Nicaragua weather today......It was a stifling 31 degrees this morning with very little breeze.
This was to be our last clinic day. We went to Nandaime Hospital to pick up the Nicaraguan staff ( doctors, nurses, translators) and then headed off on relatively well paved roads to the school in Rio de Medina. Several of us had panicked looks on our faces when we saw the incredible line of people waiting for us when our bus stopped in Rio de Medina.
We set up our clinic rather effectively and with a great degree of independence awaiting the onslaught that was forthcoming. We had to do all this setup without our “Go to guy” Larry who was ill. You were missed Larry; most notably by Camellia who had to set up the latrines in his absence.
The pharmacy’s first patient was an unfriendly scorpion who unfortunately did not fill his script before his demise. As the day progressed we ran out of registration papers but Edgar once again came to the rescue and gave us pages from his journal to use.
Even though Bev and Pilo ran out of men’s running shoes, the people from the village were immensely grateful to them and blessed them several times.
Mike the self-proclaimed Ophthalmologist ran out of reading glasses while Mary was left with only a few sunglasses. Mary, our proud American friend, was also caught putting up our large Canadian flag.
This was the first clinic where the nurses, dentist, doctors and pharmacy were in the same building and it showed. One thing is for certain the lung capacity of Nicaraguan children is second to none. I’m sure the 45 tooth extractions done by the dentist with Janice assisting didn’t help the volume in the clinic.
We estimate we saw 269 patients today some travelling from as far as 20 miles away and from 3 different communities. The entire COMMIT team really came through to provide good care to our Nicaraguan friends.
David gave out 4 hearing aids today which made a dramatic difference not only in their hearing but in their entire demeanor. Special thanks to Sheri and Shelly who donated 29 hearing aids through The Hearing Center of Stratford. We also want to acknowledge and thank the Rotary Club of Stratford Charitable Foundation who make this trip financially possible.
Also thanks to GoTech and Dan and Dennis for the donation of two laptops which were given to our young Nicaraguan Doctors Maria and Judy who worked so tirelessly for us through our 6 clinics. Hard to believe that most people in Nicaragua do not have computers in this day and age and they were very grateful.
We had our last round table meeting after another delicious dinner and dessert by Ava. It was a little bittersweet because we had to say goodbye to many of our amazing Nicaraguan translators. Jimmy said it best when he stated how important it is for the people in Nicaragua to see groups such as COMMIT come to their country out of love and respect for their fellow human beings. He was confident that this would have a lasting impact on the people that we met. We think that sums up exactly what this trip was all about!
Doug, Aman and Jo-Anne