Saturday, August 29, 2009

The village of Shismaref

Fresh snow on the mountain tops! If has been really chilly here....I have worn my coat and scarf.....mentally it made me more chilly to see the fresh snow.....has summer already come and gone?? That is what everyone tells me!
Shismaref was a very nice village but VERY dirty.....had to sweep dirt next to the wall so we did not have to walk in it....and how do you like the top of my "table" made from the top of a Rubbermaid tub.....that was as flimsy as a Kleenex.
Shishmaref is on an island that is sinking quickly but no one wants to leave.....I took pictures of the rocks that they are trying to build up all sides of the island....the small little net like rocks that are almost under water was where they totally had it built up two years you can see how fast it is sinking.
This was my experience in Shishmaref as I got off the plane.......I was brought to the clinic and the health aides were FRANTICALLY THROWING my bags in clinic saying HURRY!!!! I was rather upset...never having met these folks before to have my glass vials being pitching on the floor! I asked what was going on?? She said they were on total "lock down" and that there was a man with a loaded gun in town saying he was going to kill everyone in Shishmaref. The clinic is right in the middle of this village. So we were on lock down for like 4 hours....then the troopers flew in....and arrested the guy......for heaven sakes it is always something!!
This incident had me rolling in laughter......
This was so hilarious.....I busted up laughing and could not stop! First off I must start out by saying Nome and the villages I work in are like top in the state for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea (serious sexually transmitted diseases) I am really trying hard to get people in to get tested and treated and to get their "partners" in and get them tested and treated. (AND trying to be a Christan wittness as well as a professional nurse while doing this) Well, before I left Nome there was a positive lab slip for Chlamydia from Shishmaref from a lady I got two of her contact came in and one I absolutely could not get a hold of...I called and called people and asked if anyone knew him .......and could get him to come into the clinic while I was there so I could test him and do "preventative" antibiotic treatment in case he too was positive....(Chlamydia is that serious here...we are treating before we know for sure they have it!) I was getting ticked off that I could not get a hold of this 27 year old I found out where he lived (not hard to do in a village where everyone knows everyone) so I went to his house. Then he finally came to the door and I said what I needed to say.....and then HIS MOTHER was there....I thought OH GREAT his MOTHER is here....this is so awkward. (I tried to keep everything top secret and professional). I was standing in the arctic entry (arctic entry is a place that everyone has in their is a place where you take off your boots and jacket) and she INSISTED that I come in a sit down for a while.....I kept saying thank you but I am fine. She got up out of her chair and scooted it over to me and made me join them at the table in their VERY humble home that I don't think at all they had running water. I did not want her or anyone else to know why I was there or that I was waiting for her son to pee in the specimen cup and then take the antibiotic. She did find out because the young man did not hide it at all and took the cup from me in front of his mother. They were so nice and treated me like a princess.....saying "THIS IS A NURSE FROM NOME!" When he finished peeing in the cup and I put the pee in my backpack (at which the little mother had no idea why I was collecting the specimen).....the mother said "You can come and collect pee from here ANYTIME!" I absolutely could not hold my laughter in.....and she started busting out laughing too.....she was so very nice.
My experience in Shishmaref was a good one!


  1. That sounds like fun. Oh & they do presumptive treatment of chlamydia everywhere before they find out for sure if a partner has it, that is the CDC recommendation....since it spreads like wildfire and if you wait for a test to come back positive the partner may have further spread the "love". I have Tony reading your blog now for the adventure stories & he loved hearing about Iran & the bear. Lisa- send me your address because I have some cute fabric for you.

  2. Just in case any of your other friends or family read my comment & wonder, that chlamydia info is a little tidbit I picked up WORKING in an STD clinic. Not visiting one. Just thought I'd point that out:)

  3. Lisa your true life adventures are
    more interesting than those of the
    wild west of the last century.Hang
    in there..You are keeping your faith and your sense of humor. Our love is with you...........gram