The rooms that we lost were our Preventive Health Center room and the English classroom; we still have our big room with the kitchen that we use for women’s exercise and cooking classes. Lots of scrambling happened over the weekend to change our class schedule (which starts this week!) to accommodate all classes taking place at the big table in the library downstairs and figure out what to do with the PHC.
Hannah, Becky, and I, as program directors for the PHC, were particularly disheartened by the loss of our designated space. The PHC has been a difficult program to get off the ground, and to lose our room seemed like a cruel joke.
However, Mondays bring fresh ideas! Upon considering a portion of the women’s exercise room as a temporary home for the PHC while we figure out what to do about new spaces, the PHC began coming to life in our minds in a way it hadn’t before since we arrived in July. What if we put the table and books on a bookshelf on the raised, tiled section right next to the door so that when people come to the exercise and cooking classes they will be aware of us and take an active interest in the PHC? We can create a real space here to pull together and integrate into our other already thriving health programs an overarching Preventive Health Center in the same room.
With our morale boosted and our creative juices flowing, the three of us paid a visit to the Ministry of Health in Quito on Wednesday to request information and possibly materials on preventive health concerns in Ecuador. The folks at the MoH didn’t hesitate to answer our vague requests by giving us a mountain of posters, brochures, and other health literature for us to take home and properly outfit our new space with. They then proceeded to laugh good-naturedly at our awestruck and overly grateful reactions to such unexpected generosity.
The beginning bare bones of our new Preventive Health Center
So, despite what seemed like a thunderstorm of ill fortune last week, we on the Preventive Health Center team are excited for new prospects afforded by unexpected calamity.
Needless to say, we’re going to be getting a contract for that room in writing.