Ecuador: Intern Luci Checks In
Editor’s Note: High school junior Luci Bryson, daughter of SIFAT training director Kathy Bryson, is spending six weeks this summer as an intern with SIFAT Ecuador. Having already been part of Learn & Serve programming and training events both on our Galilee Campus and internationally, Luci is helping our teams in Ecuador and improving her Spanish translating skills. You can read her first entry here.
Greetings to all! You’ll have to forgive me for not writing to you all these past two weeks–to tell you the truth, there really never was a free moment to sit down and write! Since I last wrote, we have had three different teams of which I’ve had the pleasure to work with two of the three–Faith United Methodist Church and Guntersville FUMC . Aldersgate UMC was the third team, and I only had a chance to visit with them at night in the hotel.
I really enjoyed this past week working with the medical team through translating for one of our doctors at Calderon here in Quito. SIFAT has been working for the past three years building an addition for the church in Calderon, and have built a three-story building, where we carried out the clinic. In total, we had four doctors, and we saw 470 patients –many of whom had never seen a doctor in their lives. Guntersville had many different aspects of service from pharmacy, eyeglass exams, fluoride treatments, VBS for many of the children who are a part of the Compassion Project, photos of families, and knitted hats for all who took part. I was so proud of these dear people; any instant, they were ready to jump in and love on these people in any way they could. Home visits seemed to really be eye opening especially. Many of my fellow Americans expressed to me the shock that they felt that many live in these conditions. They were confused as to how someone who lacked so many basic needs could be those who had the most brilliant smiles. There were many questions of “why” that were asked, too.
It was a rewarding, yet exhausting, week. Each day, we would leave at 7:40, return around 6 and then have devotion. I was the SIFAT representative and was in charge of the behind the scenes and translating for one of the doctors each day—in total, I translated for about 125 patients. I also was the Chiva (party bus) tour guide of this group. It’s incredible the amount of medical knowledge I have gained from this past week, too!
As I was translating for one lady in Calderon, I really felt that it was no coincidence that she ended up at our table. She explained to me that she has not been able to sleep for five years, how she was abused and felt so far from God. The medicines she was taking are strong sedatives, but even so, she remained awake. Dr. Shelby explained to her how there is no stronger medicine to put her asleep, and asked her how her relationship was with God. It was a really crucial moment and I feel we really made an impact on her—knowing someone was out there and cared.
There were laughs. There were tears. There was helado de paila in the streets. Indigenous markets with bizcochos saturating every street corner. Tropical concrete homes amidst mountain over mountain. Bubbles and animal crackers painted all over warm smiles of indigenous children. Guinea pig with aji sauce and hominy. Two cultures and colors of people united as one. It is still just exciting and new as it was when I first arrived.
No words could express how proud I am of this group and the impact they truly have made.
A big thanks to all of you once again for supporting and believing in me. God bless you.