Day 3 was the final day of the medical brigade portion. It was in the same village, but the purpose was to accommodate to those who couldn’t make it to the first day. I was shadowing a doctor for a majority of the day, and there were really only two things that I saw being repeated. One being how grateful everyone was. At one point in time, a dad and his son had been waiting for quite some time. When it was finally their turn, someone ended up cutting them (we’ll give the benefit if the doubt and say it was an accident and I do think it was). All the father did was continue to express how happy he was to have us there and sat back down without showing any anger. Coming from America, it would have been completely normal for the dad to flip out and make a big deal out of things. Not just that, but living in a first world country gets to many people, myself included. Everyday I take for granted the ability to speak. But while shadowing this doctor, I met a mother whose son couldn’t speak. She knew we couldn’t do anything but alleviate some of his pain as well as her own, but she still thanked us immensely, even me and the other brigader who was shadowing (the doctor let us hand out albendazol or something and explain when to take it).
Not sure if the second thing was something separate, but I’ll move on to the 4th day.
Friday marked the beginning of the public health brigade. In this portion, we began building cement floors for a family’s home, as well as a bathroom and cleaning center. There are other brigades here from different schools, but it will be awhile before all houses will having cement structures in them. The point of this is to stress and promote the importance if cleanliness to health. I’m still not sure why individual families are helped instead of a community center first to benefit more people, but I’m just a humble brigader. But this allows me to work with the family I’m helping, and while mixing and moving cement is hard work, it is amazing to see a family be so excited and how despite not all of us are fluent in each others languages, we still share the work and happiness with everyone.
Though I’m tired, I definitely look forward to going back and finishing the job. And to win a game of tag that the kids started.