I’M DEDICATING THIS ENTRY TO MY FELLOW FRIENDS IN PHILIPPINES, WHOSE HELPFUL EFFORTS ARE TEMPORARILY FORCED TO STOP BECAUSE OF THE TYPHOON.
*** MEDICAL ALERT ***
THE WORLD IS SMALLER THAN WE THINK IT IS. But, a small world can get complicated at times. My friends at the Philippines are indeed unfortunate because they met up with an unexpected typhoon, which dampened their plans (I hope not their spirits) of public health education in a rural village. I myself went into a clinic this morning happy and enthusiastic, but left with a sad mood and heavy feet.
TAPP (Teen Age Parenting Program) is a wonderful clinic that the people at Cornell are giving. The ask young teenage mums to come, and get their babies and themselves checked, while giving them parental guidance and support. These girls may look matured, but they are often around 15 years of age. Some of them have some family support, but most of them left home and is now living in a shelter for teenage mothers. Imagine a teenage dealing with all these complicated stuff that even a lot of adults cannot handle well.
The patient I met was depressed, and had a few suicidal ideations prior to this. Although the baby is well taken care of, she admitted that she could not go through the pressure of continuing her studies, working, and dealing with her relationship problems, all with a baby at hand. I am really impressed that a lot of support is given by the health care system in New York. They have therapies once a week, and plenty of people to help with the money and social issues. The doctor initiated an a agreement with her, that she would call for help whenever she feels uncomfortable and needs a break. They really do a lot to help protect the child and the mother (which is still a child anyway).
I stayed in for the noon group meeting of the young parents. In this session, a therapist used a game to help them visualize their future and help make a plan towards that. During the discussions, you can easily notice how young these mums are, they are DEFINITELY still teenagers at mind.
*** END OF MEDICAL ALERT ***
WHEN I TOLD SHINYEE THAT WE ARE 12 HOURS APART (NEW YORK AND MANILA), she said “What a small world,” in surprise. It IS a small world, I noticed that feeling when I first stepped into Chinatown. If you have the stereotype that Chinatown is noisy and dirty and the little streets are packed with Chinese signboards and lanterns, then you are completely correct. I took photos of the Memorial Gate, a statue of Confucius and Commisioner Lin, just to prove that I have been here. I accidently saw the headquarters of the Taiwanese Party, and they seem have an office here. A great change would be the Manhattan bridge nearby, it looked really pretty and big.
I then went to the Grand Central station, right in the middle of midtown. It is really weird that a major road ends at the building, and it sits right at the center of that road. The bulding is very classical, and the central space occcupies all those travellers either coming in or going home. There are a whole floor of food shops at the basement, so it is a good place to come for food. All those people meeting and departing at the station, makes you appreciate transportation even more. Thanks to transportation and internet, our world is so much closer.