Trip 149, Post 4

Posted on: 03/07/2007

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Hola Amigos!

Day 3 in the Village of Penon (with the little thingy over the n). Penon comes from a type of pine tree from which we get pine nuts. When we got there, the people were already waiting for us in a very long line. It seemed the line stayed the same all day – they just kept coming - dressed in their very best. The women in their skirts and dresses with a checkered or flowered apron, the men in slacks and white shirts and the little girls in their Sunday dresses. We set up our clinic in a school which was quite nice since there were 6 classrooms to spread out in, out of the sun, wind and dust. So far it has been the most comfortable and clean facility.

Because we had lots of local helpers and having been there the year before, setting up was a breeze. Melita (one of Loretta’s volunteers) prepared this wonderful fruit buffet including watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple for our lunch. Muy deliciosa!

We were even busier than the day before seeing a total of 539 patients, including 61 dental patients with numerous teeth having been pulled. So for the pharmacy, that is approximately 1600 prescriptions filled! At the time of this posting, I do not have the number of referrals yet. I understand the Jalpatagua team did a few surgeries (open cholecystectomy, an incision and drainage and an inguinal hernia repair). There are still many issues to be worked out with the facility as well as politically and what role volunteer teams will take in the future. The VIA Cryo team screened well over 100 patients again and the good news is that the incidence of HPV seems lower in this population than in other parts of the country.

On the way home we passed a couple of men in a pineapple truck and Pablo got out and bought some fresh pineapples. Tonight we were all a little more tired, our middle aged brains fried from trying to remember the Spanish words for various things. All in all another successful and rewarding day.

Hopefully we have made a difference in some peoples lives and are able to give back just a little, because surely they have made a difference in our own. One cannot come to this place to see and meet these poor people without having been changed in some way. One of the most striking revelations for me is that probably 2/3 of the world’s population lives in such poverty. It seems a little overwhelming at times since we are able to do so little. I come back home each time humbled and grateful.

Hasta luego!

Trip #149 Bloggers