Today was our last day of clinic, and I can’t believe all that was done in such a short amount of time. We visited the smallest of our partner villages today. There are only about 25 families here, and yet we saw over 100 patients.
Men, women and children arrive as families, and they often want to be seen at one time. The nurses and providers assess each patient and spend a lot of time talking and educating the people, so that they can better understand what is healthy and what isn’t. Medicine is not just prescribing the right medication. In fact, a large portion of medicine is dependent on the communication with the patient, on calming fears, on warning of dangers, on explaining prevention techniques, and most of all, medicine is about listening! Despite the long waits, the villagers are patient. They are kind, and when it is their turn, they respond to the care with such gratefulness. The day went by quickly, and there was a sadness as the reality sets in that we are headed home soon and there is still so much to do.
We gathered for our last meal together, and it was truly a special dinner. We each shared and laughed, we remembered highlights, and of course some cried. This trip was special for many reasons, and as we finished our meal and walked back there was an air of hope that can only come from a medical mission.