Gifts of Gratitude....
Today we held clinic in a very remote area of Chiapas, a community nestled in between mountains and winding roads. The final road up to the clinic was so steep we had to walk up and have our supplies brought up to us by a small pickup truck. This is the first time MDP has held clinic here, however there were people that traveled by foot or truck from the surrounding communities of Tierra Livertad, San Antonio Porvenir and Nueva Aurora, communities of patients that had once traveled to other communities we had served over the past two years. One family, a mother, father and their two very sick young boys had walked over an hour to get to our clinic. They were relieved and grateful they were able to be seen today and get help for their children. Some of the people that had traveled to see us had actually seen us in a near by community-"Playa Azul" two years ago.
It was a beautiful ride to the community of "Badenia" rolling hills and cloud covered mountains, grazing cattle, small fields of corn and coffee beans illuminated by sunshine above.
Clinic was held in an outdoor area covered by a roof that kept out the rain and strong rays of sunlight. The community was ready and waiting for our arrival. After a quick set of up our clinic, we were ready to start our day.
Lauren (my niece), my interpreter for the day and I called back our first patient of the day. The patient was a women in her late 40's suffering from recurrent chronic medical problems. It was difficult for her see a doctor much less to be able to get medications she needed. Her face was weathered by the elements, her forehead furrowed with worry and pain. She accompanied by her daughter who greeted us with a bright smile of delight, and appeared very happy and excited to see us.
After a medical consult and exam, the patient was given medications for her aliments, smiled softly with a look of content and relief. Before leaving us, the patient's daughter again smiled with delight as she told us she was so excited that her mother was one of the first ones in line today and told us she was so hoping her mother would be able to seen specifically by me. She proceeded to tell Lauren and I that her mother was seen by me TWO years ago at the community of Playa Azul during a MDP trip. The daughter explained how grateful she and her mother were for the treatment she received two years ago and had brought me a gift in hopes that I would again be here today.
From her hand made bag, she carefully pulled out a bag of coffee wrapped in a simple little blue plastic bag. She proceeded to tell me how she and her family grew this coffee at their home, dried it and ground it. She brought this gift of coffee with her today in hopes that I might be here. Her actions and voice filled with pride as she told the process of growing this coffee and being able to bring it to me today as a gift of gratitude for helping her mother two years ago and today.
As she carefully explained with pride how to make this coffee at home, my eyes filled with tears and I began to trembled as she placed the small bag of coffee into my hands. Her gratitude for our service, her pride in a gift she worked hard to grow, and hearing from her how grateful her family and community are for the work MDP has done in this area during the past two years and today filled my heart with gratitude, reminded me once again why I am here and why we (MDP) must continue to serve our sometimes forgotten brothers and sisters of Chiapas.