El Salvador: Day Five

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Hola, mi amigos!  What an amazing day we’ve had.  It’s a little hard to believe that we have come to the end of our time here, in El Salvador.  We finished with a bang in Somalia, a slum right in San Salvador.  It took some time to set up so we were grateful for a short drive to the site.  It was a little interesting getting our buses in there.  This is the third time we have done a clinic in Somalia and each time the community takes more charge of preparations and that is so great to see.  They wanted to take care of getting tarps to put over our heads, tables to put our things on, including all the pharmacy boxes, and chairs for us to rest our weary legs as well as for all the medics and patients.  They did a great job and each time we asked for another table, one appeared.  They had a community person at the “door” of the pharmacy to take “recettas”(not sure on the spelling of that one!), patient forms, keeping families straight for us.  We had a fabulous, big table to counsel over, no one was going to be pushing that one in today!  Everything went so smoothly.  I did hear of one little girl being sent to the hospital, a growth was removed and someone was having angina attacks.  We also saw more than 800 people, which is much higher than any of our other days.
There is something I should say about Somalia.  You won’t understand it, not having been there.  These people’s homes are made with tin, sticks, some wood, plastic signs for roofs, sometimes fabric, and the lucky ones have all tin.  In fact, last year they actually took apart a house so we would have a place to set up.  I don’t think that happened this time.  They have outhouses that are put together in such a way that they look like they’ll fall over in a big wind, and for some people, their house looks like that, too.  The people of Somalia live on less than $2 a day and are considered outcasts in San Salvador.  In fact, they probably wouldn’t even venture out if we held a clinic just outside the limits of their community.  This is why we go right into the centre.
Here are a few photos I took today:

The community even made their own signs!

Police presence was so important today.  We love having them around, especially when they whisk us home with sirens and lights.

I’d better sign off.  It’s getting very close to dinner time.  We’re having a banquet with all the people who worked with us this week, including our translators.  Then we head home tomorrow morning.  Thank you so much for your prayers, everyone.  We found out today that our next trip is most likely back to Guatemala in February of 2012.  Yup, we’re already looking forward to the next one.  😉