March 19 thru March 25
Oh campaigns. It’s always the same. We work until we feel like we’re going to pass out and then we do it again every day for a week. It’s great, and honestly for some crazy reason I really like it. I love knowing that we are able to give people something that would normally be difficult or impossible for them to get. And even though sometimes I could literally collapse in exhaustion or frustration I know that it’s all worth it.
This particular campaign was fun because we had about 16 more team members. Dr. Matson and a group of students from Eastern Virginia Medical School were here helping us. Five were med students and the rest were public health students who were doing a study in our community. The med students worked in the clinic with us all week seeing patients.
Here´s how it went- we would see 100 patients in the morning and 100 in the afternoon. I was the boss of the pharmacy and unfortunately, a lot of the time I found myself in there alone! It’s a scary place to be too- don’t be fooled. My stack of prescriptions would slowly grow and the more it grew the more people I had staring at me thru the pharmacy window. They would just crowd around and stare and me. And heaven forbid I step foot out of the pharmacy- as soon as I did I would be accosted by the herd of Peruvians awaiting their medicine. “Senorita! Senorita!”they would shout at me. I got to the point where I would go out, give the meds to the correct individual and turn right around and go back into the pharmacy completely ignoring the calls from everyone. Eventually, when other people were done with their jobs I would have more help in the pharmacy which obviously made things go a lot faster. Every day this week I worked thru lunch and one day I got there and there was not even a kernel of rice left for me. That was a sad day. Haha. Most days we worked until 7 o’clock and then I had to clean up the hurricane that appeared to have happened in the pharmacy. Two nights of the week we were up half the night with women in labor. We had 3 births in total this week. The only word that I can use to describe the week is crazy. Everything. It was nuts. The third birth happened in a car. The woman was on the way to the clinic and the baby’s head was already on the way out. By the time they got to the clinic and told Cecilia the shoulders were already coming out. She literally got to the mom just in time to catch the baby before it fell on the ground. I have no idea how we made it thru this week- God was definitely there giving us all extra strength to keep pressing on.
In the evenings we would have worship and that was amazing time just to wind down. We sang and laughed and shared stories- that was probably the part of each day that I enjoyed the most.
Each campaign inspires me. It makes me love my work here more and it helps me understand how important it is. Granted, there are people who take advantage of it and there are people who are very rude and that make me angry. But then you have the sick kids or elderly- the people who really do need our help. There was a woman with basal cell carcinoma on her face and if it wasn’t for Dr. Matson catching it and paying for her to have surgery then she would have died. Now she has another chance at life. We saw a man with an extremely awful infection in his ear- without us he may have lost his hearing and possibly his ear. I feel so great that I get to do just a small part of Christ’s work by “healing” the sick. Not that we were working miracles, but that we were able to help how we could to make someone’s life a little bit better.
Even though this was possibly one of the longest and hardest weeks of my life I am thankful for each experience, for the people I met, and for how God showed me his strength.