My name is Dory Sims. I am a nurse from Memphis and I am more than thrilled to be apart of this amazing group of nurses, doctors, pharmacists, translators, volunteers, and of course our Jefa Tresha. I have never been to a third world country and I can honestly not believe my eyes. I have seen documentaries and movies on tv about this part of the world but there is no way to understand the life of the people here until you see it in person. We flew into Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, then drove to a town called Diriamba where we will stay for 4 nights. Today we drove in a bus about 45 minutes up into the high hills of Diriamba to a small community called Del Sur. We were stopped on the road by some cattle for a few minutes, but quickly arrived at the school where we set up clinic. We brought an entire pharmacy, rice and beans for all the families, and new shoes for the kids. There were families lined up for hours to be seen for various ailments including, hypertension, diabetes, rashes, infections, stasis ulcers, stomach aches and so much more. It was eye opening to see all the families with kids that were so well behaved. There was no complaining by anyone, not even the little kids who were standing in line in the sun for hours.
Day 2 at Buena Vista del Sur by Dr. Amy Hertz
Today was a truly amazing day of community. It was a very windy and dusty day and dirt was blowing everywhere. From before we arrived, the community ladies were spreading water all over the school yard to try to keep the dust down. Just for us. Their guests. And they did this ALL DAY LONG! And the ladies cooked and brought lunch again and served with grace. It is their way of showing their appreciation to us. And our way of us giving back to them.
We are our own community and work together for the goal of tikkun olam. And we have come together from several states and cities in Nicaragua, doing our best to care for others. It is an amazing site. We load and unload the bus. We hand out food to all families. Most children get new shoes and with those shoes comes a sparkling smile and a jump and a skip. Our pharmacy team hands out the medications that are prescribed and instructions are given with patience and care. We made a donation of school supplies that were collected over the past few months. There were 100 Spanish - English dictionaries, enough for every student in the school. And enough supplies to last this entire school year(which started today) and then some. I have noticed that when we have clinic, this is the center of activity from early AM until our bus drives away 8 hours later. The old and young alike hang around and help and talk and watch each other's children. There are aunts and uncles and neighbors... They all know each other and they all help and care for one another. If someone is fortunate enough to have a vehicle, that is the ambulance or taxi for almost anyone in need. They just make it happen. And I think what we all notice as well as from the time we arrive to the time we leave is the fact that there are no tablets, pads, games,toys, electronics at all. The kids receive 1 stuffed animal and stay with their family all day. Not crying. No tantrums. No talking back. It is really something. I think it all comes back to respect for others, especially the elderly here. They are revered and loved. And they come first. It is truly a community and they all care for each other.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!