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El Encinal

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

After waking up to the sound of birds chirping outside, we began our day with breakfast at 6:15 followed by a team photo at 7:15. We then hopped on the bus and embarked on a 45-minute journey to El Encinal, a warm, welcoming community in Las Vegas, Santa Barbara.

Once we arrived, we set up our supplies for the clinic inside the school. We loved looking at the cheerful pictures painted on the classroom's walls as we got ready for the day. Quickly, community members began to arrive at the registration table, and they made their way into the medical clinic for physicals and measurements, the dental clinic for fluoride treatments and tooth extractions, the eye clinic for vision testing, and the medication table for deworming pills and vitamins.

The morning flew by, and before we knew it, it was time to break for lunch. After eating, we saw more patients, and we played with the children while they waited for their parents to be done with examinations and procedures. We all had a lot of fun coloring with chalk, playing soccer, and blowing bubbles.

Once we had seen our last patient for the day, community members graciously helped us disassemble the clinic and reload supplies into the bus. We are so thankful for their help! After another picturesque bus ride, we arrived back at Alfredo's House, where we ate a delicious dinner and shared stories from the day. It was another wonderful day of forming community and striving towards health equity for all.

~Elizabeth Sjovold

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