Clinic Blog: 2012 Chile Clinic Blog
November 9, 2012
Talcahuano A Fond Fairwell
November 9, 2102
We bid a fond farewell to our Talcahuano Clinic on Thursday. We were there for three days, and in that time, we were able to help dispense 1700 pair of prescription eyeglasses, readers and sun glasses. As each recipient came through we were able to really talk to the recipients and listen to their stories. Each recipient shared with us their unique stories of loss, and the process of rebuilding their lives. By providing these recipients with glasses, we hope we have provided them a chance at brighter opportunities in the future.
On our final day we received a wonderful surprise, when forty elementary school children came to the clinic to receive non RX sun glasses. After a few shy smiles, and a few handshakes, we had dispensed sun glasses to them all and received a boisterous yell of THANK YOU and GOODBYE from them all as they left the clinic.
Today was also a very special day for Irma. She came to the dispensing site at Our Lady of Pompey church in Santiago, Chile. She was so appreciative of her badly needed distance and reading glasses. When we gave her a new pair of sun glasses, which looked great, but more importantly protect her eyes from the intense sun here in Chile, she was overwhelmed and began to cry with joy and appreciation. Through her tears she told us that today was her birthday, and that receiving these glasses was the best present that she had ever had.
Today a fifty year old woman, Benita, came to the dispensing site in Santiago. Wearing her security uniform, she came to the clinic as she was on a quick break from work. She received reading, distance and sunglasses. As she put on her distance vision glasses, she could easily read the poster on the wall which made her extremely happy. She took her glasses and started to leave the clinic, but broke down in tears. When she was able to speak, she told us her story. Since being separated from her husband, she has struggled to raise five children alone on the meager income from her job as a hospital security guard. Everything she earns goes towards the care of raising her children. She has been unable to afford an eye exam or glasses. For some time she has been unable to clearly see the screens of the security monitors that she is obligated to manage closely. In fact, she has been suffering with eye strain and bad headaches as a result of keeping such a close watch on the monitors she could not see. Although, she struggled with seeing the monitors, she dare not say anything for fear of being fired. It was moving to witness the joy and relief she experienced as a result of now being able to do her job well.
Some team members followed up with a visit on Saturday, November 10th at her home. She greeted us at the door with a smile and some of her children gathered around her. She led us to the back of her house where she hung up her family´s clothes and did other chores around the house. Her sons were so happy that their Mom could see. Benita said, ´´So many bad things have happened to me in the past, now it seems only good things are happening and for that I am forever grateful.´´