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A Graduating Community

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Morning came in the middle of a steady rain that could be heard on the metal roof of Alfredo house today. Sometime between breakfast and getting ready for the morning’s trip, though, the rain backed off and eventually ceased. We made the trip up—way up—to today's community. This community is a larger village compared to others that FOB visits, and the general medical clinic saw 306 medical patients today. 42 teeth were extracted, 142 people received deworming medicine, and 77 children received fluoride treatments for their teeth.

Today's community was a special one in lots of ways, but today we were acutely aware of the fact that it was experiencing its 6th and final visit from the FOB mission teams. Villages that partner with FOB to receive care for their residents typically have a team come to the village twice a year for three years, or a total of six times. In addition to the teams bringing medical, dental, and optical clinics to the villages, the communities get education in general medical and dental hygiene, air and water quality, and other areas necessary for improved community health. This community now has “graduated” from FOB’s program, and while they will still have contact with FOB for certain needs, they are much healthier now than three years ago and can sustain their community’s health largely on their own.

It was bittersweet to see the interactions between the children and the returning members of the team. The team members remembered the kids from last year and the kids remembered them, and towards the end of the day we had to explain to them in broken Spanish that we weren’t coming back again. While it is sad that we probably will never see those children again, it is heartening to know that FOB’s mission in the community has been a success. ~Taylor Rhodes

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