Completing day 2 at San Jose Montana:
This is an updated on the number of patients we saw on our first day at the clinic:
PEDIATRICS AND FAMILY: 170
In total, 641 patients were seen during our 10-hour work day! I look forward to seeing the grand total at the end of the week.
Today is another day at our local elementary school. We left the hotel early this morning after our morning devotional where Christy and Alma reminded us to be thankful for every moment of the trip: “Say thank you for your eyes as they allow you to see the miraculuousness of today, which unlock the door to contentment.” It is fortunate that we could show our gratitude not only throughout this week but also we head home after completing our mission.
I have heard from one of our doctors that Faith In Practice is the second largest healthcare providing system in Guatemala. In Guatemala, 59% of people live under the poverty line and 79% of the indigenous Mayans live in poverty. Guatemala is severely in need of healthcare assistance and Faith In Practice makes a wonderful contribution to the quality of people’s lives here. We ended up closing our clinic at around 4p.m, a little bit later than expected. We saw many gracious and resilient patients today. Hundreds of patients received referrals for surgeries to help with hernias, cleft palette, cataract surgery, and many more.
A moment which stood out to me beyond others today is when a woman with her 9-year-old son came in for help with a previous head injury. Collecting the medical history, the physician asked if he was seen by a doctor after his head injury. The woman looked defeated and said, “Doctora, you must understand that we are very poor and I could NOT bring him to any doctor.” The child has injury related behavioral problems that perhaps could’ve been improved with initial medical intervention. However, this was completely unaffordable for this family.
Another story was a young woman who has a vaginal infection and was tested in the gynecology office. She was shaking so much as she walked to the laboratory. Seeing her shaking due to nervousness, Merry sat down with her, patting on her shoulders and trying to make her feel better. Merry showed her to breathe in and out slowly to calm her down, telling her that everything was going to be okay. Luckily, the girl started to feel better and stopped shaking. This proves that every single one of our staffs truly care about the patients and make sure that they are receiving the best service possible. This is why Faith In Practice stands out and was rated in the top 1% of all charities in the USA by Charity Navigator for the last 25 years.
At the pharmacy, I witnessed an older woman who was prescribed with reading glasses. Thanks to the donation of glasses we received, many people here were able to have vision aid. As the woman walked away after receiving her medicine, the door guy at the pharmacy ran after her and asked: “Miss, do you want glasses?” She seemed a little bit surprised but then was very happy and replied: “Si.” The guy asked her if she worked with needles a lot, to which the answer was yes. Many older Guatemalan women have vision problems because they spend hours doing meticulous sewing and weaving job. As they get older, they cannot see as clearly and the glasses will help them so much with their daily tasks. I captured a beautiful moment when the lady received her pair of glasses with a big smile, being able to read all the lines of letters.
We will begin our day again tomorrow at 5:45 am. Tomorrow we will move to a new clinic at a new village and there will be hundreds more of patients awaiting. It has been a lot of work but our team will not stop until we have seen every single patients.