Day Four, Workout!

Day Four—Another workout!
Oh, what a day. This morning we again met at 7:00 a.m. for devotions led by Sue, quiet time, and breakfast (continental-style breakfast consisting of cereal, bagels, and yogurt). Again we were on the bus around 8:00 and headed up the mountain for a day of log moving (at times we felt like mules), sand and rock hauling (small loads that were shoveled into potato sacks), teaching (by Sue down in Lote Cuatro), and clinic work (by Julie and some of our youth).
Today we would like to share with you some of Julie’s impressions of who she has met while running the clinic and the health issues the local people experience. With the help of Ruben, she saw about 100 patients between yesterday and today. Interpretation can be difficult because Spanish is their second language and some have a limited ability to communicate in Spanish because they live in the Quichua district and speak Quichua at home. The people she saw had a variety of ailments. But Julie felt that the most important thing has been getting to know the people and speaking with them on a one-on-one basis. On Monday morning, before heading out of Quito, we stopped at a pharmacy and picked up a recommended parasite medicine. Julie was concerned about running out, so last night she and Ruben stopped at three more pharmacies and picked up more. Today again, she is almost out. This seems to be the most needed medicine for the people she is treating. However, this medicine is just one of the many issues that these people face.
Julie had lots of help from the youth who are part of our team, including Melanie, Dana, Justin, Britta, Kasey, Murray, Ryan, Kelsey, and Nikki. Later on in the afternoon, Melanie, Kasey, Kelsey and Nikki spent much time with some of the younger children. They were fascinated by the camera, and many pictures were taken of the Gringos and their new friends.
A special story that Julie has involves an 87-year-old woman, who came to the clinic yesterday. Julie asked her to come back today. She found the woman’s son and was ready to walk to their home. But the son said no, that he would make his mother come to the church. One of the interesting things about this woman was that she was barefoot. Anyway, she came back up the hill today for her shot. She left and later came back to give Julie some onions as a gift. The estimated weight of the bunch of onions was about 25 pounds. Julie would like Vi to know that the distance the woman walked was about a mile—uphill.
Another thing that impressed Julie was that some of the local children were standing outside the clinic and talking among themselves. One of our teenagers overheard their conversation—some of the children who had been to the clinic were telling the other children to express a stomach ache so that they could get a chewable vitamin along with the parasite medicine.
Our workday ended at 4:00, when we were able to gather to worship with our brothers and sisters. Pastor Nelson, the representative from the Evangelical Covenant Church headquarters located in Quito gave today’s message. He spoke of mercy. We also sang many songs—first as a complete group, then the local women sang a couple songs for us, and then we Gringos got up and sang a couple songs. We ended our service with prayer. We again loaded the bus and headed for our evening meal at the Lomas residence. Tonight we were served fresh trout that Laura caught this morning. It was muy delicioso! The evening ended early for some. For others it was a trip to the store for ice cream. Until tomorrow…

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