Mexico Interns – Stories from the Clinic Build

Spread the love

guess who?Thursday had a toast-less breakfast with no power or water, requiring a little creative thinking for breakfast and getting ready. Santiago was ill today so Roberto (Angelina’s husband) came to the worksite with us to help interpret and raise the walls. We were greeted by many familiar faces from the school, many of the kids were the same and we instantly reconnected with them. With only some minor problems with two red shirted boys we have found the kids ready to lend a hand and always willing to play. We had many of the older boys helping nail and lift lumber and others helping with the painting which made the task go very quickly.With many hands from both the group and the super supportive community we got the walls position by the end of our second  day on the clinic site. Even with language barriers between the students and the community we had little difficulties raising the walls, all that was needed was a few charades and gestures. Roberto helped translate in Spanish while Shane gave directions in English to the team, overall it was quite a sight to see the building raise with so much help.Magui, the communities mother hen, brought us ceviche soya with a hint of tuna which was unknown for some time and refreshing raspberry juice to boast our energy levels. Magui is a community leader who is a very compassionate woman with an amazing soul. She leads a woman’s group who helps out in the community and does needlework together once a week.We were invited to Amelia’s for dinner for her famous fish tacos, she had a very full household with family visiting on top of the 13 of us. All of us ate way too much and lit our tongues on fire with a “mild” salsa which turned out to be much hotter.Friday, we began our third building day by raising the panels onto the roof. The children were there when we arrived and very eager to begin playing again. Many of us found it hard to work when so many smiling faces wanted to play and interact with us.Magui arrived at noon with another meal for our hardworking team of sopas which were deep fried corn tortillas topped with refried beans, sour cream, lettuce, cheese and salsa. Magui always mades sure there was plenty of food for the workers and always feeds the children in the area afterwards which just shows how much she cares about everyone.We enjoyed Kim’s famous Mac and Cheese which was amazing! We had been pre-warned about Kim’s cooking and were a little hesitant and first but it turned out awesome and many of us had several bowlfuls.i guess we have to cut it off As Saturday was our final day on the site we finished tarring the roof with a very efficient team on the roof and built three inner walls to allow space for a reception area, a doctors office and a room for his assistant. The windows and roof were trimmed and the door positioned. Santiago was back with us today feeling much better so it was great to have his help and enthusiasm which helps keep all of us going.Magui again arrived with food for the group, today was empanadas which looked a little like Mexican pizza pockets filled with potatoes and sausage. We completed all our work in the early afternoon and spent some time playing with all the kids around the site, there must have been close to 30 of them around at different times. There was one little boy named Ismael who captured many of our hearts. He has a smile that can light up a room or work site and laughter which is completely contagious. He even helped us paint whenever one of us wasn’t playing with him.8 incredible people     After working hard at the site all day we came back to the house to shower and change before heading out again. Before we left for dinner a few of us headed to the fabric store to purchase a piece of material to cover a large piece of plywood for the community and kids to put their handprints in white paint on. The artwork was then to be hung in the clinic to bright the plain wood walls. We then stopped at Sammy’s the local second-hand store we usually go to for purchasing furniture for the houses. We found a few tables for desks, many chairs, filing cabinets, a water cooler, a glass medicine cabinet and even a medical bed! It was perfect and seemed just meant to be.Later we headed down to the beach, a few swam and others just hung out on the beach before heading over to Gaston’s for a group dinner out and to watch the beautiful Mexican sunset. We had many laughs around the table over balloons popped over Dawn’s porcupine hair, a spilt and broken margarita glass, a great server and many other things. We all greatly enjoyed our meals and some flan afterwards before heading back to the house.We arrived early Sunday morning for dedication day hoping to beat some of the community members to the site to unload our purchases from Sammy’s but when we arrived there were already 30 or so people around and many of the children we had seen in previous days. Sammy arrived around 9 with all the furniture and we moved it into the clinic before beginning to paint hands for the board of handprints. Some of the children were very eager to have their hands painted while others were a little more hesitant, by the end almost all of the children had their prints on the board and many of the community leaders. We even managed to get many infant handprints on the board before moving it inside to proudly nail it to the wall.By the time we began dedication the site was full of people who each brought something, Magui and her women had a list of who was to bring what. Everything was brought from a kilo of tortillas to some chicken to even a fence post! Our Hero Holiday team began dedication with each of us saying how much we enjoyed working side by side with the community on this project and how much they deserved it. The community then profusely thanked us saying that a small group of students from Canada was doing more for them then their own government and they were eternally grateful for all that we were doing for them.  We ended on a tearful note as Magui told us how much she enjoyed working with us and for all that we were doing for her community.Following the dedication there was tons of food for everyone, there was fried chicken made right on the site with beans, salsa, tortillas, rice, and soda. After the food we visited with the community for one of the longest dedications Dawn had ever seen, it lasted till close to 1pm and was something many of us will never forget. We all played with the kids spinning them around, taking pictures, braiding hair and lots of hugs and cuddles. Many of us had tears in our eyes as we left the site, the community had left a huge impact on the group and will be in our hearts forever. It was very difficult to say goodbye to the kids who had been around for so many days between the school and clinic site.We relaxed for a bit before beginning to prepare for the next group. We began with taking down the chicken coop at the campground followed by cleaning out the tool shed and getting the tools organized for the next sites.We finished the day with some tamales made for us by the community for dinner and a debriefing to get many tense emotions into the open. Then we all headed to bed for a good nights sleep before our day of cleaning and heading to the migrant camp the next day.Jenna – Intern

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: August 18th, 2009