Sex, Drugs, and Public Health

November 9, 2011

South America Public Health

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbmosher @ 11:03 pm

   With the help of a Power Point expert, I have two presentations : one on basic Epidemiology and the other on the Social Determinants of Health. These topics were requested by the Bolivian doctor in charge. The audience will be Community Health Workers. I feel reassured that this organization understands that providing clinical care, while important, will not permanently change the community s health for the better.
         It will be a few days more before we can see how well the talks fit the CHW s and, more broadly, the clinic organization in Cochabamba.
         Meanwhile, refreshing the experience of South America involves more than what the eyes can appreciate. There are flavors which, once they explode on the tongue, evoke nostalgia :
         the cherimoya made its encore as chunks blended within a slice of meringue, glistening like pale gold jewels in a snowbank. This high Andean fruit always releases its flavor like a blend of perfumes, as if it were a flower garden, not a green husked DNA repository ;
         Dulce de Leche shows up in many forms, but the most poetic was a dessert called “Whispers of Lima” ;
         grapes and coffee beans. The former not just fermented, but also distilled, bottled, and offered as a consort to lemon juice as the unavoidable Pisco Sour.  The latter threw me, unceremoniously, off the wagon. I traded in my coffee addiction for a tea habit four years ago, but I am enslaved again to the thick black, highly concentrated but shockingly not bitter “essence” of coffee. Smoother than espresso and madly in love with hot milk, it consummates the union every morning with me the shameless enabler.

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