Clinic Blog: 2012 The Gambia Clinic Blog
May 21, 2012
Inspiration for all
My mom was a guidance counselor for many years, and there is one saying that I will always remember..."give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime." We met our students today and the real meaning of our clinic became apparent. These students are having the priceless opportunity of experience. In my optometry school career, we spent years trying to see as many patients as these students will see in days. We have a wonderful, caring, patient group of doctors who are working with these eager, receptive students. They are great and their efforts and ours will "feed" the eyes of the people of the Gambia for generations to come. Thanks Mom, this clinic is dedicated to you and the values that you have given me...I Love You!
When I arrived at the clinic in The Gambia last week I decided I wanted to make sure the patients felt comfortable with us. It's much easier to help people with their eyes when they aren't scared, much easier for them to work with us and provide them with proper care.
I tried learning a few words in the local language. If I saw a word written down I couldn't catch the proper inflection so I decided I could learn only one, maybe two words a day and practice it with the locals so I would be able to pronounce it.
Well it has paid off. When I say a word in Mandinka, like 'thank you' 'very nice' 'come sit here' 'see you tomorrow' I see their eyes light up. They look at me differently. They want to talk to me. It is as if in that moment I am not a stranger anymore, but a person they want to know.
The smile is a priceless treasure that I will carry with me forever in my heart. Thank you OneSight for this opportunity.
In the very near future OneSight will have a journal that we will be able to use and record our experiences on our fabulous adventures that we are so fortunate to be a part of. Today in the morning we were given cards that connected to the 4 Luxottica characteristics. Entrepreneurial, Imaginative, Passionate, Quick n Simple. They each have a focus for the day that we were asked to think about and we could share at the end of the day. Mine was in the Passionate category and I was to focus on what I am grateful for. I considered this throughout the clinic day. Sandro help me to create my moment today for which I am grateful. The opportunity to create special moments with OneSight. Sandro brought me a young man by the name of Sainey to select sunglasses. He was about my sons age and earlier in the day I had come across a very nice pair of Oakley sunglasses. A hijinx which is the same style that my 20 year old son wears. I secretly put them in the bottom of the box in the corner to wait for a special young person to give them to. I told him that I had a very special pair of shades for him and that I had been waiting for someone I could give them to. I found them and handed them to him explaining that my son wears this style and they are in very new condition. He felt as happy and special as I hoped he would. We had an extra special moment when I also pulled out my digital camera to show a photo of my son wearing the very same Oakley. These are the special moments we are all grateful for.
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About the Clinic
2012 The Gambia Clinic Blog Clinic
A team of OneSight volunteers and doctors will provide free vision care and eyewear to those in need.