Thursday, June 21st 2018
Today we saw our largest community yet and also the farthest away. It seemed like a long drive, almost 2 hours away on the curvy mountain roads. There was a large crowd eagerly awaiting our arrival. Working on the children’s intake, we measure each child’s height and weight and even head circumference of the younger children. Many of the mothers come with 3 to 4 children, sometimes all their own, and sometimes they bring the children of those unable to come. Some communities seem to have more babies than the others, and today was one with lots of younger children. The babies were very weary of us, not wanting to be separated from their mother to be weighed on the scale or have their height measured. We are lucky to get to have interaction with most of the kids and families.
We noticed a young mom with a very young baby and two other kids. We were talking to her and realized she had walked over 3 hours to get to us. Three hours just to get medical care for her children. It really puts everything in perspective for you and makes you feel guilty for even thinking about complaining of the 2 hour drive there or sitting in an hour worth of traffic at home. We are so very lucky to have such easy access to medical care, clean water, and clean bathrooms. All of which I know I take for granted on a daily basis.
We served 240 people today for a total of 781 patients for the week so far. The days have been long, but so rewarding. We have all worked very hard as a team to provide the best care possible and take care of the most people we can with our own team, as well as the staff from Friends of Barnabas. We are so lucky and I am so thankful for all of those that take care of us and help us in the communities. Each station is paired with a translator who we rely on to communicate with these people. Though I studied Spanish in college, I know I would not have made it without our translator to help to calm down the babies in Spanish. I know we all feel the difficulties of the communication barrier and we are so thankful to have these great people working with us.
I am sad to write that tomorrow will be our last day going out to the communities. I look forward to waking up every day to the new adventure that awaits us. I will truly miss this place that has made a special place in my heart already. I am looking forward to one last day and can’t wait to see what it has in store.