Today's post is from Eduardo.
Today started with one of the bumpiest rides I've ever experienced...and that says a lot coming from me since I've been on many "really bad roads." So many cars, so many bikes, so many people walking on the side, and sometimes middle, of the road...just imagine adding 30,000,000 people to Oregon and turning I-5 into a two way street of only dirt and gravel! Clouds of dust from the car in front of you brings visibility to just a few yards...and tomorrow we are doing this again except that it has been raining a lot and you probably know what happens when you mix dirt and water...I just hope I won't have to get out and push.
We worked very hard at the clinic preparing the walls and painting 8 rooms. By the end of the day, my hair was white with the dust from sanding the walls. I had 5 people tell me that I had significantly aged in just a day...oh joy!
In the morning, while still young, I went for a walk with a security guard (we are not supposed to venture on our own). I talked to many adults and children and took a ton of pictures. I was invited into one of the "typical" homes in the area: 3 rooms for a family of 8, walls made of mud, dirt floors and a roof made with sticks, banana leaves and pieces of tarp. The lady of the house was sitting on the floor pealing some sort of sweet potato. The pot was outside over an open fire with water boiling.
The kids were around playing...too close to the boiling pot...they were so thrilled to have their pictures taken and loved to see themselves in the camera's viewer! Many kids have never seen themselves (no mirrors). Even the mom was excited to see herself and called a neighbor to come and see the picture! Next time I come to Africa I will bring 500 polaroid-like film to take pictures that I can leave with them (I did bring 200 pictures but need to save them for next week for a craft project with youth in the north of the country).
I also met a man walking with crutches. He had just arrived from Congo with a bullet wound to his foot. Later in the day was the birth of a baby while we were in the clinic. The nurse left the delivery room in a hurry with this tiny baby, to take him to his dad and grandmother. Everybody that knows me knows that I love babies so I followed her and was able to get a picture of a very proud dad and his son! Priceless moment that I will not soon forget...so I'll finish as I started:
What a day! I am so blessed and humbled to be in Africa!