It’s so funny because the eye care we provide is obviously an integral part of our trip but I seem to focus on everything else. Last Sunday a guy at church asked if I had a PhD. “No sir I’m not that smart.” “Oh….I wasn’t sure what kind of clinic you were going to be doing.” Hmmm. Maybe a little loss of focus on my part when discussing our trip.
Well after a day of 200+ patients I have a grand total of one picture of me putting drops in one kiddos’ eye. Plenty of pictures of everything else.
Back to the eyeballs:
-my buddy Kemhang is still blind as ever and his glasses are falling apart. We brought him 3 more pair.
-in the past if a patient had a lot of astigmatism, I’d ask the local staff to get them to the local eye doctor. That is such an individualized prescription it is tough to line up used glasses with a new patient. Kind of like trying to fly a helicopter somewhere: you could get the distance exactly right (43.2 miles) but miss the direction (north north east vs. north east) and you’ll still be miles away from where you want to be. Turns out even the really good local doctors are not really good at prescribing. So this time around, I’ll make the glasses myself and then send back in a few months when missionaries are visiting Arizona and can pick up from me to hand deliver back here.
-it’s crazy to have a girl in her mid 20s walking around uncorrected, having never seen an eye doctor, when she is 5 diopters nearsighted. For those out there who know what their Rx is, hers is -5.00. I guess that’s why working in the employment center as a seamstress works for her. She can sort of see clearly up close.
-and it’s always funny at the end of the day to look at my translator (who is the head school nurse) and say “let’s check your eyes” only to come and find out they are in the top 5 blurriest of the day.
Allan asked me “What was your favorite part of the day?” Easy. Seeing all the familiar faces. I’m not a hugger but I gave out plenty to missionaries and school staff. It was also fun to exchange dozens of smiles with returning patients. The familiarity is simply amazing. I don’t need it to be a wild adventure; late January in Cambodia just feels right.