Thursday, April 24, 2014

News From the South 2014

Tastes like chicken....
1. Chicken: For breakfast. For lunch. For dinner. Growing feathers out me arse and now have a strange desire to peck at things on the ground.

2. Margaritas: Fix everything, except for number 1 above. I think they doubled my body's chicken capacity and act as the Miracle Grow for the tail feathers.

3. Holy Chauffeur: The song "Nearer My God to Thee" is welded into my brain. I am sure the Reverend must be moonlighting over there. The Holy School of Speeding  Honking  Lead Footing Driving with the Last Rites in Mind  Where's the Fire  Last Confession on Wheels  One Step Closer to Heaven Unless You Are Doomed to Hell  Not Your Ordinary Sunday Drive  Offensive  Defensive Driving. No wonder we like to pray the rosary on the road.

The Horn on The Van

The horn on the van goes honk, honk, honk,
Honk, honk honk,
Honk, honk, honk.
The horn on van goes honk, honk, honk,
in Quintana Roo.

The people in the van go "Please slow down!"
Oh my God!
Hit the brakes!
The people in the van go "Please slow down!,
In Quintana Roo.

The driver in the van goes "No comprendo"
No Comprendo,
No comprendo,
The driver in the van goes "No comprendo"
in Quintana Roo.

The people in the van go "Cerveza please"
Cerveza please,
Cerveza please.
The people in the van go "Cerveza please"
 Though it's 9 AM.

You get the idea.

4. I Can See Clearly Now: After a beer in the park. My second day as Director of Logistics saw a rather huge turnout. And things not set up as I would have wanted, so I had to make do. Made a few small changes throughout the day. We saw (drum roll, please) over 800 patients officially, a squidge over 900 unofficially with those that slipped by our triage. Somewhere during the day, when I realized the multitude that was there, I slipped over to the convenience store and bought a cerveza, to be enjoyed by me, all by myself, in the park across from where the clinic was being held. When I returned, I and the Fastest and Best Translator (Margarita, the translator, not the drink!!!!!!) cleared out 135 or so of those patients in a couple of hours. We all worked hard. And the Logistics Director/Bartender said "Let there be cervezas for all!" Because some days, teetotaling just doesn't cut it. And God saw that it was muy bien. Dos Equis, in fact.
A fraction of what we saw......

So many people.....

5. Unloveable: Imagine as a Mom with a brand new baby being told to leave your baby in a corner. That she will never be anything. That she will never learn. To not even bother to breast feed your own baby, in a culture where it is practiced very openly. Imagine being told for the first time since your baby's birth four months ago, that our baby has Down's syndrome, by a bunch of foreigners. And that your baby at this moment is so ill that she may die. Imagine a priest praying over your baby, hoping she will make it to the hospital while she is struggling for breath. Imagine being told that your baby is someone, is a soul, that with hard work and perseverance can learn. If only she survives this crisis.
Before she took a turn...

Just no words....
Imagine the 34 year old young man who slipped in the shower 8 years ago, who became partially paralyzed. Imagine his Mom, still so young herself, trying to hold down a job, and trying to take care of his every need. Imagine feet so twisted, limbs so deformed, that it brought tears to the eyes of the foreign medical personnel elected to visit him in home. Imagine the hopelessness, the anger, the resentment he feels, the pain he has endured so much that he has likely refused activities that would have kept him mobile, his limbs straight.

These are the realities we as medical missionaries face. And it is why I, and many others like me, do what we do.
Look closely....

With thanks to Medical Mission Network for the pictures from Jose Maria Morelos.