We see Gratitude
it is everywhere.
We learn much from those who continue to smile in the face of adversity; from those who open their hearts to, and trust in, the kindness of strangers; from those whose gratitude for life shines through in even the most brief of encounters and despite daily challenges most certainly beyond our comprehension.
And for this, it is we who are truly indebted.
We learn to open our eyes. To really see.
We visit families participating in the Nutrition Project and we see its impact. We see family gardens growing green and meet mothers whose participation in women’s agriculture co-ops is feeding families. We see (and giggle with) children who are learning from these strong women. We see healthier futures.
We learn the value of basic healthcare. And access to it.
We treat emergent dental needs. We alleviate pain. We dispense and prescribe eyeglasses. We refer cataract surgeries for upcoming brigades. Although our temporary clinics are located in the heart of a different remote community each day, access can still be a journey. For most, it is by foot. For some, it is in the care of older siblings. For one 92-year old man, it is on the back of his son, across the miles and over the hills. For many, it is their first opportunity.
We learn to do more. With less.
In school classrooms – with chairs and desks and tarps, with plastic bins and pressure pots and sterile tools, with ziploc bags and sharpies and prescription pads, with letter-less eye charts and with an abundance of heart – we see almost 1,000 patients.
We learn to slow down. Because what’s the rush.
We travel great distances to attend to communities in great need.
This is why we have come. There is always time for one more warm community reception. One more speech. One more song. One more dance. One more bowl of soup. One more patient. One more eye exam. One more translation. One more story. One more handshake; one more high five; one more hug. One more smile. And all too soon, one more one last goodbye.