Life in the Philippines….

I’m taking an antibiotic to kill amoebas, which presumably are living in my gut and have been sharply curtailing any outside activity for the last two weeks.

Not sure how I got the amoebas- most people I know here got an amoeba from eating kinilaw (‘aw’ sounds like ow as in how did you do that?), a fish dish where the fish is raw, but pickled/cooked in a vinegar mix.  It’s really good and I do eat it, but I haven’t had any for quite a while, so that’s not it.  I am wondering if it isn’t my green smoothie habit.  I’ve been regularly making smothies with fresh pineapple, mango, and the green leaves of pechay (ay sounds like eye, accent on second syllable), which is either bok choi or its kissing cousin.  There was one day nearly 3 weeks ago when I got busy and distracted and realized I hadn’t really rinsed off the greens before putting them in the blender, but I ignored that small voice in my head suggesting that was not a wise decision and finished my smoothie anyway.

Or maybe it was something else.  But anyway.

After five days or so of this, we called a doctor friend we know and asked if we could come see him. He said yes.  No appointments, as I mentioned before, you just come in and it’s first come first serve.  We took a cab over.  We were his only clients while we were there.

He asked about my symptoms, checked my pulse, asked if I’d had a fever (I had two days of a very low grade fever, and then my thermometer broke and I don’t know, but I don’t think so).

No scales, no blood pressure, no written forms.  He wrote us a prescription for an antiobiotic and a fecal test. There was a nearby pharmacy that had the antibiotics – 3 dollars.  No ID.  Then we walked to a nearby restaurant where I had watermelon juice and fresh tomato soup and Husband and Cherub had more food.  Then we took a cab home.  Husband took another cab back to the hospital to pick up the kit for the fecal test.

Nobody remembered to tell us that the lab would want that sample back within one hour of getting said sample.  Used to the States’ way of doing things, I put the tube in a ziplock bag in a paperbag in my fridge until we could get it back to the hospital.  The doctor said that might be okay.  Next day, husband took another cab to the hospital to deliver it.  Results were negative, but I did not get better.

Over the next week and a few days, I subsisted on crackers, toast, an occasional boiled egg, and pumpkin soup. I tried bananas twice and they made everything worse.  Two different Korean co-workers at the school gave me containers of kimchi because they heard I was having stomach problems, and my Friday katabang (helper) wanted to discuss my digestive and bowel habits and consistency in more detail than I would discuss with my own mother, and about 20 people from church came over and had a party in the living room and cooked up a lot of food that I hear was delicious while I lay on the cool tile floor of my bedroom with a fan blowing on me and wished I was comatose, because while I normally enjoy the smell of freshly grilled fish, that day it just made me wretched.  A few came back a few days later when I was still sick but slightly better, and also asked for details, and I just could not break down those cultural barriers and explain those details.  I did, however, text my firstborn with more of the grizzly details because when you’re this sick sharing grizzly details with your nearest and dearest is one of the few consolations.

Today my  yesterday my husband texted our doctor friend and today he also talked to doctor husband of one of the teachers at school and they both said at this point I should probably be treated for an amoeba in spite of test results.  The doctor friend told my husband to come on over, so he took a cab and dropped in, the doctor wrote out two prescriptions. I did not have to be there.  Then my husband took a cab to three pharmacies before he found one that had both prescriptions.  I did not have to be there, and my ID was not required (Husband might have needed his, I’m not sure).  Now, I would not be surprised to learn this is because he is American and a missionary.  I doubt they do this all the time for everybody.

He took a cab home to drop them off and then cabbed it back to work.  The cab totals were more expensive than the pills, but most people here would either take a jeepney or tricycab or drive themselves.

So far all the prescription pills I have seen here do not come in bottles- they come in blister packs. The doctor prescribes 21 pills and the blister pack is in units of 10? They tear off one pill from the next blister pack.

I also have gatorade, which I mostly only see in blue here, and that’s the one I don’t much care for. I prefer orange because it reminds me of the orange Bayer children’s aspirin from my childhood, but I guess not everybody shares my nostalgia.



Posted in Davao Diary | 9 Responses

Half the results in peer-reviewed journals are likely wrong. In some fields, it’s worse.

“Half the results published in peer-reviewed scientific journals are probably wrong. John Ioannidis, now a professor of medicine at Stanford, made headlines with that claim in 2005. Since then, researchers have confirmed his skepticism by trying—and often failing—to reproduce many influential journal articles. Slowly, scientists are internalizing the lessons of this irreproducibility crisis. But what about government, which has been making policy for generations without confirming that the science behind it is valid?
The biggest newsmakers in the crisis have involved psychology. Consider three findings: Striking a “power pose” can improve a person’s hormone balance and increase tolerance for risk. Invoking a negative stereotype, such as by telling black test-takers that an exam measures intelligence, can measurably degrade performance. Playing a sorting game that involves quickly pairing faces (black or white) with bad and good words (“happy” or “death”) can reveal “implicit bias” and predict discrimination.
All three of these results received massive media attention, but independent researchers haven’t been able to reproduce any of them properly. ”
More here.

