Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Guatemala - Day Three
Today was a day of laughter, excitement, thankfulness and maybe a few tears. You need to know that those on the medical team give of themselves time and time again. From checking blood pressure, to teaching people how to properly clean their hands and brush teeth, down to dressing wounds. Yesterday the team attended to over 300 people and today close to half of that. Amazing.
Later in the afternoon I was able to travel with a couple team members to deliver PJ's to some kids. Now, that on it's own may not sound like that big of a deal, until you realize that they are 4 large garbage bags full of handmade PJ's which were all made by one of the team member's daughters who is 12 years old -- kids helping and meeting the needs of other kids... how does it get any better than that? I'll tell you how.
While we were handing out PJ's, we found out the story of one of the little girls, Joselin. When she was only 3 days old, her father had suddenly dropped dead because of diabetes. Her mother was left with 3 children, Joselin and 2 older siblings, to raise by herself. Joselin is 3 years of age and was taken to see the doctor because of a hernia. While going through testing it was found out that she has an enlarged heart. More testing and surgery is going to need to be done. The cost of the next round of testing was going to cost the mother the equivalent of approx $156USD. As a single mom of three children in Guatemala, her only means of trying to support her children as well as save money for the testing is to do laundry for people at the market, the hope of money for her baby girl is completely out of reach.
A few weeks ago one of our team members that was with us on the trip did a fund raiser by selling coffee from Guatemala for anything that may be needed here. What better need than helping this little girl get the money she needs?! So, instantly, the team members pulled out the cash she had, gave it to the mother who could do nothing but stand there and look at them in shock, it was one of the best experiences I have ever witnessed.
People may ask the team members why they would want to give up their time to come and work here like this. Why they would spend money to come to a third world country when they could use the same money to take a nice vacation at an all inclusive resort? Well, after giving the money to the mother for Joselin's testing... after seeing the joy on the kids faces which was brought on by nothing more than a new pair of PJ's and a stuffed toy... after having each of the mothers hug us and thank us as if we had given them the crown jewels. After all of this, to have them say, having people come from another country, to help them, provide for them what they can't give to their children, to love their kids so much that they are willing to travel such a distance... that is why we do this. That is why we wake up with the sun. That is why we work the long hours with the sun beating down on us, dirt and dust covering us. That is why we come back to our team house tired, dirty, ragged and worn out. That is why we go to sleep at night, with the excitement of what the next day will bring.