Our goal was to leave the resort a little earlier than "normal" on Wednesday since we were leaving the immediate Pena Blanca area and roaming to the other side of the lake...and up a mountain...to get to a small school in a mountain top village. I'm not sure what delayed us, but we still ended up leaving around the "normal" time.
At the bottom of the mountain's road we stopped at a restaurant and were told to visit the facilities as those at the school would not be as "nice". Then the trek began. About half way up the mountain our driver suddenly stops the bus and orders everyone to get off. He was unsure if he could safely get us to our destination. We began walking along the side of the road seeking a flat area at which we hoped our bus driver would again allow us to board. No such luck. HOWEVER, the teacher at the mountain top school somehow received word of our situation and drove down in a small pick-up truck to haul about half of the clinic/children's team to the top (I was in this group). Once at the top of the mountain, the truck returned to get the rest of the group.
While waiting for the rest of the group and the medicines to arrive, the other "pharmacists" and I began setting up the inside of the one-room school house for our work. The doctors' examination area would be on the side walk immediately outside of the school and then the children's activities would take place on a porch and grassy area to the side of the school. The ONLY problem with the location of the pharmacy was that we were not able to benefit from the wonderful breeze blowing across the top of the mountain. It was refreshing each time we stepped outside for some air.
The school itself was a site to see and I'll include pictures of it once I have reliable Internet connections. It reminded me of the images of the "Little House on the Prairie" school because one teacher would present lessons covering a variety of subjects within one contained room to pupils of multiple ages, grades, and ability levels. Grammar lessons were written on a couple of chalkboards while a math lesson was on another. Another memory conjured up by this school was the summer of 2002 when I spent a couple of months teaching at Kima International School of Theology outside of Kisumu, Kenya. The memory was of the chalkboards having simply been painted right on to the wall itself with the use of chalkboard paint.
Today was the MOST fun I've had in the pharmacy to date (other days were nice too). I guess we are finally getting into our routine and know where everything is "supposed" to be. We've even developed nicknames for some of the more regularly used medicines. It's kind of funny being asked to count out 25 of something called "meth".
We served about 220 people today and then closed up early (this shocked me, but no one else was in line). Part of the efficiency process that we have developed included the clean-up phase and we were packed and ready to go in "no time" at all. And then began the trip back down the mountain. Because there were fears as to the bus' safety for going down hill, all of the tubs of meds were loaded into the bus rather than the human passengers. We then crawled into the back of a couple of trucks. Once we were all down at the bottom of the mountain, we returned to the same restaurant with the "nice" facilities to swap people and tubs so we could drive the rest of the way back to the resort.
Thursday we venture out to another village away from Pena Blanca. The remote roads which we are roaming have been full of adventure and, when we are open to it, lots of joy and blessing even with obstacles to overcome (like steep mountain roads and the torrential rain from Monday night).