Fun times at our community health clinical.  Me and Kate led this morning’s exercise class.  Usually, they follow a Sit-and-Fit DVD, but Kate had a different idea and found Korean morning calisthenics on youtube.  She told me that there is a particular type of Korean music that always goes along with the routine and that it’s a tradition in Korea.  It was a little more vigorous than Sit-and-Fit, so these ladies (after 3-4 minutes) were like, I gotta sit down.

I have been reluctant to toot my Chinese speaking horn at this clinical.  Our other other language speakers are native in the other (their first) language and English is their 2nd language.  And I feel like I speak Chinese like a toddler.  So I didn’t advertise it too much, but the resident Chinese translator is in Taiwan visiting family for a month so I got to translate the following things today:  “tap dance class” “podiatrist” “church sponsored dinner”.  God, I’m a terrible translator.  Also, I got to try to explain free or reduced cost dental benefits to a resident.  First, I’m trying to understand how painful the tooth is, is it infected? a sharp pain? a dull pain?  This is difficult when I only know the word for tooth.  This poor gentleman just repeats, my tooth is (some medical word) which leads me confused, so then I ask, do you need to see the dentist today? next week? or in 6 months? Then I explain that the mobile, free dental service will take 6 months to get an appointment.  The subsidized dental clinic, you’ll need to apply in person at this particular address, but that will take some time too (unknown).  Then if you need to see a dentist now, here are some recommendations, but you’ll need to pay cash.  But all using the vocabulary of a toddler – so “mobile clinic” turns into “a big car which is driven by the dentist here”, podiatrist becomes “a doctor that looks at your feet” (which she seemed terribly confused by, maybe there aren’t podiatrists in China/Taiwan?) and subsidized turns into “maybe you don’t have to pay money, maybe you do, but maybe only a little”.  My classmates are laughing at me, because they hear the Chinese coming out quickly, and they are like – I thought you spoke like a toddler? But they don’t understand that the first sentence I said to the resident is, I apologize in advance that I speak like a small child, but I will try to help.

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