Clinic Day Four
Today the clinic experience was good; we are working better as a team. We are also getting better at queue management, even though, on average, the wait was four to five hours. The people are patient & mannerly. Many of the people, however, are not going to be serviced. We are running out of time.
I worked the queue, sharing practical information concerning disease prevention and health. I did a lifestyle presentation to women in the gynecological services queue and small group consultations for those with chronic diseases.
A Break For Lunch
Our leaders have been encouraging each of us to unplug from the clinic to increase our emotional capacity and reduce stress. So today at lunch, I chose to go a few miles into the community with a team member and one of our translators, who is a native. As with most American eateries, the restaurant did not have much to accommodate my plant-based diet. The waiter and I created a tasty plate of roasted vegetables over a bed of white rice. After lunch, we walked the streets and quickly browsed in a few shops. Unemployment and underemployment remain high. The mines of South Africa still provide employment to males, but not nearly as much as in the recent past. The garment and construction industries have experienced important growth in recent years, but the agricultural sector livestock and subsistence farming-remains the largest domestic source of employment. It was interesting to see a strong people, whose culture has remained intact.
There are some signs of American influence in not so positive ways, like satellite dishes on huts and mobile carriers on road side stands. The music in the cab at lunch was American vulgar rap music. Overall, European influence seem more prevalent with the young people.
Today the outreach team went to an orphanage. They made a good report. The children were fighting for the laps of the team members. All of the children seemed to have colds and minor ailments. Our nurses examined them. The youngest child was two months old. Her mom is dead and her grandmother is blind. We presented loads of clothing and the visit went well.
Back to the Clinic
We are totally at capacity for the dental and eye exams. We have started turning people away. The dental team reported that some of the people had never been to a dentist.
The dental chair and treatment chamber that was designed for the mission never arrived. When we leave, all of the remaining supplies and the treatment chamber will be donated to a local health care facility.
As our time here draws to a close, most of us have mixed emotions about shutting down. In doing so, we realize that most of the people will not see a doctor unless we return again. Some of the older patients said that “they would be dead” if we don’t return soon. It is very difficult to leave a people who are in such need.
Many of the women have had two or three children, but have never seen a gynecologist. I must note, however, as a holistic practitioner that with the number of successful births reinforces the fact that pregnancy is not a disease or sickness. It is a natural occurrence designed by God to maintain human life.
Prayer Cell Groups
The 70 of us are a part of smaller groups called pray cells. We provide emotional support and spiritual enrichment during the mission. It’s evening now and I have just returned from meeting with my prayer cell group. There was not a dry eye in the group as we shared our life changing experiences. We also prayed for a member of the mission team that we must leave behind with an injury. He is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. His roommate will stay behind with him.
I want to again thank so many, family members, friends, professional acquaintances, and my church family for making my participation in this mission possible. Your prayers, financial support, and words of encouragement are invaluable. I am the traveler, but as I minister my hands are your hands. You are here with me. May God bless you for your sacrifice.