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Wednesday April 21, 2010

Posted by on Apr 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm
Category:Mission Trip

Yesterday started much like the other days at the Metro West Mission House. The wakeup call was at 6am and the breakfast duty moved sleepily into action. It was hot and humid, even at that early hour.

We all arrived at the mission house and were welcomed by the orphans and staff. After a brief prayer service, we divided the group up. One crew stayed at the orphanage and the other went to a nearby village to set up a medical clinic. Those who stayed at the orphanage had the arduous task of cleaning and inventorying a storage room that had been neglected for what seemed like years. While the crew removed all the items, ranging from beds to dishes to toilets and wheelchairs, they were greeted by some most unwelcome guests. Those guests included rats the size of small cats and spiders the size of baseballs. Despite the heat and magnitude of the project, our missionaries were able to catalogue and inventory the entire contents before the day was out. At the onset of the project, this seemed like it would take at least two days. This is just another testament to the zeal, enthusiasm and hard work of your children.

From a doctor’s perspective at the village and clinic:
We went to the village adjacent to the garbarge dump and the children were lined up waiting for us. Many waited for hours…unfortunately, some things never change. While I feared I would be seeing children with exotic, rare diseases, my fears were allayed as most were common and treatable ailments. With the help and linguistic gifts from our cultural attache, Mrs. Tasca, we were able to understand what the symptoms and problems of the children were. With what limited medical supplies and drugs we had, we were able to treat the conditions and offer guidance to the mothers. It was rewarding and sometimes painful to reach out to children who had never seen a doctor…especially when most conditions were easily treatable.

Concurrently, our missionaries practice crowd control outside the makeshift clinic and played with the children. There were more selfless acts and touching moments than I can account for or pictures could show. Cam, Casey, Julia, Holly and Maddison were some of the rockstars. Sometimes it seemed as if they had a small child attached to their backs. They relentlessly gave piggy back rides to the children. I often thought that they were going to be next in line to see the doctor as the physical exertion took its toll. None of them complained despite the fatigue and heat…it was really a sight to be seen.

After the clinic, we took a walk through the village. As you can see from the video, the poverty and living conditions were appalling. This, combined with what we saw during the day, took an emotional toll on all. In this case, words can’t express what we experienced.

Written by Andrew Raucci and Dr. Rick Ohnmacht

 

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St. Thomas More Catholic Parish. 53 Rockland Street, Narragansett, RI 02882-3620, Tel: (401)789-7682
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