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Laguna del Jicaro

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Today we had a two hour and 10-minute ride deep into the mountains. I planned to read on the ride, but the roads were so bumpy I could barely keep track of where I was on the page. Some people were scared because on one side of the bus was a cliff and the other side was a rock wall, but I had faith in Geovany. Up until we got to the village there was very little civilization. Luckily those two hours went by fast.

Immediately getting there I could tell this village was much smaller than the day before and surprisingly mostly children. What was interesting to see and learn was that everyone would come in their Sunday best to show their respect for us. Though sweet, this community was much quieter and apprehensive interacting with us, which I do not blame them for. By the end of the day though we had all managed to crack them out of their shells. Eventually the kids all warmed up to us, playing with bubbles and balloons we had blown up. Playing with the kids, the parents eventually joined in, and it was beautiful to see. Everyone playing and running around together, though not speaking the same language. Of course, we broke out the stickers and nail polish again, the moms loved it and some of the boys wanted us to paint their nails as well.

On a sadder note, it’s important to remember that we’re not just there to brighten their one day, but to help them moving forward. It was clear to see that this community was much sicker than the one we saw before. There were many people with dengue, a detrimental disease spread by mosquito bites, a lot of malnutrition in children, and many more problems. While playing with the children is so important, the work happening is the clinic is life changing.

To show that today I’d like to share an experience that Savanah had today that I felt was very important and special. She along with Dra. Moncada were very caring and selfless with this one lady. At first, we all thought that she was dehydrated and maybe had some mental disability due to her refusal to talk. Throughout her visit, Savanah stuck by her side the whole time and held her hand. With that, the young women opened up more and we got more information from relatives that she had experienced a traumatic event, and since then had not been the same. In communities like this, they often don’t know what to do when it comes to mental illness, so the person can be shunned out of the community and that’s exactly what happened. This poor woman had been through so much and clearly didn’t take care of herself, and though her only physical problem was dehydration it’s special situations like this we can help in ways more than physical. Savanah was amazing today and really built a connection with this woman, which was so heartwarming to see. It’s things like that that remind us why we’re really here.

Many hugs were passed around when it was time to leave. This community had become so open with us within the time we were there, and I couldn’t have been more grateful that they did. It’s important to remember back home we have so much more than these people and yet I do not hear a single person complain, only gratitude for what they have is shown.

Another amazing and successful day finished. I can tell that the work is starting to catch up to everyone including myself. We all kept talking about how tired we were during dinner and yet kept talking. I can’t complain about a team that is able to be so open and loving with each other to the point where none of us want to go to bed. I personally though am exhausted so it’s going to be an early night for me. Till tomorrow 💙


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