Packed Up

packed_up

I can’t believe it’s over, and I can’t believe it happened in the first place.

Now that we’re back, talking about the time there seems more difficult.  It was busy the last day.  We had two doctors during the whole day so we saw 100 patients.  Because of a few complicated patients, it didn’t look like we would see that many.   I didn’t even think we would see 70.  But when some rain forced the people waiting into the clinic, the doctors looked at our sudden crowd and wanted to see all of them.  I think their goal for the day was to see 100 people.   By the end, our intake sheets were pages torn out of notebooks, and our prescription pads were those pages torn into quarters.

It was good that we saw them, too.  Some of the last people we saw were the sickest kids.  Three of the last five kids we saw had both malaria and worms, and we would never have seen them if we packed up according to our schedule.  It was exciting and convicting at the same time.  It was an incredibly opportunity and worth all the work to bring care to those kids.  But because they came at the last moment, and came so close to not being seen at all, we were reminded that there is a whole mountain of sick kids there, and our responsibility does not end with this one trip.

That we are all aware of that might be my favorite part about the trip.  When people would ask (and almost everyone asked) if we would be back, we could confidently say, “We’ll be back next year.”  We have a purpose to be there.  We learned a lot, really, an amazing amount, but our goal is to have a real and lasting impact, and over time, to make a difference in people’s lives.

Thanks so much to Becky, Brenda, Camille, Christopher, Emily C, Emily M, and to Kelly; also to our nurses Rachel and Vanessa, and our pharmacists Cheryl and Nikki.  And finally a special thanks to Luke, for making this a part of his honeymoon with Nikki.

God bless you all.

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