Ever wish that some how you could press a record button in your head and be able to not only replay but re-live a certain event or even a day, because it was just so great the first time you are sure to see how even greater it is in the second time and third.
Yesterday was one of those days, we do not have a re-live button built into us, so I will just have to do my best to remember,
This great and eventful day started off at promptly 4 am when my alarm clock started shaking, I reached over and shut if off only to wake up an hour and a half later when I then proceeded to get up and get ready for the day, Practical days are always exciting because we never do know what we are going to do or how the berungy (town) we are going to is going to be; seeing that we are a moving clinic; and we go different places every week. Today was a bit of a longer ride, so we were getting an early start. There was a few bumps along the way; one that went so far as to pop our tire, and that started out the events for the day.
Changing tires can be fun especially when the tire you changed also has a flat.
Once the tire was fixed off we were back on the rode to the berungy (town) of Gorlya.
Where we were setting up clinic was at a church, the pastor was so nice and a really funny guy. Me and Andrea were put on BP station, which is where everyone comes after registering to get their blood pressure taken. I have never been on at the BP station ,so it was a new experience for me and really good practice. A few more hours of taking back to back blood pressure and I just might be a pro. Being at the BP station was more then just taking BPs; it was about talking to people and just having a fun time calming them down about going to the doc or getting their teeth pulled. There were so many people, at one point I think I did around 50 BPs in a row and there always seems to be more to do. (Now that I think about it, it might have been fun to keep track off how many I did.)
This was by far the biggest out come for a clinic we had since I have been here. The kids seemed to be abundant and certainly not in shortage, they were flocking around me and Andrea, so when we had our slow times we would talk to them and make silly faces at. Even though most of the people did not speak English and our Tagalog was lacking pretty much everything, we found we didn’t really need words, because love surpasses everything ,even language.
One of the first people I took the BP on had a really high sisalici (top number) I thought maybe I heard wrong so I listened again and sure enough it was the same; so I had Andrea check because I just was not so confident in my BP taking abilities. But as I continued I realised that most people had high BP, not only kinda high but really high, 160/95 was common and the norm is 120/80. It was so mind blowing how many people had high blood pressure. It was hot and sticky but the smiles on the peoples faces kept me going as I felt my blood sugar dropping. Then I got some juice and that seemed to help. Every where we go we always get soda or something to drink but today we got coconut juice …like still in the coconut with a small hole in the top. Now I have had coconut juice and I knew I didn’t like it, but it was in a coconut shell and I was drinking in the Philippines while taking BP. It was all for the experience, and I experienced not liking it the whole time. It was like I would drink it, put in down and then drink it again ,hoping that it tasted better, sweeter, anything. Nope,still was coconut juice, but at the end I started to like it or maybe I was just hot and needed something wet.
After lunch we moved stations but for some reason we didn’t have any one on BP, so I jumped back on and there I was again full of smiles ready to squeeze anyone’s arm to find out the pressure of the blood. There were a whole lot more older folks this time around and they so sweet and really funny, they kept saying they loved my nose and a few of them wanted to touch it, because they believed if they touched it their baby’s would have noses like my nice big and pointy nose. There was this one pregnant woman that I just fell in love with.. my heart just went out to her, she was so sweet. I don’t think I will ever forget her (moments like those I wish I had a camera). There were some really awesome sweet older women there and one of them took a liking to me and gave me a ley of sampaquita (Philippines national flower) it made me feel blessed.
Some things I have been learning is that Filipinos love to feed people and they seem to want to make us fat even though they are not and I am not sure how, with the food they eat. We were fed this whitish jello like dessert that was made from rice and corn starch with corn on top (they put corn on a lots of desserts, you can even get a corn shake) it was quite yummy and quite filling. And then we tried these fried rice covered bananas.. they were yummy as well and nice and greasy.
After all the excitement we packed up and headed home to eat dinner and take showers.
Oh it was such a lovely day. One I want to keep reliving.