Tasty brown turds

Whew! Yesterday was a full day. AI received new volunteers, Barbrah learned how to swim, and we made brownies for a volunteers birthday. Oh, and a bunch of teenagers showed up, too. Joys right? In all seriousness though, yesterday was very productive and exhausting, hence the early morning instead of late night post.

For our morning medical work, Braydan and I went with Andrew, one of the drivers and caregivers, back to Linda Community. We visited a few patients we had seen during our first visit and redressed their wounds. Then came the swarm! After visiting this poor boy who had a stroke when he was 12–12 years old guys! Can you even imagine?!–we started walking to our next “patient” and it was kind of like how in a horror movie when the main characters walk through a forest or abandoned village/town and people start coming out of random hiding places as they pass, and before the characters know it they’re surrounded. You know those scenes? Yeah, that’s what happened to us.

Even Andrew seemed a little disturbed because one second we were just minding our p’s and q’s and the next about five to seven women had us surrounded. One told Andrew that she wanted something for her son’s diarrhea, another wanted something for the probable arthritis or gout in her toes, and since we weren’t really allowed to pass, we got dragged over to the home of a man that actually really did need help.

The man was older and was just skin and bones. We found out that he had TB for the third time, wasn’t eating, had troubles with coordinated movement, was numb in his feet, and was coughing and shivering terribly at night and during the day. Clearly, this man needed help. We gave him what multivitamins and antacids we had, but since we aren’t well equipped nor trained to deal with these kinds of problems, we gave him a referral to the clinic. Hopefully, when we visit again this week he’ll have gone.

After visiting this patient, the swarm of women returned and Andrew translated for us that they wouldn’t let us leave until we’d helped them all. Luckily, Andrew is a chill dude and managed to assuage them by promising to return on Thursday since we only had a half hour left and two more patients to see. Apparently, they accepted this compromise, but one very distinctly raised her finger and pointed to me and said, “Come back here on Thursday.” So yeah, that happened.

We finished off with our last two patients, swung by the Linda Farm to pick up some of our Build-It volunteers, and got back just in time for lunch. After lunch, we washed some laundry–again, I will forever be appreciative for my washer and dryer–and then met up again with the other medical volunteers to continue our discussions from Friday concerning the survey, questions for the workshop presenters we’re meeting with this week, and topics to cover during our final presentation to the new volunteers. This was a much more productive meeting compared to Friday (in my opinion) and we ended with a final survey, a format for recording the results, and questions for the presenters.

After our meeting, right as I was laying down to kick my feet up for a few minutes, Braydan ran in an alerted me that we had a team meeting right then! I threw on some flip flops, ran downstairs, and luckily arrived just in time so I wasn’t too embarassed. Sjeel led the meeting, and we met the new volunteers that arrived yesterday, discussed upcoming fundraisers, and were alerted to the arrival of the teenagers. They’re here until Friday, and hopefully they won’t be around the compound too much during the day. I mean, one can hope, right? Like most teenagers, they were obnoxiously loud and just everywhere, so most of us volunteers hid in the AI building or in our rooms.

Post meeting, Barbrah learned how to swim! The water was very cold, but by the end she was kicking like a pro and probably won’t die if she goes swimming again. That’s what I call a success 🙂 Between swimming and dinner, Braydan and I ran to Shoprite for brownie mix and shampoo and conditioner, and after dinner we made brownies for one of the new volunteers since it was her birthday. They looked like gooey brown turds, but they were gluten free and egg free, so not much more can be expected. The flavor was pretty good, and they were completely devoured by the volunteers, so I’m assuming they weren’t terrible. That or the volunteers were desperate enough for chocolate that they’d eat anything presented to them. I choose to believe the first reason though haha

And that pretty much concluded our night. We scuttled up to our room after the brownies were cleaned up and hid in there from the “youths.” We had every intention of writing our blogs, but ended up crashing (again!) from exhaustion. One of these days we’ll manage to stay awake past 8:30pm, but that day was not yesterday. Anyway, until tomorrow (tonight really) ¡adios!

-Gabrielle Bezzant

Author: Gabrielle Bezzant

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