Today began as a lovely crisp, cool morning with a definite threat of rain. After a lovely breakfast, we loaded up our bus for another day full of activities, this time in the village of El Sauce San Luis. We were surprised by the road conditions and were grateful for the break that all of our bottoms, ribs, hips, and backs received. With few potholes and no rivers to forge, Marco was able to safely get us to the village in less than an hour. The views were spectacular and the village so organized and welcoming.
We passed their police department, a few stores, their church, and finally stopped at their school. The size of the school was very impressive, much larger than any of the villages we have visited so far this week. There was even a kindergarten across the street. We were greeted by an assortment of community members to serve, everyone from small babies to a 91 year old woman. Surprisingly, this village has many children and adults alike with blue/green eyes and light brown hair with very European features scattered among the native Honduran dark hair and brown eyes.
One such family that was striking contained an older man, woman, and two very small girls. After speaking with them, we learned that this family had walked an hour and a half to come to the clinic. Both parents came from very poor families and are very poor themselves, the children were covered in soot and dirt from the long walk. They pulled on the heart strings and were one of the kindest, most caring families. Come to find out, they also were unable to read or write. The father kept all of his medicines in his shirt pocket and gave the other medications to his wife so that he could keep them straight. They promised us they would find someone in their village who could read, to help them remember the instructions when necessary. This family walked longer today then we drove and they were happy and so very grateful.
A rarity in this community was our 91 year old woman. She walked in herself with no cane or walker. She had the most perfect silvery hair and was the kindest being. In a village full of very young mothers, but very healthy children, I can’t help but think that these elders and their knowledge in the community are helping them thrive.
Another family contained four young children and their mother. The woman has been married twice, her first husband died and her second was killed. She works in the fields every day alongside the men so that she can provide for her family. They were very close knit and the eldest child kept her arms around the younger ones.
A set of identical twins also graced our clinic. These precious little girls were almost a year old and share a birthday with one of our team members. Gratefully, they were very healthy children.
A massive downpour in the middle of our clinic had us worried that some of the community members would be turned away. After about an hour or so though, the sun came out and the village continued to pour in. We saw 212 of the residents in our clinic today, 229 received vitamins, 149 deworming, 3 Vitamin A, 37 fluoride treatments, 72 visits to the eye clinic, 14 dental patients with 19 extractions, 14 referrals, and two joined the Extended Care Program. Throughout the day we treated mostly high blood pressure, urinary troubles, respiratory issues and gastrointestinal symptoms. No emergent trips to the hospital were necessary today, thank the Lord.
Seven of us visited the beautifully wonderful waterfall before calling it a night and settling into our home for a wonderful dinner and some rest. Another day, more families touched by the power of love, medicine, and the Lord.