Jana Nisly


Home visit and [floor]side manner

Fond greetings from the land of warmth and war, from the land of schizophrenic civility and criminality, from the land where beauty and bestiality walk comfortably together. I am including this picture (with the patient’s permission) because I wanted you to be able to join me in a home visit.  I wish you could have […]

Latest and greatest in El Salvador

2009 in Review, el Resbaladero With all good intentions and warm thoughts, I meant to send this last fall; then I hoped to include you in my Thanksgiving blessings; after that I hoped to sneak my greetings in with the rest of your Christmas mail, but now, at last, a very Happy New Year to […]

Lemonade from lemons

It is again, indeed, Thanksgiving time.  Forgive me for rubbing it in, but—well, I like our frost-free existence here. Not that weather doesn’t give us fits, for it does.  Two weeks ago, our ‘dry season’ converted to ‘drizzle season’ and parts of El Salvador received 14” of rain in a weekend.  Deforested hills deal poorly […]

Home delivery and other things that didn’t work so well

I am really truly back in El Salvador (see pictures below for verification).  You may be asking, “So how is it going?” The short answer: “Very well, thanks”.  I’ve been back just long enough to get reacquainted with many of our patients and their charts from the past year.  With absolute objectivity, I do believe […]

Burnout and beyond

In my last letter, I promised a more cheerful update.  H-E-E-R-E it is!  And I include my thanks from the very tips of my toes for your incredible generosity and helpfulness in this part of my journey.  I couldn’t imagine a more caring, loving group of friends than you have been through my years in […]

Of bullets, bullies, and bulldozers

Up until November 15 I had never been shot at.  And when the bullet from the automatic rifle smashed through the door behind which I had been standing an instant before, I felt finite, mortal, and targeted. Weeks before that incident I had mused about the two faces of the Salvadoran people.  The one face […]

Re-entry, both ways

Greetings from the igloos of Central America!  It’s a breezy 70 degrees outdoors and we are bundling up as if there were snow on the ground. Our semiannual trip to the US produces a cultural shift which causes me to teeter between reorientation and disorientation.  Marietta and my first step in preparation for leaving (as […]

When it rains, it…

Teaching others makes me a learner again.   This past month I’ve been experiencing a “whip-lash” education, listening with one ear to the Ohio-trained nurse who has spent the last 7 years practicing independently in rural Haiti and with the other to the diploma-ed emergency room RN studying for her Bachelors of Nursing degree at the […]

Minute miracles

Sometimes life marches by and suddenly I glance up and remember that it’s been a while since I wrote you.  A visiting friend told me that my letters give the impression that I am the only person working in our mission and that I am involved only in practicing medicine. Neither is true, so after […]

Second internship: Wasn’t one enough? (Not in El Salvador!!)

Warm spring greetings to all! Internship: These last months have erupted with both pleasant and unpleasant excitement.  The upshot is that I am now an intern at the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Santa Ana, El Salvador. That is a short statement with a long history.  (For those of you who know the details […]

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The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed... Luke 4:17