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Global Scaremongers

The Arctic continues not to melt. I predict that within five years, at most, the climate change alarmists will have convinced everybody that they never claimed the arctic is melting at all.

Government science even worse than we thought.

Can humans melt the Antarctic ice cap?

Posted in global warming, Uncategorized | 11 Responses

“Orality,” another name for narration?

“‘Orality; is a set of techniques which have developed following the great Lausanne Conference on World Evangelization, where the challenge of Oral Cultures was brought into the Spotlight. No longer do missionaries have to wait until a Gospel/NT has been translated to teach Bible Stories to the emerging Believers! Now folks who have never held a pen or pencil are given pen & paper and asked to make a little sketch which will remind THEM of a point in a story from the Bible. No one else has to recognize it… only the Storyteller. Such a series of visual notes [outline] helps her /him to share every point in the whole story with a new Listener! Now, in addition to many major languages, Bible Training for new leaders is also available in a format for Oral Cultures and Communities. The use of paper & pen also prepares the leaders for the possibility of Literacy, but that is no longer a limit today. This frees up illiterate evangelists to present in depth, multi-year Bible Studies. In some parts of the world… Memorization of revered writings is very common, but this dimension has been addressed poorly in most literate cultures (we think we can always go back & read the text again… so we don’t bother to learn it by heart, even though rote learning is superb for making Scripture handy for informal/spontaneous sharing of our Faith, answering questions posed by Searchers, & strengthening our Prayer Life by including God’s own Words and phrases. Try this out with one of Your favorite Bible Stories! See if you can tell the whole narrative without any re-reading?!”

Dr. David Upp’s Mission Link for September, 2017

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30,000 word gap between kids who come from reading homes and kids who don’t- by kindergarten

There is typically a 30,000 word vocabulary gap between disadvantaged children and their age-mates from homes where reading is common.*

You want kids to be on the better side of that gap? Start young. Start *really* young. TALK with your kids often. Talk to your babies. Enrich their lives with language even while they are in the womb.
READ good books (not junk) to them.
Tell them stories.
Take them to parks, museums, the beach, the pet store, the bread store, the farm, the store, the neighbours garden and talk about what you see, what you are doing.
LISTEN to what they have to say. Engage them. Ask them questions (not quizzes, but real questions- which do you like better? What does this look like? Would you want to be a baker? What do you think looks like the most fun? The most interesting?)

What about the kids who are in the vocabulary deficit side, and who don’t live at your house? What can we do for them?
This gap handicaps the kids on the losing end pretty much forever. They never catch up, and meanwhile, the kids with the vocabulary are able to keep adding to it- because the more you already know, the easier it is to learn more.

Plenty of research indicates that one of the best predictors of academic success, even a pretty decent measure of intelligence, is vocabulary size.

So in typical bureaucratic fashion, we try to fix this by giving targeted (and boring) readers and pages of vocabulary lists to memorize and then match up on a test. But that isn’t how vocabulary works. That’s not how the kids with the 30,000 word advantage gained that rich and comprehensive bank of words, and it’s not how they use it or add to it.

They picked up their extensive vocabulary naturally, in context, by hearing and seeing those words used over and over in different contexts and situations in daily life, over time, and by using those words themselves, sometimes badly, sometimes accurately, regularly, over time, in communication with others. They are able to do that because they are part of a language rich environment- a family that loves books, a family that talks to each other, a family that experiences different things together and discusses them.
Small children I know who have learned and used words like slaughter, aghast, glisten, tentacles, majestic, inheritance, deciduous, and so on did not learn those words because their parents gave them a targeted list of vocabulary words and set out to have them learn them through rote memory.
THey learned those words because they heard stories from the King James Bible, visited aquariums, read stories about kings and queens and went to nature parks and saw trees and read books about the ocean and forests and were told fairy tales that included those or similar words, and they talked about them. Every time they read another story, had another conversation, visited another park or zoo, got to overhear their parents in a Bible study with friends, they heard the words again, and the words they learned last month helped them understand some words they learned this month, which will help them with another chunk of knowledge when they go camping three months from now- it’s a web of connections.

Literacy expert Catherine Snow points out that “we need to… stop referring to the 30 million word gap as a gap in access
to vocabulary and start thinking about it as a gap in access
to knowledge”.

How do we fix that? I don’t know- but memorizing targeted vocabulary lists isn’t enough. Whatever we can do that most mimics the natural way other kids gain their vocabulary advantage makes the most sense to me- fewer lists and tests and more stories and talking about them. Fewer worksheets and more real life experiences, growing things, making things, looking at and tasting new things and *talking* about those experiences, and doing it for hours and hours every week- and if at all possible, involving somebody from their families. If that were easy, they wouldn’t be starting school with a 30,000 word language deficit compared to their peers. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth reaching out, even if you can only find one child to help, that one child is worth helping.

@(some articles:

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