Hello dear friends and family!
I hope this blog entry finds you all well and warm 🙂
To be honest, I started writing my blog earlier last night. I had these grandiose ideas of ways in which I would describe the earthen mountains that reach up to kiss the sky, the decadent food that bursts with centuries of culture, and the chorus of indigenous animals that announce the beginning of new days and call forward starry nights. It was going to be an eloquently verbose work full of loquacious soliloquy, but then real life happened…
Our day began as many of the other days… early rising for running, breakfast with the group, and the half mile long walk up to the hospital. New to the day was a mad rush to gather our dirty laundry as we were informed the infamous laundry day had moved up a day. With clothing piled high for someone to come whisk away, we made our way to Glenn C. Olsen Memorial Primary Hospital to provide our respective services to the people of Yetebon.
On the surgical side, the day started off on a high note as new life burst forth in Operating Theater 1. Brian had the fortune of being able to assist with bringing twins into the world. The first breath cries bounced off the walls soliciting joy from each person that had ears to hear. As the day progressed, planned and unplanned cases made their way into and out of the operating suites. Besides babies, there were removals of prostates, dermoid cysts, and fibroadenomas. Good times!
On the dental side, there were cleanings and cleanings and a few more cleanings. One such cleaning led to tears as the woman was filled with such joy at having teeth that were smoother and cleaner than they had been in probably years. This was all thanks to Heather and her epic battle against plaque build up. If you are not aware, each member of the dental team has a heart intent on service and the enrichment of the lives of each person that walks, or forces their way, through their doors… they just start with the teeth.
In podiatry, Devin and Stephanie have continued to serve this community one foot at a time. It actually is fun to hear the excitement in Devin’s voice as he talks about the work he is doing from day to day, whether that is teaching an elderly woman a new stretch or cleaning out a foot of woman who fell from a bajaj (3 wheeled motorcycle taxis).
In essence, the day was just like any other as of yet… and then the day decided it should go down a different path. Before I go any further, there is something that I feel I have to say. Six days ago a stepped onto a plane headed almost half way around the world with people I was acquainted with. I had passed them in the halls or sat in meetings with them, but I really didn’t know any of them in a full capacity. After the events of this afternoon, I know I can look back now and say that I stepped onto that plane with 14 extraordinary human beings.
By mid-afternoon, there was another patient that was in the throes of childbirth. As the infant made his way into this world, it was evident that things weren’t right. Resuscitative efforts were required. None of us were involved at first. However, one by one, some of us found our way to that room. It was here that I witnessed the best of each person come forward. Not only was there a collabortive effort through the joining of knowledge and experience, but there was an outpouring of hope and compassion. We were there to serve, to do good. And I saw this in the holding of the infant’s hand, the running to grab a bottle of needed saline, the sitting with the mother, and even the moral support by others involved. I wish that I could tell you all ended well… I really, really wish I could. My heart yearns for that. Unfortunately, I cannot. As of this writing, he is still alive and fighting, but the outlook is poor. What I can tell you is this: Each of you that had a part in sending a member of this team here did a remarkable thing. While today did not go as planned, each of these people are putting in sweat, tears and soul to serve this community. They walk through the gates every evening drained physically, mentally, and emotionally. Today was just extra tough; however, we know what we are doing is right.
On the way back to the compound after the day, one of our team members was approached by a three year old boy. The boy asked the regular things, like name and age, and then, as if he knew we were all in need of some sort of affirmation that we were doing the right thing, he said “We offer you our thanks.” Though those words were not spoken directly to me, they give me a hope in what tomorrow may bring as we strive to serve.
So, tomorrow is a new day and we will go into it as we try to be the change we want to see in the world. You too should do the same. Be kind. Be good. Be you.