Tuesday, August 16th
Today was a nice break from the busy day at the orphanage yesterday. We all love the kids, and enjoyed every moment there; but practically a whole day watching at least 21 children, all under the age of 16, can be rather draining. 🙂 So this morning was sleep-in morning and get packed morning. We began sorting our supplies and looking through things like amounts of food, clean blankets, clean pillows, paper towels, and most importantly toilet paper! Training in the use of a banana leaf is something that I am more than willing to put off a little longer. You really get a feeling for the true value of toilet paper when you are in the jungle. 🙂
Once everything was laid out for packing we began food prep for the week. Fresh clean water is a rare thing in the jungle, and any filtered water is used by the locals for drinking and teeth brushing, NOT for washing anything. So we washed and sterilized all our fresh vegetables and fruit before chopping and bagging them. Then we counted to make sure we had the correct amount of Ramen Noodle packets, and we were almost set! You get used to the same kinds of food in the jungle, that’s for sure! No, Grace Curry has been doing a fabulous job of making us good food within the parameters of limited cooking resources.
After we finished all the team packing we turned our attention to our personal packing. Flip flops, tennis shoes, breathable clothing, t-shirts, bug spray, bug spray, bug spray, deodorant, deodorant, deodorant, and did I mention deodorant? Oh ya, if you forget that, you might as well forget trying to live with yourself, or your team members. 🙂 It can be pretty bad after a day of sweating outside and then an evening of sweating inside, and then another day of sweating outside, and you get it. 🙂
Pretty soon we were done, and it was time to prepare for Gabby’s 4th birthday party! She is the second of Nathan and Julie’s three precious girls, and as blonde haired and blue eyed as you could wish. Nathan and Julie invited a few international families that they knew in town, the Terrells (their parents), Yasmina (a language school teacher) and her family, and the Med Team. We set up tables, chairs, balloons, and a huge duck pinata in the back yard of the Terrell’s property. Ruth, Christi, and I deep fried some kind of special pinwheel pasta that puffed way up and turned into crunchy chips when it was done. The chips were amazing!! They were super crunchy and puffy and salty and delicious. I am determined to find that pasta in the States and make some for my family. 🙂
Gabby’s birthday party was very fun, with lots of new people to meet and talk to, lots of good snacks, and a pinata! 🙂 The little girls went at if first with little effect, and so the little boys got a try. They didn’t do much better, so the big girls were passed the bat. Elizabeth took a turn, and we were all very amused to see one of our team leaders swinging a bat at a big paper duck. And then we began to imagine her swinging that bat at us if we misbehaved, and we decided it was someone else’s turn at target practice. 🙂 Brittany was the one to give the fatal wallop, and the candy and toys soon disappeared into the kids baggies.
After the party we, as a team, went to downtown San Cristobal for a late dinner and fellowship. There was a really good taco place we were planning to go to, but it just happened to be closed today only. So we changed plans and went to a place called Salsa Verde, which was amazing! Your particular taco filling is delivered to you on a plate, and then you are given a huge stack of fresh made tortillas to make your meal complete. There was also a variety of salsas, some caramelized onions, lime slices, and chopped fresh cilantro to garnish the tacos. SO good!! Steven ordered us some lemonade, and also a sort of iced tea made from hibiscus flowers. The tea was called jamaica (pronounced Ham-Ica) and was pretty good! I mixed it with lemonade and a slice of lime, and then it was really good!
During dinner we talked about what the upcoming week was hopefully going to look like, and did a check on how everyone was doing. We also had a couple of little kids come by and try to sell us things. We were sitting close to the front of the restaurant, which is in a central part of the downtown shopping area, and they could see us from the street. It is so sad that these little children, some as young as 7 or 8, are working for their parents in the streets, and probably not getting as much school as other children (if any school at all).
Once back to the Terrell’s home we had a short devotional with team leader Steven, and then made our way through our last shower, for a while at least, and then to bed. Getting up early tomorrow to head to the jungle for more clinics!
Abbie Auslund, for the Global Encounters medical team