The medical clinics are controlled chaos. So many folks come out for the only western medical care many will receive in a year. Our OMNI clinics served 500+ patients per day. We provide physicians, a full pharmacy, lab testing, and wound care. When possible we distribute rice/salt/beans during the clinics. This food distribution requires armed guards as crowd control because there is such desperation and need.

There is such a kaleidoscope of colors and faces, (and for me in wound care, legs and feet), screaming babies, noise, flies and it’s hot. The team jells quickly and becomes focused and determined to do as much as we possibly can to help these impoverished and deserving people.

Some villages are doing better than others. You look out at the triage line of about 600 people and note that half of them have shoes, that’s a good sign. You note the kids’ hair is mostly dark, not red from protein depletion or patchy with scabies infestation, another good sign. Then there are communities where almost no one has shoes, the kids are dressed in clothing tattered into ribbons and their protruding bellies are full of worms not food.

The rains were just ending so malaria is on the upswing. Bobble headed, glassy-eyed babies are limp in the arms of grandmothers. These elders now are primary caregivers because of a missing parental generation, ravaged by HIV/AIDS. So many wasted faces, young and old alike, with sunken temples and cheekbones like knife blades.   

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