Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting ready

Today began with the best of tasks. Ana, who two years ago was one of our patients in Panchimalco, was having her last checkup. She had gone through a hard labor and delivery without help, and ended up with a severe fistula and incontinent. Correcting that was beyond the scope of our medical mission, but we are able to use our donated funds to follow up on cases like Ana's. She had successful surgery last year, and today I drove her and Walther, the Promotor de Salud in her community, to Dr. Trebanino's office, where she was pronounced well healed. On the way back to her bus stop, she asked me to say thank you to la niña Leonora (la niña/el niño are affectionate terms of honor for elders) - to Sister Eleanor who had made this healing possible.

Then I had to turn my attention to this year's mission. The eye surgery group arrives tomorrow evening, and most of this week has been devoted to the business of getting ready - getting food for snacks, purchasing some heavy supplies like distilled water for the sterilizer, pulling out the equipment that's stored here, meeting with hospital staff, organizing the schedule. Today's chore was the biggest - getting the Customs Office permission to bring in all our equipment and medications. Ordinarily that would have been in hand earlier, but Semana Santa threw off everyone's timing and I ended up going to the Aduana office with Licenciada Vasquez, who handles customs work for everyone connected with the Archdiocese. We spent four and a half hours there, moving from office to office and back again, mostly sitting. Finally, about 2 minutes before the office closed for the day, triumph! I have a franquisia to take to the airport.

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