Have you ever played the game telephone? That is what came to my mind as I sat in our first clinic. Our wonderful translators, April and Olivia, were translating the questions asked to the patients and then translating their answers back to us. In this case however, it was much more accurate than telephone. That day I was working intake and triage. We would find out why the patient was there, what their vital signs were, and what signs and symptoms they had. Most only spoke Ch’ol, their indigenous language. Going through two translators was interesting (English-Spanish then Spanish-Ch’ol) and I was wishing I spoke their language so I could help them out more. They needed much more than just medical help, and some needed even more medical help than we could give them.
Our clinic started around 6:30am and went until after 4:00pm. We saw over one hundred patients during the day. It was a steady stream all day long. Once we had assessed each patient, they were sent to either Doctor Rivas or our nurse Ruth. While waiting for Ruth or the Doctor to be able to see them, each patient had the opportunity to hear the gospel from Ernesto, Nathan, Herardo, or Bersaine. Then Ruth and Doctor Rivas examined each patient and would prescribe medication as needed. This was handed out in the pharmacy.
The clinic ran surprisingly smoothly. It was great to help them medically and hopefully spiritually as well. I also enjoyed watching as other team members interacted with the kids in spare moments. Even though there was a language barrier, they were figuring out creative ways to communicate and play with those children. I pray the kids saw something different in us and will ask what it was.
The day was long but we are here to serve and I am loving every moment of it. I cannot imagine life without being out serving The Lord and I cannot wait to serve other villages with our clinic.
– Emma for the team