The past couple of days have held quite a bit of adventure. On Wednesday we went on 4 home visits to see patients that had delivered at the clinic. We went with the clinic's social worker May May, who's great :) A little bit about the social work program, May May meets with the people who are too poor to even afford the smalls costs at the clinic; she interviews them to determine how much they really can afford and then they are placed in the social work program which includes counseling with pastors at the clinic as well. Then she follows up with them by doing home visits after they've delivered, which is what we got to do on Wednesday. It was crazy how hospitable the people were when we'd come into their "house," which really just looked like a really cool clubhouse. But they'd insist we sit down on their mat and seemed thrilled to have visitors. Molly and I took turns holding their babies who weren't very little anymore (one of the 2 month olds felt more like a 1-year old haha). Anyways, all of the moms would just rave about how great their experience was at the clinic, how fortunate they were, and gave lots of 10 out of 10's. It was great to see the smile on their face and know that we are getting to be part of this miracle for many people who couldn't otherwise afford it.
Then yesterday, Thursday, there were 3 births at the clinic! And one last night. But we pretty much missed all of them! haha. I was at the clinic for the first one, but the baby came flying out. I walked by one minute, and they were just hooking her up to the CTG machine. I go put my ipod on for one song, and one of the nurses comes in and says, "baby out." haha. It was the first baby boy that I've gotten to see. But it was still a great experience because I got to start an IV :) (my first real one! and I got it on the first try). I also got to deliver the placenta on my own which was very interesting! It looks really weird, but it's absolutely amazing how this thing grows inside of the mommy and keeps the baby alive! God is a genius! Well, of course we all knew that :) but the miracle of birth is just so fantastic! This is why I've always loved this field because the human body is so fascinating, and all the intricacies of it just point back to the wonderful Creator of it all.
We missed the later births, but instead we had the great opportunity to go with Father Heinz to the dump site. What an eye opener! It is exactly what it sounds like. All of the trash in Cebu City comes to this dump site, and it is the home to thousands upon thousands of people. It's literally just mounds of trash all over. It was hard to internalize it because when we had trash, Father Heinz was like just throw it on the ground, but really, that's where it all ends up anyways even if you had a trash can. Both Molly and I handed out cookies to the 200+ kids that came to line up. Then there was a line for people wanting medical treatment. I helped Father Heinz with that part by taking temperatures, blood pressures and listening to people's lungs. Father Heinz is part of a German doctor's program, so he has a HUGE medicine supply and gives it out to the people here who could never afford treatment. Some of the people come and there's nothing wrong with them, so he gives out a lot of Vitamin C too ;) Many of the kids have these huge sores that develop from the lack of hygiene. It's crazy because it's something you definitely don't see in America because it's so treatable with just a little soap and water every now and then. But at the dump site it's not. Father Heinz told us a story about how he held a mass at the dump site recently, and he asked the children to pray. One of the little boys started his prayer with, "Dear God, thank you for the trash..." It's their livelihood and their only means of survival to the point where little children are thankful for their trash. Wow, if that doesn't say something to you then I don't know what does. I think of all the times I've been worried about money, upset that I didn't have enough money for something, or just outright ungrateful. Visiting the dump was definitely a humbling experience for me and just gave me more perspective on life in general. These situations are hard because you show up, give out cookies and medicine, talk, and play with the kids, but you still feel like it's so insignificant compared to the situation. But I'm just thankful for the little part that God has brought me to do. Sure, I may not be giving all these people a new life, but I'm sharing God's love with them just a little at a time and His love is definitely something extraordinary.
New photos up as well. For those of you who don't have a Facebook, here's a link to the photo album http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2065740&id=1347150104&l=388e9f01da