Thursday, May 25, 2023
Today we took another windy trip up, down, and around the mountains to reach Puerta De Potrero. This community was the smallest population we have seen so far this week. On arrival we were greeted with a warm hug and a big smile from an older member of the community. The team did their thing and turned an empty collection of rooms in a long schoolhouse building into a fully functioning clinic complete with an eye clinic, vitamin station, dental clinic and general medical clinic along with a functioning electronic medical record and chiropractic care center in a matter of minutes. Before we were even quite finished, Minerva, one of our Honduran staff amigas, gave initial instructions to the large crowd already gathered excitedly awaiting the start of the day. Sue gave the welcome and the community faith leader gave a blessing for the day.
Sarah and Courtney shared the dental clinic was very busy today with lots of children getting fluoride treatments and less busy with extractions. Sarah was feeling the impact of allergies for a good part of the day and hopes to feel better tomorrow. She shared that her biggest excitement of the day was a Honduran friend complimenting her well-spoken Spanish while giving each patient instructions. Courtney shared that while the busy morning was tough it meant they were finished early enough to visit other parts of the clinic, one of which was visiting the pharmacy where her husband just happened to be working. It brought her great joy getting to interact with patients, especially the children.
Norma has been manning the vitamin station and we as a team were very nervous the children’s vitamins were going to run out today due to delayed shipping of supplies, but like loaves and fish, there were enough bottles for every child who passed through the station. The very last bottle was given to the last child in line.
Karen enjoyed another day in weights and measures but was very surprised the heavy rain we experienced this morning at Alfredo’s House did not quite reach this community on the other side of the mountains and therefore did not provide a break in the heat. She was so excited to get to hold a sweet baby today while his mother finished the station.
Once again Sue set up her chiropractic station which has been very popular. She had a delightful experience of caring for an older gentleman who seemed to be very full of the joy of life at 83 years of age. She had quite a surprise after adjusting his back when she went on to try to do an adjustment on his knee. Unbeknownst to her, he was apparently very ticklish and let out a deep, joyful laugh every time she touched him. Unfortunately, after a few patients Sue started feeling unwell and had to close the chiropractic room for the day. She is now feeling a little better and we pray she is well enough to practice her gift tomorrow for our last clinic day.
The General Medical Clinic crew had a very hot and intense day. We agreed it was quite toasty in our much cozy room today, and Patti educated the team on the drastically different microclimates of the small country of Honduras explaining why the heavy rain we experienced at our base did not quite make it to the dry dusty land we served in today.
Today all medical exam station team members shared that the patient acuity seemed to be a little higher compared to previous days this week. Lots of children and adults required both in clinic treatment and referral to further care and or evaluation by a specialty. Lots of children, especially the small toddler age children, were experiencing fevers and upper respiratory symptoms and just for no better words “didn’t feel good.” Daniel, working in pharmacy for the week, was “crazy busy” providing breathing treatments, running point of care testing like glucose tests and urine dips, dressing wounds, and helped dispense lots of interventional meds.
Patti shared her joy of the day was taking care of a little girl named none other than Patti spelled exactly like her name, which is not the local spelling. She was also able to care for a three generational family with many needs including a man with significant respiratory needs to which Daniel was able to team up and assist with treating in clinic.
Catherine shared about a family she spent extra time with today who needed a little extra emotional support and whose small children were so delightful that they brought smiles to our faces even at the end of a very long busy day.
Perrine shared just how much joy this week has already brought to her life. She shared the kindness, thankfulness, and joy she has witnessed from every patient she has seen, and she shared the sadness it brought her to think about tomorrow being our last day as a team, and how leaving these sweet people behind hurt her heart.
Emberli shared the intense needs of almost every family evaluated today and the confirmation that we were meant to be there to serve on such a day as this. In the midst of heavy sickness and disease she was able to take care of an extremely healthy and pregnant young lady and was happy to encourage her that she was as healthy as she could be during her first pregnancy with a boy.
Dan shared that he remains amazed at the many needs in the community and thankful we can in some modest way help in meeting some of the needs. He also was blessed to have as his first patient the same older lady who greeted us with a hug as well got off the bus. It was extremely encouraging to listen to her testimony of her reliance on God and her desire to serve Him completely since ‘He is everything’.
Before we began our journey today we made plans in hopes of finishing early enough for a stop for “helado” (ice cream) on our way home, but in the end we were much too late for ice cream, and while we all were saddened to miss the treat we all agreed that the greatest joy of the day was knowing the people we served today needed our time and care far more than any of us needed ice cream and we will all rest well tonight knowing we served well!
Hasta Manana Amigos!
~Muchas Manos Team
Susan Streigler - Team Leader
Patti Wagner - Team Leader