Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 3

Dr. Mike

The line to get into the clinic

Joy Anna in triage

Bathroom necessities

Virginia and a little patient

Day 3 Medical/ Dental by Nancy Haegele
Today we went to San Jose where our construction team was working on a feeding center. It was so neat to see the children and young teens working side by side with our people. The first thing that I noticed sitting up on the hill was an outdoor latrine. (See photo). I did not venture into it as we were warned, so the pack of the shed looked much more appealing. this I see as a number on e problem- the lack of water and hygiene. As I watched on young man enter the outhouse and exit and then continued to go about his day. Many of the people we saw had stomach problems, and I can see why. I pondered with others on the team what a difference it would make if these people could only wash their hands.

We had an extremely busy day on the clinic, but with our great system, we were able to care for 175 people on the medical side. We worked side by side with our dentist John and hygienist Shannon who were extremely busy. They saw 36 patients and extracted 61 teeth. Because of our system, we were all able to float around and help in any area of the clinic where there was a need. What a blessing to have this team.

In San Jose, they have no running water, no electricity, and I am told only holding tanks where people can go and carry water to their homes. The three school houses were filled with children when we arrived. They graciously stopped school in two of them and allowed our teams to set up. Throughout the day, all these children would peek in, laugh, and smile. Many of them were seen by either the doctors or dentist.

The highlight of the day for me, was holding the young children and comforting them as Mike examined and cared for them. Such beautiful children, but mom wouldn't let me take one of the little girls home. I feel that so much is missing by not being able to hold conversations with these children and their parents. Once again this year my goal is to try and learn more Spanish or at least speak what I do know - which is very little.

The latrine

Dr. Keith with a small patient

Dave dispensing meds

Nancy and one of the tiniest patients.

Lyle working on forms.

Jerry working on forms

The local children excavating

Becky and Rick working on a form

the afternoon crew of excavators

Day 3 Construction by Jerry Wallace
Wednesday was a good day in the mountains south east of Matagulpa. The dental medical and construction teams worked together in a remote mountain village on an old coffee plantation building a feeding center and attending to the needs of the village of about 300 people. The construction team fabricated steel forms for footings and columns to complete the center. We were surprised at the progress made by the local children using pick axes, shovels, and wheel barrows to excavate the construction site.

We are all sore, bruised, blistered, and tired, but the smiles and thank yous of the people help to renew our spirit.

The little guy in the photo is Elizando. He is a most industrious little guy who has learned every task that we have worked on since Monday.

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