Opening the clinic:
Today is a special day. Our morning devotion was dedicated to Fausto, one of our long-time local volunteer who has lost his daughter Fernanda in an accident last Thursday. Although it was extremely hard for him to bury his child yesterday, he showed up today to continue contributing to the work of Faith In Practice. Fausto has inspired all of us: “I will be doing my best this week and I know you guys will be doing your best as well.” His dedication for taking care of people in need is tremendous, urging us to strive to bring our best service to the people of Guatemala, for whom healthcare is a luxury. Sharon started our day by reminding us of why we do what we do here with a quote from John 13:15: “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” For the next few days, we are going to make an impact on hundreds of lives, whether in a subtle way like giving a hug, or making a life-changing decision like performing a surgery. We headed to the clinic and started our very first day with a blessing. We prayed that we could do our best to lessen the pain and hardship that the people here have suffered, we prayed that our work could reach more and more people, and we thanked all of those who have made this mission possible, from our donors to our volunteers.
A long line of patients was already waiting for us as we arrived, looking forward to get treated. Our general clinic checked the patients in, asking them questions to know what problems they got before sending them to specific specialists, such as gynecology or radiology. Our triage section was really busy testing hundreds of urine samples while our gynecology room was also in full force. The translators were working so hard to help both the doctors and patients understanding each other. Our Guatemalan volunteers checked the patients in, giving them references and making sure everyone knows where to go to. Kids were given photobooks, stickers and toothbrushes that one of our volunteers brought with her. At the pharmacy, glasses were given out to help those who had vision problem. Although it was cold and windy, we were all working hard to be able to take care of our five hundred patients of the day. In the pediatric room alone, over 170 patients were served while our gynecology room had diagnosed around 70 people. Taking charge of our laboratory, Cindy and Christy performed several tests and successfully treated some patients who had trouble hearing due to the amount of inner wax. Our dentist and his assistant have done an amazing and effective job at cleaning teeth and performing extractions. The connection between the patients and the doctors as well as the gratitude shown after every treatment were beautiful. It is heart-breaking that many of these people have waited several months or a year to get a chance to see a doctor because of the inaccessibility of healthcare, but it is relieving to know that we ended our day at 6p.m on a good note. Despite the tremendous workload, we finished our long and tiring day in a state of contentment and gratefulness. Hopefully tomorrow is going to be a productive day as well.