Clinic Blog: 2012 Mexico 2 Clinic Blog
September 10, 2012
See you next time…
On our last day of clinic we saw 854 people. That brings our total for the clinic to 7,860! Janet Duke told us before she left after the first week of clinic that there should be no "goodbye's" at OneSight clinics. Instead it's "see you next time". So until next time please enjoy these beautifully written thoughts by Ann Rice (LensCrafter's - Glendale, AZ).....
My Onesight clinic experience has always ended on a high-note. The people you meet and the moments you share changing lives are moments in time that you will never forget. But, what is a clinic all about? After being selected there is excitement and anticipation about going to another country to help others. There is trepidation about things to come due to the uncertainty of what happens next….
We came to Mexico City 44 strangers representing 11 different countries, some of us didn’t know anyone on the clinic, and some of us could only communicate in our own language. Yet, we left as friends and a united group all working for the same cause. Some of the local volunteers couldn’t believe that we had all just met; they said we worked as a cohesive team and that we all had smiles on our faces regardless of the obstacles. And yes there were obstacles, some simple as changing a process or assigning a quality person to inspect the eyewear, or just moving chairs to improve the flow, or running low on product. No matter what we made it work.
We had food obstacles. Imagine being in another country and being told not to eat anything unless it was cooked or peeled, and do not drink the water or even brush your teeth unless you use bottled water. Even with the best precautions we had 8 people get sick on the clinic and a few others after we got home. Despite the sickness, we maintained a great clinic and were able to help just under 8000, which was our goal.
The best part of the clinic experience is the smiles on the faces of the lives you change. Some tears are shed as well. The single mother who has such poor eyesight that she has difficulty supporting her children and now may be able to provide a better life for them. The children who can’t see the blackboard due to poor vision, now have the opportunity to do better in school. The older gentleman who says he can now see the faces of his grandchildren. These are the reasons we are all a part of Onesight- our eyes are the window to the world and helping one person can actually help so many.
Our team members had recipients who gave us gifts, huge hugs and so many “god bless you’s”. One woman came back to clinic seeking out the person who dispensed her glasses so she could give her a small gift that she had made, another woman handed our translator cards to give us saying we were blessings from god. A little girl gave one of our team members a ring as a thank you, and another team member received a bracelet from a thankful recipient. There were so many hugs and gifts from a group of grateful people who were less fortunate than us but wanted to show their appreciation for the gift of sight.
We were so fortunate to have wonderful partners and volunteers, who came daily to assist with translation and to share the experience with us. We bonded and made friendships that we will hold within our hearts forever. One of our Canadian team members actually had a translators who has seriously considered moving to Canada and she offered to help with the process; yet another life that may change due to this Onesight clinic.
8 clinic days, 12 days in country, it all goes by so fast and then it’s over. It is time to pack up and go home. This is probably the hardest part of any clinic -the time to say goodbye. So we have one last hoorah, we exchange emails, phone numbers, facebook pages and business cards and we do not say “goodbye”. In Onesight we say “see you on another clinic”. So to everyone I had the pleasure of working with on this team, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for the laughter and the tears and I hope someday soon we will meet again on another clinic.