Day 8 began bright and early, we had to be packed and loaded and out of the hostel by 7:30am. We left Antigua for Chimaltenango Hospital, where a painting crew uplifted a room, a team went to Pediatrics, the play center, surgical and to the Maternity Ward. Each group experienced something different. What I can share is where I visited, the Maternity Ward. Here there were about 30 women with infants less than 24 hours old. These moms were all in one large room and the babies swaddled lying with each mom. 2 women had lost babies in the night and they were recovering amongst the women with babies. You could feel their broken hearts. Jane and Betty spent time holding their hands, singing and comforting them during this time. Angela, Lisa and Charlene massaged all the women, their feet, hands and legs. Others washed their feet and faces, brushed their teeth and combed their hair. Joan, Kathleen and myself assessed each baby and put together packages for each infant, a cloth, reuseable diaper, an outfit or two and a blanket, booties and a hat. The mom's were so grateful, as often they take their babies home in simply a piece of cloth, or nothing at all. It was quite emotional, but also very rewarding.
Bill, Wes, Lisa, Rachel and Jon prepared supper for everyone - beef kabobs, chips and salsa ... very tasty! Unfortuantely a wave of illness swept through the villa dropping a dozen team members to thier knees in the banos. We cannot attribute it to the cooking, or water, as yesterday we saw a number of very sick little kids with stomach ailments. Who knows what it was, but it was violent and nasty!
Exhausted, those that weren't sick turned in for the night around 11pm.
Thanks for another awesome day everyone!