Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Promoting Healthy Behaviors

The last few months I, together with my right-hand man Nate, have been working on promoting healthy behaviors in a variety of new ways in our region. After the buzz we received on our murals, I was asked to travel on the river to a small, tiny really, health post to do a mural promoting family planning. This health post didn't have electricity, and even though we have done lots of murals, they have all occurred with the help of our handy-dandy projector. If you know me, you know that I have the drawing capabilities of a 2-year old, so this mural was by far one of the hardest artistic challenges thus far in my Peace Corps experience. Nate wasn't able to come with me, as he was planning his incredible event that he recently posted about, so I was on my own. I had a day and half and only a pencil and ruler to draw this rather simple mural using a grid method. I am happy to report that it came out pretty well. But you can be the judge of that. Now remember, I have no artistic ability and this was the first time I drew a picture using the grid method, so don’t be too hard on me.

The family planning mural. 

The second event that Nate and I did was a nutrition booth at our heritage festivities. The booth focused on healthy diets for infants as well as diabetes and hypertensive patients. Nate and I, with the help of Medex Gilkes, one of my Maternal and Child Health co-workers who by the way is awesome, spent all day Saturday and Sunday cooking delicious food that emphasized fruits and vegetables and were prepared with no oil, agi or cubes, which is common in the Guyanese diet. Over 100 people came out and we helped them check their Body Mass Index, distributed healthy diet literature, and gave away free portions of our food prepared with locally available ingredients. The menu was the following: baked chicken, brown rice, fresh cabbage, tomato and cucumber salad, cold bean salad, steamed bora, carrot/pumpkin juice, callaloo (spinach) juice, black-eyed peas punch (yes, black-eyed peas, it tasted like a milk shake…incredible), granola and potato/eddo calaloo crushed baby food. We got cleaned out! Very few people had ever heard of granola and loved it. I’d say this was a rather successful event, which bridge some of the things that Nate and I love the most, cooking, sharing food, and encouraging a healthy, mostly green and organic diet. 

Medex Gilkes gathering people to the booth.
Children daring one another to drink the Calaloo (spinach) juice.

Wearing some Amerindian pride while doing BMI's.
Till next time.

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