We served in La Cuchilla today, and it proved to be the busiest day so far for general medical clinic, with 205 patients seen. It was also an especially busy day for dental, where 61 extractions were performed. 143 children and adults received vitamins, 28 children were given fluoride treatments, and 49 children visited the deworming station. The pediatric and adult eye clinics screened 43 people, and we referred 15 patients for further medical evaluation and treatment.
Team leader Patti had cautioned us that today could be challenging since we were visiting a large community after having already completed three long, hot and tiring days. Indeed, the day dawned very rainy, which had the potential to make our travel over the steep mountain terrain more difficult. We loaded the bus and trucks with our many supply-laden tubs and duffel bags as usual and started on our way.
As we left the Friends of Barnabas compound, the skies began to clear. Raul did a fantastic job of navigating the steep and muddy mountain road that would take us to our community. At one point, we got off the bus so that Raul could get better traction up a hill. Imagine our surprise and delight when we walked over the hill to see our community right in front of us. It was an amazing experience to be able to walk the rest of the way. God is so good!
Six team members were moved to give their cross necklaces away today. Shar gave hers to a little boy named Christian, one of the first children we met when we arrived in the community. Nadine gave hers to a father who is currently unemployed, after she spent some time encouraging him in his search for a job that will allow him to better provide for his family.
April encountered a young man who was especially anxious in the dental clinic today. His was a difficult extraction and she used her cross to help calm him through the procedure. Julie met a young mother in the medical clinic whose infant son was suffering from significant developmental issues. She has endured many challenges with her baby and will endure many more. Julie was so moved by the situation that she wanted to do something to help encourage her along the journey.
Dave Parker met a man who was being seen with his mother and brother. All three of them have significant medical issues – the mother has a pacemaker, one son has epilepsy, and the man that Dave spoke with had polio as a child and now suffers from congestive heart failure and an enlarged liver. When Dave realized how much this mother is going through, he knew where his cross needed to go. And the mother’s reaction upon receiving it confirmed that he had made the right choice.
Grazyna’s cross went to a little girl who stopped playing with her friends to help pick up trash around the school where we worked today. Grazyna assured this little one that she would grow up to do great things and be a leader in her community.
It’s hard to believe that we only have one more day to serve on our trip. We are looking forward to tomorrow with great anticipation for what it will bring.