Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bubble, Bubble, EBAIS, Trees, and Tinctures

              No Internet, No electricity, and three days in the chilled mountain air of Costa Rica. That's how our adventure at Las Alturas started and, well, ended. We first got to help out in a Costa Rican EBAIS and help see patients. In this place we learned all about how VERY IMPORTANT it is to label your files everyone. Label. Your. Files. It was amazing to see what actually goes into an EBAIS visit. This was also a very rural community so that presented it's own challenges. It was very fun to talk with and draw with the children from the area because they were all very adorable! But the experience made me appreciate my own healthcare system and respect the systems that seem to work best for other countries. 
But then we had a beautiful nature hike. On the way up I was huffin' and puffin' as if I was climbing a mountain. I was sort of climbing a mountain but it shouldn't have been that bad (whoops). Staring around at all the trees and realizing just how beautiful nature is makes me very pleased that this area of Costa Rica is left alone in terms of cutting down forest. We had to stumble over a few fallen trees and as we passed the ever-reaching roots of a downed tree you realize just how unforgiving nature can be. It's a force I've only recently learned to appreciate the power of. On the way back down we had a few slips and falls. I may have slipped and had my leg slide down a cliff. To put it in perspective I tripped over a fallen vine and then stepped backwards down a straight down hill. Thank goodness all those fallen vines are great for grasping because had those not been there I would've been toast. But I can laugh about it now because I honestly probably looked ridiculous!
If I, your average college student, were to tell you that you can make something helpful to your body with plants and vodka, you would probably think I was already drunk off the vodka. However, it's not me just spouting drunk nonsense. It's a real thing, and it's called a tincture and depending on what plant matter you use, it can provide a lot of benefits to your body. In this course we also learned to create a tea tree oil ointment, orange lotion, orange body scrub, a ginger syrup mixture and a chamomile facial steam. It has become so fascinating to me how powerful nature is. The things we can create from the natural world that we find around us is astonishing. It makes me feel almost safe knowing that nature can provide us with things that we don't need synthesized for a lab.

Katy Hurley

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