Well, through the month of July, I prayed and wondered what I was supposed to be doing here. And this week, I got my answer.
The children's home asked me to help teach reproductive health, give vaccines, and help them figure out how to get kids to wash their hands.
Then another small NGO asked me to teach their kids about hygiene and reproductive health too.
Then a friend's mom was diagnosed with diabetes, and he asked me to help teach her about her illness and get her on the right track to a healthy diet.
Then another pregnant friend asked me to teach her and her pregnant neighbors about taking care of a newborn.
Then a patient from the now-closed thyroid clinic called; his untreatable cancer was causing excruciating pain, and he needed help with pain medication.
The past two weeks, opportunities have exploded all over the place. And although I have to admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed, I am so relieved to have direction. I am being challenged in my nursing, as a lot of these areas - hospice care, reproductive health, diabetes, newborn care and postnatal care - are areas I have never taught in before. Besides just new information, there's the added challenge of trying to give the information in a culturally appropriate way, understanding that most people have no concept of what diabetes is or why it's bad. So I just turned it into a story -
"The bloodstream is like a river that carries the sugar to your body; but you need a special boat to carry it to the different parts, and that boat is called insulin. The body cells normally listen when insulin tells them to open the doors and let the sugar in, but in diabetes, the body stops listening to insulin, and there aren't as many boats to go around as normal..."
The common theme here is education, which I've noticed is a huge need in Cambodia. Education starting from the ground up - helping people understand about the bodies God has given them is so crucial to them understanding how to take care of it and lead healthy lives.