As a sidenote to our post from Sunday: At the end of church, a man came forward asking for prayers and support because he had an enlarged heart and needed to have more studies done to find out what the problem was. We paid for him to have a study and the first month of medications he needed for what we believe to be congestive heart failure.
Back to today...
Our first stop was Wilson's grandmother's house/store and the village across from it. We greeted his grandmother and set off down the dirt road into the village. The first person we saw was the man who had the sewing machine and it appeared he was doing well for himself. We walked further down the road and found the family that had the baby who was 5 days old when we came 2 years ago. He is now 2 years old and running around. Jen and Kim went to see his mother and she was in one of the houses working at a nail/hair salon (one nail station, one hair station). A group of us walked to the end of the road and saw that the land down there is now being used for farming, which helps sustain the community. We walked back up the road to Wilson's grandmother's house to hand out the supplies we had. Everyone got a toothbrush and toothpaste and we were able to hand out a lot of clothes and medicine. While handing out supplies, the old man we had met in years past came over with tears in his eyes because he was overjoyed that we had returned. Once we had handed everything out and chatted with our old friends, we headed on our way.
Next, we took the long ride up the mountain to the school, clinic and the family we met last year. When we arrived at the school, the teacher was very happy to see us. We were able to give him a lot of school supplies, including calculators for all the children in his classes. Last year, the teacher was having difficulty breathing and we gave him the only thing we could find to help; liquid albuterol. This year, Jen was able to bring him an inhaler that he could take every day to help prevent asthma attacks - there were enough puffs to last him months. We also noticed that he only had one side of the frame on his glasses in tact - they were balancing on his nose. We were able to give him some money to help him purchase a new frame, which would only be about $20. After we had handed out pencils, sharpeners, toothbrushes and toothpastes to all of the kids, we were on our way again.
Our next stop was the clinic. There was a new doctor again (which we later found out happens yearly). The first thing we all noticed was how much more organized the clinic appeared. Helen and Kim were excited to see that the containers we brought last year were being used. Jen was quite impressed with the new doctor. She knew English pretty well, seemed organized and the clinic was well stocked. We asked what she needed and she was honest in saying that she had most of what she needed because she had recently gotten supplies from a hospital, but she did need cough and cold medicine and new thermometer. We were able to give her some, but we did not have too much. She was thankful for what we were able to give her. There was woman came to us to tell us she had hypertension and needed medication. The doctor told us she has the medicine but not enough to give her everday like she needs. Jen found out the name of the medicine and will hopefully find some at the pharmacy when we go.
Our final stop in the mountains was to see the family we met last year. One of the little girls in the family had seen us at the clinic, so she went to tell everyone and they were all waiting for us when we arrived. One of the first things we noticed was that they were using the cookware we bought them last year. We had specifically bought them food and chose clothes for them from the donations. We gave them all to the mother and she put them in her house. We divided the rest of the rice and food supplies we had bought at the supermarket into ziplock bags for all of the families that came to see us while we were at their house. Before we left, they excitedly asked when we were coming back.
Our last stop of the day was at the painter's house. The little boys recognized us from last year and were excited to see us. Laying in their yard was the soccer ball we brought them last year. Joe and Helen got a chance to kick the ball around with one of the boys. The family let us into their house and they asked us to get a group photo. We were able to give them clothes, shoes, school supplies, mosquito netting and some food. A few of us purchased beautiful paintings and hand carved/painted parrots from the painter. The end of a long day.