Today we had a cultural day to learn more about the people in Punta Gorda that we are treating. We started the morning with a lecture about the different cultures that are in PG. This was great because I had already seen multiple different patients of different cultures so I was able to apply this information to what I had already seen.
We then went to a local Mayan ruin site called Nim Li Punit. This was much smaller than the one I visited last weekend but still very cool. There was this sports court that they found that seemed sort of like a basketball game. They are not sure of what the rules were but they know there was a runner ball and two hoops. The court was different than modern day courts though so they are not sure how the game was played. The interesting thing about this is that the loser of the game would have to be offered up as sacrifice to the gods. Imagine if every time you played a game of anything and you lost you would be sacrificed. That’s insane to me. The tour guide we had then explained that the rules changed and they stopped sacrificing lives and instead just sacrificed drops of blood. This is much for civilized in my opinion.
After the Mayan ruin we went to a local woman’s group. A group of woman showed us all the different tasks that they do during the day. We started off by learning how to grind sugar cane. This is a physically exhausting task. All 14 of us did it and we only got enough sugar to barely cover the bottom of a bucket. I don’t know how they do this all the time. We then learned how to grind the corn to make corn tortillas. This task alone is exactly why physical therapists are needed in Belize. They work their wrists so hard with this task! I am finally piecing together why they have such bad overuse injuries. Finally they taught us how to make tortillas. This was a great way for us to see where the different injuries are coming from and it will allow me to adapt my patient education to find ways to help them continue to do their work in a safe manner.
The last part of the day we went to a local cave. This cave was also different from the one I went to last time. The entire cave was a giant swim. We had to wear life vests which helped a lot of people who weren’t the best swimmers. At the end of the cave there was a waterfall that we were allowed to play around in. It was really fun and everyone had a fun time. By the end of the day everyone was exhausted and ready for bed.