for some dinner. Since then, I've been relaxing, watching some Big Bang Theory, and writing this blog post. WHEW. I'm beat, and I don't think my feet have EVER been this sore. Including band camp that year that I marched the second-lowest bass drum. I was a younger man then, with younger feet... Mad props to all you older people out there that manage to stay active. I can only imagine how the soreness intensity will increase with age!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Estoy en Costa Rica - Día Uno

¡Las montañas de Costa Rica como los vi del avión!

Your results will be full of errors that I didn't actually make, but I thought it 
would be fun and in good keeping with my current experience to write this post in



¡Estoy en Costa Rica! Al FIN. Para los que no saben, estoy aquí con el programa de MSU CHM e IHCAI - International Health Central American Institute - que se llama Broadening Perspectives on Healthcare in Costa Rica. Nosotros llegamos ayer por la tarde, e inmediatamente después de desembarcar de la avión nos trajeron a las casas en donde vamos a pasar la semana. El resto de la noche fue pasado con mis amigos del programa en un restaurante/bar que se llama La Kbana.

Aquí la mayoría de los participantes del programa tienen madres que les cuidan por cocinar el desayuno y la cena. La mayoría son madres, y en el programa aquí estas madres se llaman "Tica Mamas" porque "tico" o "tica" es el modo común de decir costarricense - nativo de Costa Rica. Ándale, pues. Yo y los dos otros hombres que estuvieron ubicado en mi casa - nosotros no tenemos una tica mama porque ella está fuera del país cuidando a su propia madre. Su hijo (Jorge) que tiene 36 años está aquí cuidando a nosotros y cocinando nuestras comidas, y nos hemos caído muy bien.

El día de hoy fue pasado haciendo varias cosas. Despertamos temprano y, con la ayuda de una de las otras tica mamas, navegamos el sistema de autobús para llegar al centro de IHCAI. Comimos café de Costa Rica, y nos separamos en grupos basados en el nivel de habilidad en español. Yo y tres chicas formamos un grupo, y hablamos con un doctor sobre el concepto de prevención de enfermedad en comparación a promoción de salud. Específicamente, nosotros hablamos del hecho de que, el sistema que tenemos de usar pruebas preventivas para detectar el cáncer de mama de verdad no mejora la posibilidad de vida más que resulta en negativos falsos que causan más daños a mujeres que tienen cáncer no detectado. Además de eso, hablamos de la frecuencia de casos en que las mujeres tienen positivos falsos de cáncer, y reciben el tratamiento (muchas veces incluyendo la eliminación del tejido) apropiado cuando nunca fue necesaria al principio.

Después de la sesión de hablar (y las presentaciones divertidas e hilarantes para educar los grupos de cuales cosas cada grupo había aprendido), comimos un almuerzo INCREIBLE. No recuerdo los nombres de la mayoría de lo que comimos, pero fue genial de verdad. Yo comí como seis porciones (y todavía quedaban como veinte más que nadie comió) de Plátanos en Gloria. Muy dulce, y la textura fue perfecto - no blando, pero un poco correoso - que me gustó.

Después de almorzar, aprendimos bailar un poco de la salsa costarricense. Fue difícil para mi porque, como Esposa te dirá sin mucho estímulo, no soy el bailador mejor del mundo. Yo digo que tengo demasiado codo en mis brazos para ver natural, aun si yo puedo forzar mis pies (de talla 13) ir al lugar apropiado. Los instructores bailaban perfectamente, y al fin bailaron una baila que me convenció llevar Esposa a una clase o dos de bailar este verano que viene. Posiblemente para nuestro próximo Luna de Miel - así llamo a nuestros aniversarios. Este año será nuestro cuarto aniversario, o nuestra quinta Luna de Miel.

Después de la clase de salsa, fuimos a una tienda pequeña para comprar algunos piscolabis (snacks) y agua antes de empezar un tour de la ciudad. Eso duró un poco más de una hora, y saqué muchas fotos. No tengo internet muy rápido aquí, por eso tendrán que esperar hasta que llegue yo a los estados unidos para ver la mayoría. De allí, continuamos al campo en donde jugamos fútbol con el equipo de IHCAI - estudiantes (tres estudiantes cerca de 18-22 años de edad) y facultad (tres hombres - el coordinador del programa y dos doctores que participan y ayudan con la coordinación del programa). Fue ellos seis contra TODOS nosotros que querían jugar, un total de 14 jugadores - a la misma vez. El equipo de IHCAI no ha perdido a un equipo de MSU CHM por ocho años. O digo... ¡Hasta esta noche! Nosotros ganamos 5-4 después de casi una hora y media de jugar, y fue increíble. La única cosa era que mis piernas se estaban acalambrando casi continuamente por los últimos diez minutos de juego, y casi no podía correr. Pero ganamos, y por eso valió la pena, ¿no?

Después del juego, regresamos a la casa y Jorge (¿nuestro Tico Papá?) tenía una comida preparada para nosotros de arroz, frijoles negros, ensalada de pasta, y ensalada de tomate/pepino. Comimos toda, y después salimos para pasar tiempo con los otros estudiantes. Ahora, estoy sentado en la sala de la casa aquí porque el red del router aquí no alcance a mi cuarto muy bien. Los mosquitos me están mordiendo,  pues, por eso debo irme. No traigo repelente en mi piel ahora (porque me duché MUCHO después de ese partido de fútbol), y escucho que los mosquitos traen fiebre del dengue. Sí. Ya me voy. ¡Ciao!

Los estudiantes de MSU CHM en el programa de IHCAI este año.
De la izquierda a la derecha, frente a atrás:
Cindy, Sean, Jeremy, Shailesh, Samantha, Allene, Andy
Jessie, Sonia, Julie, Andrea, Semara, D-Wayne, Ryan
Chelsea, Me, Allison, J.D.

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