Saturday, October 17, 2009


Top: Dr. Carol Shaffer, Charlie & Wayan (our carpenter)
Middle: Charlie playing accident victim with Wayan giving First Aid
Bottom: Heimlich Maneuver crack up - Wayan, Suamba (our driver) and Ketut

From the beginning we felt that our staff should be trained in First Aid, but the price of the training gave us pause. Dr. Carol Schaffer to the rescue! She works as a hospitalist in the Bay Area and came to us via On her profile she writes that she likes to share her medical skills. Perfect! Phil and I ask if she would like to do just that by teaching our staff First Aid. Carol graciously agreed and yesterday taught our staff and various other friends what to do about cuts, burns, falls, choking, drowning, nosebleeds, insect bites, snake bites, and most importantly... hygiene - not so easy a thing to practice in a Third World country.

In return, Carol, Phil and I learned about some questionable Balinese folk remedies: chew a pah iduh leaf (grows in rice fields) into a paste and place it on an open wound to stop the bleeding, add some water to pamor (some kind of chalk) to soften it and place it on the insect bite, use honey on a bee sting and dry coffee on a burn... oh yeah!

Earlier Dayu had already educated me about her family's beliefs and customs about pregnancy:
  • A pregnant woman should not eat meat from kerbau (water buffalo) because it would prolong her labor.
  • She should clean everything and keep it clean so that her baby will be beautiful.
  • The expecting couple should not cut their hair until after the baby is born. Ketut, Dayu's husband, now sports a full beard and moustache. It makes him look like a monkey, he jokes.
Now that our staff has learned the rudimentaries of First Aid, they have more tools and more choice in case of an emergency. It will hopefully help them stay calm so that they can make better decisions.

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