Monday, 12 November 2012
Day 4 - First Clinic Day at Philippine National Railways
First morning drive to the site, after leaving the hotel and waterfront areas, suddenly imposes a stark reality of mothers washing their little girls or boys , in a plastic basin on the street with a bucket of water and a large cup. Pouring water over their heads while they stand stark naked.
Men washing and shaving outside the same way except with underwear on.
Every Item you can think of for sale from fruit to prepaid cell phones.
The worst squalor is around the creeks and small waterways.
The first 2 hours at the site are organized chaos. Imagine 27, 50 kilo boxes scattered around the floor with 300 plastic patio chairs , 5tents, 15 tables, 15 Canadians, 15 local volunteer translators, and 3 hundred patients all in a fully functioning railway station with scheduled trains and passengers coming and going.
To add to the confusion, the General Manager of the PNR, June Gregorio is there to welcome us with his entourage, and the Deputy mayor, Isko Moreno also makes a visit.
Now he is running for mayor and also happens to be a local film star. So all the local volunteers, especially the girls are swooning and screaming when he arrives.
It's also Monday which in the Philippines means a flag ceremony takes place at 9 o'clock.
All government agencies, federal, provincial and local government, take one hour every Monday morning to sing the national anthem, have a pep talk, greet visitors and announce local news from the mayor or general manager or who ever is the senior official.
Welcome ceremony for the team.
Waiting area within the first 30 minutes of clinic set up.
Registration & nearsighted testing
A visit from the vice-mayor!
It's all about the teamwork...