Yesterday I was plumb exhausted and went to write an update and came up with, “Sat in plastic chair for over 8 hours. Saw a lot of patients. Needed VietnameseàKhmeràEnglish translation often. The end.”
Today I took a few notes along the way.
Start of day: shot myself in face with bidet hose. Stacy: “uh. why are you laughing in there?” It has 10x the water pressure as the shower and it’s really difficult to tell if you are aiming in shower to test or directly at face.
Middle aged rude lady shows up and cuts in front of dozens of people in line. Helpers tell her to go to the back of the building to get registered. She’s back near the front in 5 minutes. Probably did this four or five times. When I actually saw her a few hours later, turns out she’s 5 diopters nearsighted (can’t see the big E o the chart). Tell ya what, I’d probably be pretty persistent too if this was my once chance to see.
We got to see the district chief as a patient. He’d be sort of akin to a mayor back in the states. He asked the pastor for a report to send to government officials when we are all done saying how many patients were seen and how many glasses and eye drops dispensed. So far he can tell them 383 in the past two days. It’s funny because then they’ll use that info to talk about the great things they are doing. Hey if it means AIM continues to spread the love of Jesus here in Svay Pak, then so be it.
I try really hard to leave my western thoughts and desires at home on these trips. To be more process focused than task focused. Not concentrating on numbers or getting a certain amount done. However, I’d have never guessed we could see so many people. And it doesn’t feel the least bit rushed to me, Stacy, the interpreter, the patient or anyone. It is, however, a bit daunting to hear the lead nurse here tell one of the pastors first thing in the morning “you have to stop signing people up at 200 for today.” Yeesh!
It was great this morning to have many of the community members see and hear the students singing songs and praying before the start of school. Just a few short years ago this building was a brothel in the worst part of one of the worst towns in the world for underage prostitution. Praise The Lord!
We’ve settled in to a good routine. Breakfast at 7 (I cook eggs and Stacy has a bagel), Chad (short term team coordinator for AIM) delivers Vietnamese iced coffee at 10, lunch with the staff at 12, Chad brews us coffee at 3 and then dinner at 6 upon return home.
Stacy’s not resting, she’s fighting cankleitis. I think they’re kinda cute because she’s never been in danger of developing cankles before. Not sure what’s up but her legs swell pretty good during the day. This in addition to the dozen elevated, weeping, mosquito bites all over. And she never complains.
So far we have been seeing patients from the surrounding community. I would say 95% of them needed glasses. AIM does medical outreach as part of the ongoing mission to reach the entire community and not just a certain subset of the population (eg: those trafficked and those at high risk of being trafficked). I love the holistic approach. A community and generation are truly being changed. Today we start to work seeing the couple hundred students at the English school.