Sitting in the reception/eating/WiFi area at 9 pm. A prime mosquito venue. My body is hosting several layers of bug spray, sweat, body lotion and more sweat. My body was so sticky today that my pants stuck to my skin and ripped a mighty hole just below my undies when I bent over. The air was and is so dense with moisture that any possible venting benefit was surfeit.
Today was our 5th day of clinic in Takeo province. Maybe you will find it on a map, about 2 hours or so, southwest of Phnom Penh. I wanted to write earlier but the combination of exhaustion, lack of WiFi and A/C circumvented any motivation to stay up and write. We did our first clinic day at Uncle Monk’s. I thought it was “Unkamonks” until I learned that it IS actually the Uncle of Sam, our Cambodian American guide and that his Uncle is the head monk of a local Phnom Penh Buddhist sect. It was our “shakedown” clinic with a small patient group receiving reading glasses, canes, BP checks, some pharmaceuticals and the kids getting fluoride treatments.
Since then we have done two days in a village called Khvav, one day in Boeung Tranh and today in Lumchang. We will be doing our last day in that village again tomorrow and then off for a few days on a beach in Koh Rong in the Gulf of Thailand. Weird to say, I’m not sure if beach is the perfect thing right now. The thought of sand and sun in this heat seems counter intuitive.
Our dental team is myself, Nikki, the other assistant, and Steve and Jim the dentists. Consider that there is only extraction instruments, a chlorox bleach solution for sterilization, plastic lawn chairs for patients , lidocaine for anesthesia and packets of ibuprofen for pain control.A brief smattering…
And I need to sign off now as tomorrow is last day of yoga at 6 am.. Sadly our teacher, Rhumduhl is headed out . I am looking forward to our last clinic day. I am spent. Our work here seemed so long and so short simultaneously. When we were told it would be intense, I couldn’t really fathom the joy, compassion and gratitude I would feel nor appreciate the depth of the physical and mental fatigue that accompanies it.