Today was our last day of clinic. Saturday is generally a day off work in Guatemala, as it is in MN. We had good intentions of an early start, however our trusty driver for the week over slept. We ventured to the lowlands with anticipation of higher temperatures and the need to use insect repellant. The scent of the blooming coffee plants was sweet, much preferred over the smoke we have been trying to get used to over the week. Our final destination was Neuve Vida. We were surprised by the extremely steep paved path down and then across a sturdy bridge. Yes, we hauled all of our supplies. Dr Cathy Davis has grown attached to the Green Monster and insisted on taking him to the clinic site. The view was beautiful. The building was one large spacious area. The well oiled machine went to work and quickly set up as we were greeted by patiently waiting families eager for our team's care.
Barb Traxler, RN, along with Katie Masurka, paramedic, were busy triaging the patients they also found time to entertain all of the children today. Teaching them various songs and games, creating many smiles and giggles. As they would walk down the road,"the pied piper" came to mind.
Rosalinda Robertson, pediatrician who joined us this week from Ohio, discovered that 3 young children easily maneuvered her cell phone for photos and videos. Another young boy was busy playing on his mother's cell phone as he waited for their care..
Every day, one of the important questions was "do we have a bathroom? how is it?" We always traveled with our own toilet paper. Today was the first day that we had some MDP team members decline to use the outhouse. However, we were grateful every day to have the local community offer up their homes for our personal needs and use.
The young girls were excited to share their local treasure----a cashew tree! It was huge and amazing. Next to it in their yard was a huge mango tree. This part of the region is known for their fruit and according to our interpreters it is near harvest time.
We all agreed, today was very hot and we were glad to have insect repellent. There was a lovely breeze--by the nurses triage station.
Today we were able to serve 47 people in the community. The total patients that were seen by MDP this week was 276.. There were certainly some common themes in the complaints that we addressed, but there were very unique stories as well
Today was another reminder of how difficult a life in poverty can be.
Make us worthy Lord, to serve our fellow men Throughout the world Who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give peace and joy.---Mother Teresa.
As we all hesitantly grabbed an item to haul back up the steep steep paved path at the 5000 feet altitude, felt a bit guilty as we watched young men place large heavy speakers and cement blocks and piles of wood on their backs and walk without complaint. It was quite humbling and impressive.
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