Saturday, February 14, 2009

A last day in Comasagua

We finished our Comasagua mission yesterday (Friday). Driving up in the morning, we saw an enormous crowd waiting for us at the gates of the Unidad de Salud - so many people that Dr. de Larios, the clinic director, had to call for the police to keep order. We can only see about 200 people on the last day, because we also have to pack up, organize our donations to the community, and say goodbye. On Friday, our 200 people stretched to about 270, including a large group of schoolchildren with myopia who needed glasses to be able to read. Still, sadly, there were people who could not get in.

We completed our clinic in the early afternoon, having seen more than 1700 people from Comasagua in the course of the week. We left behind us many of the remaining medications for the Unidad de Salud; we will be giving the remaining eyeglasses to local Lions' Club clinics. The Mayor of Comasagua came in at the end of our clinic time to invite us to a celebration at the Casa Comunal, where we had lunch all week. There gifts and thanks were exchanged - the Mayor gave each of us one of the beautiful images the women of Comasagua have been making with flower petals, and we gave each of the community volunteers who worked with us all week gifts of calendars, pens and the like. We ate cake and drank gaseosas and felt very sad to be saying goodbye to people whose faces had become so familiar and treasured in the course of a week's hard work together: Mercedes, who kept everything pulled together, Alex, who organized the pharmacy lines like a pro, Rosa, who knew how we could get back in touch with every surgery candidate, Lorena who wept when she told us how much she thanked us - and many more. We will miss each other.

1 comment:

  1. Really beautiful, Susan.
    I have been with you and the PeaceHealth team in spirit and prayer during this amazing week! I have loved your photos and descriptions of the work and the people.
    What a precious gift all of the PeaceHealth people are to El Salvador!
    Where do you go next? Or do you return to the same clinic in the future? How do you decide where to go?
    On a personal note: have you become accustomed to the climate? How long will Eleanor be with you?
    Blessings of Peace,