& for those of who did not know. i took a short trip to Dakar, Senegal to work in a medical clinic, Keru Yakaar (house of hope). i am quite interested in working medical overseas and wanted to take a look at how different centers operate and how that may work into my future ministry.
Ayiwa! monday, october 24 was my first day at the clinic. i was a little nervous only for the reason that being in a different country i had no language and walking to a place i have never been to go meet people i have never met made me feel a little uneasy. nevertheless, i used the whole morning for prayer and left on this journey with confidence that God would get me there! in following the directions given to me, i was to arrive at the center at 7.40 am. i would see a large line of people lined up outside and i was to push my way through and say the name 'Beatrice' (the name of the lady who runs the place). and supposedly they would let me in and i would then get some sort of introduction and run down of the day.
7.40 comes and i have made it to the clinic. step one complete. there are two gates. a larger one and then a much smaller one, where the people were lined up. i decide to go over to the larger one because i saw some africans standing on the inside of the gate and i assumed that they worked there. so i walked up and asked the guy for 'Beatrice', he looks at me rather strange and by hand motions and the little french i know... i make out that i must wait until they finish praying. (at this point i was thinking, well the point of me coming up to you is so i could join them for prayer, but alright i will wait). around 15 minutes pass and i all of a sudden find myself being led by this African girl, who i am pretty sure does NOT work there and probably just used me to cut in front of all of these people. but we make it in and she leads me through one waiting area to a line of benches outside in front of a separate building. it didn't take me long to realize i don't think this is where i was intending on going. so i call Becky Tarr (the west african AG area directors who we were staying with). i hand the phone over to the girl and becky explains to her that i need to see 'beatrice'. the girl gets up and leads me to another african girl (this one i was positive was a worker, but still not beatrice). she passes the phone off to her and so now i am standing in this hallway wondering if i am even allowed in this area. she finishes up on the phone and leads me to a door that reads the word 'pharmacy' in French, of course. we walk in and i am greeted by this short, spunky and quite friendly African woman. 'i am vivian' she says. alright, so still haven't found Beatrice, but hey someone who speaks some English-- i'll take it. she goes on to tell me that beatrice is sick and would not be coming in today. lol of course.
so Vivian, who is Congolise, pulls up a chair for me and orders me to sit there. i dare not obey. about 20 minutes pass by as i am sitting there observing her walking around taking care of business. finally, she motions me to come with her and she takes me on a tour of the facility.
-when you walk into the center: you enter facing a large waiting area with lines of benches. that is where the people get their ticket and pay for the visit (around 500 francs). they then sit down in the area according to their needs. they have with them a small blue paper book that contains their records. they will carry that with them to each place they go.
-there is a two areas that serve the purpose for Pharmacy. the one i was in was also used for offices (administrative).
-on both sides of the waiting area are two consultation rooms where the patients will go in and talk with the doctor to talk about their needs and what type of medicine they need. they leave their blue book with them and go outside to wait again to see the person who will give them their medication. the nurse will then take the books to the pharmacy to get the medicine. he heads back to the room and begins to call out one at a time the patients to come in and get their medications.
-also in the main building they have room for lab work and also a separate waiting room that plays the Jesus film in Wolof (the local language).
-outside the main building is another small building where people go to get wounds 'dressed'.
-if you walk through the main waiting room, on the other side is a separate building for dental work.
After we finished up the tour we head back to the office to grab me a gown. Vivian asks me where i would like to work for the day. i did not hesitate in saying that i would love to go bandage people up! we head outside to the small room. a huge line of people was already forming. i walk in to see a happy African man by the name of Carlos (typical African name right lol). he has Christian music playing in the background (in Wolof) and gave me the hugest smile in discovering i would be working beside him for the day.
lets get to work! patients start coming in one by one. tore up ankles, fingers, toes, lips, chins, arms... you name it. now you are probably thinking, ok chels, its bandaging- a cut toe or cut finger, i could do that... yah i am sure you could, but let me inform you that these open wounds have not been attended to in weeks and they have now reached past the infection stage. so not only do they look absolutely disgusting, but they have quite the vile smell and are going to hurt ten times worse now.
ok so Carlos bandages a few people (oh and carlos speaks a little bit of English....see God's looking out for me (:) and then he motions me to come over and tells me 'ok your turn'.
let me just tell you, i love africans. first because they do things however they want and second they for some reason have this confidence in you that you know how to do something after seeing it done maybe two times.
there i am, i find myself bandaging up these people and from time to time discover that no one else is in the room besides me and the patient. (see i am already working there)!
this first day's experience was wonderful. now to attempt to get home.
suppose i wil walk, its a nice ocean breezy day.
thank you jesus for your faithfulness and being El Roi in my life.