This Week's Pictures
|Thanks from all the guys in Maintenance. The sign doesn't say that |
however, it was the only sign they had
|Here are some of the tools that were shipped by Guyana Christian Charities. [l-r: Colgrain, Keith and Ricky] Keith is holding an angle saw that was donated by Glenn, one of the crowd at Bucky's of Ayr.|
And "Pride Goeth before a Fall" and Pizza
Anything is Better Than Teaching
This is especially true of field trips, especially if you can actually justify it as having anything to do with your curriculum. No trouble this time; we were off the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology and the National Museum. This year it was really easy as my colleague and co-leader of PBL, Nurse Candy, did all of the arranging. I just had to show up and look cute.
You may remember that the Roth Museum was in the news as the government wanted to make it into offices for politicians. It has been put on hold after receiving objections from all over the world. The effort to preserve one's heritage is a constant struggle all over the world... The "tyranny of the present" seems to dominate with the focus on revenue and convenience.
Both of these museums are downtown n major streets and almost none of the students had ever been there though they had walked by both all the time. So now they were going and despite the grumbling, we were walking!
|Practicing my first real selfie!|
|The giant sloth lived 10,000 years ago.|
"Is it real?" "Yes, it lived
in a zoo until a few year ago."
And we picked up a special guest lecturer, good old Guyanese-son, Rashleigh. He had just returned from the interior where he worked mining for gold. They were called "Pork Knockers" in the old days. However, he was great at explaining the exhibits, and the differences today. He even had videos on his phone.
Securing Time Off "Down Below" with a Good Deed
There is really a neat group of people who also volunteer in Guyana and they are the Mercy Volunteers who come down for a year and work in different jobs throughout Georgetown. I try to take out these poor unfortunate souls who live without internet in their residence. [I understand this is so they can live as the people do... Would be nice except most people are connected; so they are really practicing humility.]
Well, I took them out to dinner at the upscale Princess Kitchen and Bar run by my friends Taju, Allison and Althea. [I didn't see Tommy, so don't want to give him any credit.] They were a little delayed in arriving as the plumber was still there trying to fix something. So Taju and I got lots of time to have an interesting conversation about cultures.
As usual, it was a good meal and good conversation and as always topped off with homemade ice cream. These are some really neat young persons, like myself, who share my enthusiasm for helping others.
A Special Dinner Out
I had the privilege of having lunch at the home of Georgia and Bhiro Harry. [One day I will write a whole blog about Bhiro as he has been significant in my life and work here.] I admit I look forward to it as Georgia is a great Cuban cook... and she was joined by Idanis, Jorge's wife. Bhiro did a good job keeping everyone's drinks filled. Jorge and I and Fernando [another Cuban doc, an anesthetist, who has been in Guyana many years] was there with his son, Fernando, and Georgia's Indira and Pravesh. As the drinks flowed the conversations were more and more in Spanish. They knew I had been in Mexico and so try to help me remember my Spanish... I had no choice but to have another beer.
|The three guests who did absolutely nothing to help.. and enjoyed every minute.|
So Why Does Anyone Teach Ethics?
Last weekend I received a phone call from a student who wanted some help.
This was the story from the student [I'll try and disguise it, but it's a small country]:
"The accident was on Friday morning. The father was hospitalized and the daughter killed but they refused to let the dad know that his child was dead. When he asked for her they told him she was with her mother. When he called the mother, he was told that the child is staying with someone else.
"So it went on when he called any other family member in order to speak to his child. On Saturday, a patient was reading the newspapers and the dad saw that the incident had made the front page and that it said his daughter had died. He then asked the visiting family if his child had died and their response was no. His exact words were, "Y'all trying to make me an ass. I saw the papers. Where is my child?" They continued to lie to him. They told him to ignore the tabloids because his daughter was alive and that the papers said that he (the father) had died also. They said that the child is staying with another family member and she is just recuperating from her injuries. The dad began to give the child's mother instructions on where to take the child to be checked up and treated. He was making all the necessary preparation for a child who no longer exists and we all just let him.
"When I asked, their excuse was that the Dr said that they should not inform him that the child was dead since the father was in a critical state and such news could worsen his condition. So their job was to prolong the lie until the father had recovered to the point that he was stable enough to handle the news from the Doctors. However, I was told that the family ended up having to confess because the dad had already known but he was awaiting confirmation. They said that he handled it very well and did not react as intensely as expected. He has been discharged and is now at home with his family."
There is more to the story including my visit to the emergency room physician and ward attending doc ..... who told us it was hospital policy not to tell an accident victim the truth for 24 hours and he would have been told by this time. In fact, he was not.
Real life stories make ethics more relevant. So on the next class time, I interviewed the student and the class talked about what they saw as the ethical, psychological, sociological issues in the story.
They did a really great job exploring the dilemmas. They especially got into the value of protective lies and hard truth and the lasting impact on trust in the relationships.
They thought those were insensitive doctors, but when we role-played how they might tell the dad ..... they couldn't find any words. Or else they passed the buck ... "You need your rest now ..." You really can't say dead.. and not have it be upsetting for everyone.
And I used my classic example of how trust is relatively easy to get, but almost impossible to recover if broken. I asked for a volunteer and selected Bamidele -sorry, sexist I know - as he is a guy and probably wouldn't cry. I asked him to close his eyes and holdout his hands which I then slapped pretty hard... the sound was much louder than the hurt actually was. Wow, was he surprised along with the class... I tried to tell him I was sorry and I promised never to do it again...
I couldn't get him to come with in ten feet of me. End of lesson ..... and this blog.
Thanks for reading. And if there is something that you want me to write about, I'll give it a try ..... revsx2 - at - gmail.com
* This picture of Bamidele was while he was in a play abut the Crimean War and Florence Nightingale - not after I slapped him!