What a whirlwind. Phew.
I haven’t been updating much here on the blog because we simply haven’t stopped long enough for me to think straight. Right now it’s after 9pm, we just checked into our hotel, and Stacy and I are skipping dinner.
I try not to focus on numbers on these trips but Stacy did ask me yesterday “how many patients do you think you’ve seen over the past 4 days?” I had no real clue. Turns out it was over 700. Now over 800. No wonder we’re tired and run down 🙂
Stacy’s stomach has been super upset for the past day. I believe “Thai tummy” is the proper diagnosis. I woke up and felt like I’d been hit by a bus. Those are always fun symptoms when the rest of the day’s schedule is: 5 hour curvy road van ride followed immediately by 4 hour clinic. Tomorrow? Repeat.
However, the van ride was a great time to catch up with David and let me noggin wander a bit. He mentioned about an hour from Mae Sariang that he just had déjà vu. I looked at him and said, “huh. me too.” Halfway through the clinic I had another déjà vu moment followed by another an hour later. That’s never happened to me before. Fascinating.
Clinic ran super smooth due in large part to our great translator Cruze. I noticed right away his left eye looks at his ear. When we were finishing up, he asked if I could look at his eyes. Of course. He mentioned his left eye doesn’t work well because of malaria at age 6 that almost killed him. Yet another issue I’m thankful my kids don’t have to worry about. Perspective is a beautiful thing.
After clinic tonight, our host Roslyn <not her real name> invited us to her home for customary fruit. No chatting about the weather or SuperBowl here. She started telling us about running into the woods to escape the Burma army as a young girl; having her home turned into ashes; seeing things done to women that “we not speak of.” I have no idea what I was thinking before when I thought about “Burmese Karen refugees” but just those 5 minutes of her story made time stand still. We are all looking forward to hearing more of her story over the next few days as we follow the Thai/Burma border and head into refugee camps.
I’ve been humbled many a time on these trips but to hear this was on another level of wow: “word is out that you are coming so we expect quite a few refugees to come over the border in the next few days to see you.”