Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Day 12 - First day at Santa Mesa, Manila

Hello everyone reading,
This is our first day at Santa Mesa and it is refreshing in its cleanliness and relative safety are very welcome. We are set up in the local basketball court since it has all we need: A roof and electricity. After about 30 minutes of rearranging the area  to our needs we begin in earnest. All of us except the opticians are in position one,  Registration or position two, visual acuity. A full bench press to get the patients moving. Within 1 hour we have registered over 130 patients and they are beginning to move onto the health assessment and auto refraction.
All is going well although some of the members are a little taken aback by the washroom facilities (not actually as described in the brochure if you understand my drift). The population seems a bit better off but they are all very eager to be seen by us. A peculiar tradition was taking place this day.
A member of the community had died 2 days ago and the remains were exposed for condolences in a small chapel just next to our clinic. Now there is a quirk in the Filipino penal code that allows for gambling during a funeral otherwise gambling is limited to only casinos. So right next to the coffin , a group were playing cards for money. The reason for this practice seems to be that it is relatively costly to be buried here and this allows the family to collect the necessary money to have a proper burial.
At the end of the day some of us went for a leisurely stroll down the main street and since it was marienda time (coffee break) lots of local delicacies were out on display. I am attracted to the more interesting foods so i find skewers of BBQ chicken heads, chicken intestines salted eggs as well as lots of fried bananas and other interesting foods.
The  day ended a bit early since we started at 730 and we saw about 430 patients today. It was a good day. I look forward to tomorrow to be just as good.

Regards to you all,
 Our clinic at Barangay 600, Santa Mesa.

Today was our first day at Santa Mesa. This was also the first place that was large enough to organise our testing and dispensing area's. Our miracles today were mostly 8 to 9 yearolds that were not blind but would have to sit at the front of the class to see. The temperature seems to be hotter everyday but the smiles and greeting of the people keep us going. We are getting so much support from the volunteers thanks to the vice mayor of Manila and especially from our drivers that tackle the traffic and pollution, getting us to the projects and back.

Robert Dawson,
Optician & Board Member of TWECS
11 Year old James with -4.00 prescription as per Dr. Marina Roma-March was fitted with his new glasses by Tally.

Dr. Annie Micucci and a senior patient after completed refraction.
Seniors (60+) and patients with physical disabilities are very respected and always given priority in the Filipino culture.

Dispenser, Jessica Tu, tries to involve patient in the adjustment process.
Dr. Marcantonio finds time to enjoy himself at the end of the day...

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