By Cherie Ackman
Today, we began our last day together in El Salvador. As we climbed into the van I found myself feeling a bit sad, as we have made such wonderful friendships in such a short period of time. We traveled to a local clinic not too far from our bed and breakfast, in San Miguelito.
I am always in awe when we walk into these clinics because there are always mothers and babies who have walked a long way, and have sat patiently waiting for hours. Our PINCC group quickly separates into our delegated areas and get to work. Our Spanish speakers begin their interviews with patients, the Doctors meet up with the local medical staff and my co-worker and I begin our data entry on the computer. In addition, you can always find one of our staff sitting quietly with a patient while they await their procedures.
Although we planned to leave early today, the reality was there were far too many patients to be seen for that to happen. The Doctors diagnosed and performed procedures that had lifesaving benefits. It is always a wonderful feeling! After our week of work it was time to recognize the doctors and trainees at their formal graduation ceremony. The head director of the Metropolitan Region was there to speak and honor these Doctors. The national anthem of El Salvador was played, certificates were received and a warm heartfelt feeling of gratitude was experienced by all. They were kind enough to have appetizers and soft drinks for us afterward. We proceeded on to Santa Techa a new upcoming part of El Salvador. We strolled through a beautiful corridor of many Artisans while music played and sweet aromas filled the air. We dined at a favorite little paposa restaurant and had some nice conversation and drinks with the head director and her lovely family.
Our night culminated back at our hotel Tazumal where PINCC had their closing meeting. They thanked us graciously and recognized us all with official PINCC certificates for our service. It was a most rewarding week. One that will be remembered by us for a very long time.