Monday, February 15, 2010

We've hit a new record.

It has been an exhausting and yet, extremely rewarding day.  We held our first clinic at Melara, a community of about 2000 people close to the Pacific coast, and heavily affected by the flooding in November.  On our way there we even had to drive down into the dry river bed because the bridge is still being repaired.  I tried taking some photos, but unfortunately they are too blurry.
Before I get into today's clinic, I should write a little about our trip to the Remar Orphanage yesterday.  As I mentioned yesterday, the kids were absolutely adorable!  The smiles we got and the little ones playing was a joy to watch.  We learned that although the government places children there, they are funded solely by donation.  No child is ever kicked out.  When they are old enough they work as a volunteer, taking care of the younger kids.  The baby I'm holding in the photo from yesterday's post is actually not an orphan.  She's is the child of one of those kids who grew up, got married, and is still helping.  Some of the children there aren't actually orphans, but they were taken away from their parent(s).  Sometimes they go back home, but that is a rare occurance.  They seemed so happy and carefree.  There were at least 3 stuffed animals on every bed, clothing folded neatly in stacks, and shoes piled in corners.  They are well taken care of, which was wonderful to see.
Now on to our first clinic.  Wow, what a day!!!  It was crazy busy all day.  We had 7 local doctors join our medics, bringing the total to 20.  They were just whipping through patients all day!  It resulted in an extremely long line outside the pharmacy.  The line-up of new patients came to an end before lunch already because there was a misunderstanding that this clinic was only for those affected by the flooding.  Some people went out with a megaphone to "bring in the masses" and boy, did they come!  We helped 1,049 people today!  Chris, my husband, said that on the first trip to Honduras, that would have been a third of their total for the week.  Things did get a little unsettling a few times, with people pushing into our room too far.  That brought some security to our door.  People weren't pushing while a police woman holding a big gun stood at the front of that line.  We got so far behind that the medics had to stop and a few came in to help us.  We had so many people in that little space, but we got through everyone much easier. 

This is what the pharmacy looks like.  The people wait until we take their recetta, prescription, before coming in the room.  Then they take a seat, or at least when it's not super busy they do.  We fill the prescription and, in my case, hand it off to someone who can speak Spanish to do the patient counselling.

Here is our police officer with her gun helping to keep everyone in line and under control.
A few sweeties, waiting for their meds.
And, as promised, a photo of our security stopping traffic at a round-about so we can go through.  They do that a lot, and we appreciate it. 
Well, after that long day, I need to get some rest.  I'm still battling a head cold and would love it if you prayed for me on that matter.

Oh, if you want more details on our experiences and more stories, you should check out the FTC blog.  Tim is updating it every day.  I know he'll have some amazing stories and photos to share today.

To bed I go, another clinic day tomorrow.

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