Blessings my friends,

On Tuesday we were in a community new to me – San Antonio. It was a busy day – seeing 92 patients! The community had a lot of sick people and a bit less chronic disease (and so it seemed to me). We also saw a lot of scabies. Families had many
children and I suspect living conditions were crowded and small.

It was also a day of children. Oh. My. Gosh. As a provider I have always thought being behind a curtain seeing one patient after another all day every day had to be the most tiring job of all. Well yesterday I found myself in a new role of attempting to manage the children with Brian and Janet. There were a TON of kids. At one point I think there were 50 kids swarming Brian who had crayons. They were running around and making a ton of noise making it difficult for a provider trying to hear breath sounds in a sick person. So – time was spent herding the children outside and trying to play with them there in a space not really optimal for playing. The children would go out one door and run around and come back in the other door. Most of the children we were trying to manage were not there to be seen and were unsupervised. And they were very young to preteen.

So – I had my eyes opened and realized that maybe as a provider, the job was not the hardest! Maybe all the jobs are equally difficult in different moments and that working together as a team is what makes it the most manageable. I think I knew that – but in San Antonio it was brought home for me.

The team is swapping positions and learning all kinds of new skills. Ella taught her grandmother Penny how to take vital signs. Now Penny is doing it on her own! Sally is back in triage – after feeling a tiny bit under the weather yesterday. David is in the lab checking out urines and blood. Sounds like fun! Peter continues to act as the pharmacy translator. He doesn\’t act actually – Peter is the real deal! He greets every patient with a smile and explains all their meds and makes sure they understand directions. We call him Pedro.

Beth, Nancy, and Rupert are behind curtains seeing patients. They are doing an amazing job. They are probably out of their element a bit but are all managing the patients with the resources we have. Everyday it gets easier. Providers are used to being able to order tests and run more labs to determine what is going on. None of that is available here, we have very basic tests that we run ourselves. Serious cases can be referred but care is very limited.

The pharmacy is amazing. Chris is invaluable as a pharmacist and the troupe behind him are keeping up with the demand for medications while staying organized and efficient. Britney, Todd, Janet, Brian, Roger and Lorie are staples in the pharmacy.

In addition to doing the jobs and being efficient, everyone is doing their work with love and compassion and care. I wish you were here to see it!

I\’m sorry about the pics. Not sure what the issue is – I will try a different method today of sending pictures. If it doesn\’t work, when I get to Antigua or home I will load up the pictures in Dropbox and invite you all to see them. I can answer questions about Dropbox later but it is an easy way for all of you to see the pictures!

We are currently in Chuil at clinic. I will write later about the day. Everyone is feeling well today. I think a good nights sleep always helped. It was hot yesterday but a round of thunder storms came through in the evening and cooled things down. okay is another sunny day!

Blessings on your day!
Linda Brewster