Wednesday, August 1st, Blog by Heidi Stecher.
We had an amazing third clinic, seeing about 100 patients. The team worked cohesively and efficiently. We had reset the stations as they were the day before. We saw another village but in the same spot. I was impressed with Lesbia, the health care worker who does all the charlas. The charlas are different talks such as on gastritis, headache/back pain, colds, and GI viruses. Lesbia saw many people at a time teaching patients about these subjects and how to care for themselves. It is the presence and work of the local trainers, promodores, that make a huge difference in the education and understanding that allow for lifestyle changes to be made. They already have a rapport and built in trust since they are from the villages. This work is priceless and incredibly meaningful to the people they serve. It is my belief that this is where the focus ought to be when outside organizations come in to serve. It is very brief and has a “band aid” effect when people come and go, but when there is a villager who is the health care worker who can help maintain and continue the education, this is where change can happen.
There were seven of us that decided to walk an hour from the village to where our bus had broken down. We were so impressed with the beautiful landscape and wanted to spend more time in it. Along the side of the road we found a mama pig with her seven piglets, plants with leaves that curl in when touched, and smiling children playing. The time went fast talking with my colleagues learning about where people worked and plans for their future. I think times like this with smaller groups within the large group lends itself to better communication and understanding. It was a walk to remember.