Tuesday July 31, Blog by Heidi Stecher.
We took our bus carrying at least 25 people and supplies to Chinachabilchoch. This is a very remote village straight up a mountain with precarious turns and drop-offs. But the view from the bus was spectacular, emerald green hills and mountains softened the landscape with its curves. Such tremendous beauty with luscious over growing plants and trees. This came to an abrupt stop after the bus we were traveling in could not move its back tires up a hill. We all plopped out of the bus with half of us taking the truck to start triaging patients while the rest had to hike up the mountain an hour and a half trek. Thankfully, I was in the truck group, but once we arrived we scurried to put our stations together and formatted lab, vitals, triage, provider, pharmacy and charla (teaching) stations. We saw about 40 people that day.
The villagers stayed around us, watching inquisitively, smiling. Some children would burst out laughing, but when catching their eye they would look serious. I noticed the beauty of the people, to intricate fabricates women wore for their skirts with lace-like tops. Many had babies or children hanging on them.
That night we played scattergories and had a delicious meal of tamales, beans and rice outdoors in the village’s center. Ron and I debriefed with everyone and reflected on how it has been going so far, what they had learned, what they have been processing on the trip. I think this was a point that brought us closer sharing our thoughts and feelings about our experiences.
We spent the night up in the village in our sleep sacks under mosquito nets in the school. This was an adventure, from a reclined position we had a hilarious time, spending the first hour in our sleep sacks laughing at and with each other. During the night so many sounds affected our sleep from snoring, to the sound of large pig being slaughtered, to gentle, creeping children’s footsteps on the grass outside the open air window to numerous crickets chirping their song.