Poland, Here we come!

On Day 4, the team of Kiribati nurses and our team headed to Poland which is the farthest side of the island. And right when we arrived there were already 20+ people waiting to be seen, it was definitely very rewarding and successful to see that many people waiting at 8:00am. The nurses and I had been working from the moment that we entered the clinic until noon nonstop. Things started out a bit hectic because when people see you they automatically want to begin their assessment. It took a bit of time to adjust our way of doing assessments to make it as efficient as possible for our subjects and ourselves. Needless to say that throughout the day I learned how to say thank you, here it is phonetically, “kor-aba”. And by the end of the day we had seen over 50 people which was a success, and in the past two days of beginning our assessment we had seen 100+ people. Each individual had done an assessment survey, a dietary recall, blood glucose, and a lipid test. By this time, I definitely had a sense of purpose and a new outlook on how desperate care is needed on this beautiful atoll. The women, men, and children were so appreciative and tried to show it in small gestures. During our lunch break, I had an extra Trail Mix CLIF bars that I gave to the children waiting around the clinic for their parents, which they shared among themselves. The Welfare Committee of that village had brought us food for the day which consisted of fresh caught fish that was broiled, papaya, coconut/coconut water, toddy, and rice or noodles. The day was a long one considering we left at 6 A.M. and came back around 7:00pm since it is about a 2-3 hour drive to and from but it was one of the most rewarding especially when assessments died down a bit in the afternoon. I spent some time interacting with the people of the village and their children. I learned a lot from them –there is something to be said about actions speaking louder than words. In this small island where I could not speak the language, I could communicate more than I ever have been able to communicate with someone speaking the same language as me.

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