Monthly Archives: January 2012


I was invited to join a couple of the other internationals for a game of scrabble, and in Spanish!

I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t know how to play scrabble because I never had the patience for it. It will be even worse in Spanish!


Never in the wildest dream would i think of playing soccer in Guatemala. Maybe that accounts for why i did not pack my slacks nor a bathing suit (when i have signed up for surfing next weekend in El Salvador!).

Futsal was fun. Played with a bunch of Guatemalans, Americans, an Australian and a Dutch. One of the Americans was a female player and i must say i was pretty surprised at her enthusiasm given that soccer is not that big a sport in the US. She apparently trains with an Antigua team on the weekends. But an Alaskan proved my theories right. She has never even watched an entire soccer match before, let alone play it. But she was a pretty stoic defender.

I played as keeper. Made a couple of good saves, did a few dives (no less on concrete because there ain’t any synthetic pitches in Guatemala man), bruised a few joints and nearly got decapitated as i tried to stop the Brazilians from scoring. We did really well. But i think i may come off as over the top since i was always yelling instructions to my teammates from the back line. It is just typical Workland’s style of soccer. I think the Americans especially, were not accustomed to it. I must have appeared overly-competitive or something. Really i wasn’t! As i play more futsal games, i have come to realize that the goalkeeper is more than just the last man. I also have the responsibility to be the eyes of my teammate, and to dictate to them who to pass to when they are cornered or get stuck in a spot with opponents. I really like how my understanding of the game has evolved.

I am just so happy. I got my dose of soccer this week. But i am starving. Tengo muchos hambre. I only had scrambled eggs for breakfast, missed lunch because i got lost after my Spanish class and was therefore running late for my placement. Then dinner was just empalada-like pastries, and i avoided the frijole (bean) paste, tasted weird. And now after soccer, i am just so hungry, but i am too polite to tell the homestay lady. And it is too dark to venture out on my own. So damn. I am going to bed hungry. And damn, i think i am going to lose weight. I have a penchant for losing weight every time i travel overseas, and i am not impressed with myself.

Culture shock. Mostly on the first day I realized that hot water comes from an electric unit installed directly on the shower head. If you are not careful, then you get yourself an electric jolt. O_O
Then I also found out that toilet paper does not go into the toilet bowl, it goes into the bin. You have to remember after wiping your arse, the soiled paper goes into the bin. Where of course, other people’s soiled papers are. Eeks…



Packing for my Guatemala trip. Since I booked my flights in September, I haven’t properly had the chance to truly think about this trip and feel excited. In fact, I have not really done much planning and am desperately gonna do so on the 15 hour flight.

Adding my stethoscope and my Spanish medical dictionary into my luggage. Very curious as to what medicine in a developing country entails.


Friday the 13th was a good day for me. I ended internship with a good feel.

Minutes after stepping out of the hospital, i get a call from a locum agency informing me that i have attained by full medical license and if I could work a shift over the weekend. I was thrilled. I hope that means that locum shifts are in plentiful supply as that will help me tide over the year.

Then I get an email from my hospital regarding my rosters next year and I got a really sweet deal! I have been assigned the rotations I asked for, even the dates for my annual leave. I’m really pleased. 🙂

Now for my three weeks of holiday with no beeps from my pager!


When the inspiration hits, I can’t stop. Had a very memorable dinner with the staff of the rural hospital I’m working in. I got my first glimpse of the challenges one faces as a medical administrator – a specialty I’m considering in the future.

Then I got cracking on my soccer club’s website since I anticipate I won’t even have time to breathe till I’m finally seated on the plane headed to Guatemala on Sunday morning.

I completely forgot the time and I have to get up at 7am for my last day of work!