Friday, June 11, 2010
Our first clinic (Bethel Health Clinic) and school visit
18 hours later, Keary is BACK! What a spell. Today we were on the run. We visited a partnering church on our side of town today. We arrived and greeted over 50 people waiting to receive medical help. We set up a make-shift examination room and waiting area and started to see patients quickly. Skip jumped in as an intake nurse so-to-speak and ended up serving assisting with diagnosing minor ailments, writing prescriptions and sending patients to the dispensary. Keary helped serve on an children art team for all of the kids that came with sick parents. We set up a coloring and a painting station. We believe that most of the children enjoyed brush painting, literally, for the first time. We had to teach many of them what to do. They painted designs or village scenes mostly. We concluded the clinic and headed off to visit some schools where different orphans attend. The first was a plywood structure divided into five rooms. Four were classrooms and one was an office. It sat on a widow’s land. The nominal rent paid by the school helps her to survive and the land allows a school to exist for her extended family and neighbors. Her smile was precious! One of the orphans there had a terrible fever (likely malaria) and we were able to tend to his immediate needs with some ibuprofen. Another orphan cried as she was remembering her parent's passing. It was sad to see them ill and upset. The second school was all cinder block. Two classes were in session, both taking exams. We met with around ten orphans there and spent some time learning about their school. They sit in a 12x25 foot block classroom with over 60 kids all lined up on wooden benches with only an old blackboard in the front. The darkness and basic feel was striking. The future leaders of Congo are learning in a traditional way. We ended our day at La Croix de Jesus Church for a very vivacious and loud church service and another huge meal presented by the church members. Hugs and kisses everywhere. The Congolese are so excited about our help and presence here. The pastors 3 boys befriended us and spent half the night taking photos of themselves with our camera. We arrived back at MPH for a early bed time.