Monday, October 31, 2011

Playing Dress Up!

For about a year now my roommate Caroline has been working to weekly give each of the caregivers at Casa Hogar Douglas a day off by taking over their dorm full of children for that day. Since I moved here I have begun joining Caroline in this, so either one of two days a week I spend at Douglas taking care of children.

Last Thursday Caroline and I decided that in a bit of the Halloween spirit we would play dress up with the 4 preschool age boys. We brought two fireman costumes and two pirate costumes. We dressed them up and of course immediately had a photo shoot.

Some of the older boys even wanted to join in on the fun.

Aren’t they just adorable???

Saying Thank You

For about the past month or so, I have been spending my afternoons at Casa Hogar Douglas helping with homework and reading with pretty much any kid that will sit down with me. The other day I was asked by one of the girls caregivers to do homework with Pamela. Now, I would describe Pamela as a girl with spunk, she has one of those personalities that just makes people want to follow her, she’s in fourth grade and strong willed and feisty. Living in a children’s home with 70 other kids these character qualities more often than not end up getting her in trouble.

So I was asked to do homework with her pretty much as a last resort. Before she even sat down she told me she needed to go get her pencil and then never came back… so, I sought her out and found her in her dorm. I told her we would sit there together until she finished. She then began to scribble fake answers in each of the answer spots. And again I stopped her and told her I would be here until she did it for real, but that we would do it together. So finally she gave in and painstakingly we did her homework together.

And when we were finally finished she looked at me with all the attitude she could muster and said “I like your shoes, I like your necklace and your ring is really pretty”.

To which I responded “Thank you, and you’re welcome”

I loved her response, it was her way of saying thank you. While keeping her pride and her feisty attitude in tact, she said thank you. Living in a children’s home, coming from a background that inevitably involves pain and abandonment these kids build walls as a way to cope. On this day, I was privileged enough to see a little bit of that wall come down. It’s God that is chipping away at the walls, and I get to be his hands and feet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pharmacist for a Day

This past weekend a group of 25 doctors and nurses came to stay on our campus and participate in a fast paced five days of medical missions. I got to be a part of working with this group on Friday. Early Friday morning we loaded up boxes of medicine medical supplies and equipment and headed out to a place we call Rio 3. This is one of the two squatters villages that Back2Back works to serve in the Monterrey area. When we work at Rio 3 we partner with a woman named Olga who runs a church and community center in the area. Olga had already assessed the needs of the community before we arrived with our medical brigade and planned for us to have about 70 appointments in 4 hours. We used the church as our medical center. We set up 3 doctors station, a nurses station where the patients had their initial screenings and because we had an optometrist in the group, we also set up a vision screening station.

Here is a picture of our medical center complete with doctors, nurses and translators.

Finally, we set up the pharmacy offering a range of medications from children's vitamins to antibiotics. Someone, me and my friend and fellow Back2Back staff member Courtney became the pharmacists. We organized the medicines and counted and dispensed whatever the doctors prescribed.

Here is part of our pharmacy counter :)
We didn't always have everything they needed, but I loved seeing the doctors think creatively and use their wisdom and training to try and come up with some way to provide the best care possible. I was continually reminded throughout the day of the bigness of God. He brought doctors from thousands of miles away because he knew that on this day Lupita would be sick and need someone to care for her. The people that live in this community would probably not have had access to medical care in any other way. He moved in the hearts of these doctors to choose to sacrifice their time to come on a trip and serve the poor alongside us. He organized just the right doctors, nurses, staff members and medicines so that He could provide care for people He loves. We just get to be His hands and feet.

This is Courtney and I ... a teacher and a social worker who got to be pharmacists for a day :)