From Thighland to Thailand

February 20, 2012

Thailand 4.4

Filed under: Uncategorized — markchinmd @ 3:41 pm

Thailand 4.4: On your mark. Get set. Go!

February 20, 2012-Monday

FYI: Please see or unless you are already here.

Today was our first work day and we travelled to the Huisan Akha Village about 30 miles away. This is where Jo Tsa raised Luka and his family. About 100 families now live in this hillside village and they were expecting us. many people greeted us with smiles and waved to us as we drove by their homes along the dusty dirt roads.

Typical home and Akha villagers.

Huaisan Village Church soon to be clinic

The team set up camp at the Church Building for the medical and eye clinic. A small existing clinic next to the sanctuary was used for the dental clinic and had a small room for minor surgery. We are fairly efficient now and got going quickly. It was great to see so many familiar faces since we have be coming here 2006. Some were children and young adults who are now grown up. Auntika or“A” as we call her in particular is well known to us is now married and in her first trimester of pregnancy! My betalnut buddy greeted me with a double hand shake and presented me with a bead necklace. Later she played a mouth instrument twanging aboriginal type music. Many of the team members were given shell necklaces as well but we had to remove them since most of us had an allergic reaction to them last time! It seemed so familiar here and comfortable like coming to visit family.

Many came with various ailments of decayed teeth and general body aches and pains. Many had eye pain or needed glasses. We realize that HIV is reaching this small Akha village. It may be due to some of the individuals are in contact with people from the big cities and bring it back up to the village. Many patients are manual laborers that work in nearby rice, tea, and cornfields and suffer similar repetitive strain injuries as well. Many were treated for the same ailments that were treated the last time we were here so I guess we didn’t cure them. We will try again this time.

Well, during our first day we encountered a few headaches. Getting the dentists to treat the anxious crowd in a timely manner was like pulling teeth, but they were aching to get to work done quickly. They know the drill. No blings.

The Eye doctors had some vision on how to set things up and watching them was a blur, especially Mark Patton, who was working in a dust cloud grinding lenses for the new glasses. It made us look cross-eyed. Optometrists are a compassionate group of docs demonstrated by their signs “Eye care.” Well, we care too. But the unavoidable clutter was an eye sore and cleaning up the mess was a sight for sore eyes. They worked so fast I saw double.

Adequate working space is a luxury and doctors like to be pampered. Well, the medical docs had some ill feelings since we were getting sick with the little area to work in. Every body helped as we shouldered the responsibility and treated the patients efficiently and quickly. Working with them was a little nauseating but we managed not to succumb to their desire for more room. We diagnosed the problem right away and tried to make adjustments. there was no cure and the space was just too anemic. The situation was terminal so we let things pass on. We should have known. Constantly bumping into one another was a dead giveaway.

David was setting up the pharmacy and because drugs were in short supply he was a pill and drug his feet. Dorothy was able to sedate him and was straight laced by telling him to chill out because she was Dunn with him. He was stimulated with their conversation but vented to her. It was cathartic.

On a happeier note, the budding Steven “Spielberg” Chin literally had his hands full with that video rig he’s toting along with a backup camera swung around his next. He’s always carrying and shooting video and even jumped from the van and ran ahead just to capture that special moment of our caravans coming and going and crossing the river. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to have a story board in your head and try to capture those moments to place in the video. He’s a cross between an in-your-face reporter and paparazzi. I can’t wait for the documentary and the sequel.

We are either getting more efficient or it seemed fairly steady but work was not overwhelming. It proceeded with a leisurely pace for most. The medical and the Dental clinic finished early and done by 3 pm. The eye dept. returned to the inn by about 5:15 pm working constantly with 5 optometrists and an abundance of helpers to help people to see the light.

At dinner time our Spiritual Leader Pastor Jack led us with his Chapbook V: Our Journey… follow God…

He led us in prayer, devotion, and song. We will do this nightly so we can be spiritually fed by the word and not by bread alone.

talleys for the day.

➢ Dental Clinic: 41patients seen

➢ Medical Clinic: 60 Patients seen, one minor surgery

➢ Eye careClinic: 44 patients

➢ Casualites: one member Headache, several members car sick, half recuperating from jet lag, everyone bitten by mosquitoes,

Feelings for the day: Rookies

➢ Mark Patton: Worked hard, non-stop. Missionary kid, so he’s used to it.

➢ Steven Chin: “Oddly familiar.” Though seeing many for the first time it felt like family. It felt warm.”

➢ Lena Chin: “How exciting it must be for everyone and newbies felt welcomed. We have rhythm.”

➢ Allyson Farrell: It was exciting, enjoyable, and delightful to see when the patient could see clearly for the first time. Some eyes were opened. She felt appreciation even when we can’t do everything but the patient felt happy when we can do something.

➢ Dorothy Dunn: Although she felt ill by dinner time she felt better. “Coke was good!”

Quotes of the Day:

➢ “Sometimes we can’t do something physical for them but we can do something spiritually”-Diana Lee

➢ When urinated upon by a child who Lynelle was treating, Bill Ho exclaimed “That’s an Akha Baptism!”

➢ “It felt comfortable like coming to visit family.”-Richard Bruce

➢ “That’s Akhaward!”

Water saving measures at Golden Triangle Inn:

➢ flushing the toilets are only effective for waste settling at the bottom and for number 1. Toilet paper doesn’t flush down so we deposit TP in the trash.

➢ Doug is lathering his hair with shampoo and the water stops. Comes out to the lobby and says “No water!”

➢ Uncle Dennis and Dr. T were moved from one room to another due to lack of running water. Dennis is halfway showering when the water stops. Then he wonders if its running in the room he left. It is and he finishes the rest of the shower. He just chuckles as he crosses the lobby.

➢ Kane taking a shower and the water stops and stands there butt naked and waits for 15 minutes.

➢ Mark showering and the water stops, waits 5 minutes, hears air water coming and is excited until the ultra hot water sitting in the electric container gets blasted out onto my stomach. I’m glad I wasn’t aiming lower.

➢ Dusit anyone?

Lights out- Mark

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