We went across the lake to San Juan yesterday to work in the clinic of our friend Mary who we met a couple years ago on a previous trip here.
There is a fabulous group from North carolina here as well and they have befriended us, fed us, and filled gaps in our trip never would have anticipated. It has been wonderful. They had 2 nursing students and so we brought them with us on our little trip...which turned into a wet, freezing adventure haha.
They have a full-time nurse, Timoteo, at the clinic but they wanted my dad to work for one day and have the nurse watch. Some of the people spoke Spanish, but the majority spoke Tz-utujil which meant Timoteo translated into Spanish, me into English and back to Spanish with my dad's response, which would then be translated back to Tz-utujil by Timoteo. We saw probably 15 patients, and God graciously gave me incredible understanding of medical terminology. I knew VERY FEW medical words going into this and I was almost always able to understand what they were saying. It was a gift.
My heart reached out to these people. I smiled as I was reminded of their constant friendliness and gratitude. I laughed at the silly antics of the darling children. I so enjoyed talking in Spanish for a full 5 hours, unlocking the mystery of words, using my vocabulary to communicate dialogue in order to help someone. My heart broke for the 38 year old mother with arthritis who can do nothing but sit in her home while her children and husband cook and clean for her. I winced with the malnourished child as she had her blood drawn. My heart loves these people.
I feel as though all of these years of working so hard at Spanish were culminated in these 5 hours of translating. I am finally able to communicate and serve a purpose with my language, and it was beautiful.