Jamaica Part 2: Clinics

We had two medical teams, two dentals teams, and a maintenance team that set out each day (Mon-Fri) on our trip. Dustin was in charge of the maintenance team…I’ll let him write a post about his adventures which included driving! (This time no flat tires!)

Here is our Team from Dayton, Cedarville + Kettering Health Network!
Here is our Team from Dayton, Cedarville + Kettering Health Network!

Sarah and I were on Medical Team A, throughout the week we went to Port Sea, Aberdeen, New Market, Lacovia, and Ginger Hill. Ginger Hill is always an experience, it is located up in the mountains and most of the people there seldom go into town (Black River) which is only about a 15-20 min journey by car. Each clinic was unique but all of the people had such a passion for life and a attitude of thankfulness.

Ginger Hill!
Ginger Hill!

Before each clinic, the patients would sing a song or two to start the day. One of the songs I love to hear them sing is their national anthem. I also love when they sing their hymn that goes like this. “We are together again just praising the Lord, We are together again in one accord, Something good is going to happen, Something good is in store, We are together again just praising the Lord.” As their beautiful voices lift that tune up to the Lord, I can only imagine what it will be like when we are together in the presence of the Lord singing his praises in Heaven.

Here is a link to the folks @ Port Sea singing the Jamaican National Anthem!

Each day the patients were registered, saw the nurses/nursing students in triage, saw the physicians, then as we filled their prescriptions they went to integrated health. Integrated health is an awesome part of Medical Ministry International’s model that seeks to provide quality health education while sharing the gospel. To me this is the most important part, we can give them medicine for a short time, but the gospel is obviously going to change their life forever and even the health education piece will have a greater impact than a few months of medication.

Ella taking a blood pressure during triage.
Ella taking a blood pressure during triage.
Bethany with one of our cutest patients!
Bethany with one of our cutest patients!
Kyle hard at work in the pharmacy!
Kyle hard at work in the pharmacy!

Our pharmacy team spent a lot of time focusing on diabetes education as we counseled those patients on their medications too. If you know me, you probably know that I have a passion for Jesus and a passion for healthy living & food! It’s so fun to be able to share that with the Jamaican people too. Betty one of the MMI staff has many stories of patients coming back to say they changed their diet and are doing better the next year!

Krystal counseling on a prescription.
Krystal counseling on a prescription.

Each day in the evening we would return to camp for dinner, then we would have share time to find out about the other team’s day, pray, and prepare our hearts for the following day. Dr. Willett, a dentist who has been coming for many years, brings popcorn and M&M’s which most of the team enjoys. I think he is just trying to stay in business! 🙂 We played cards in the evening and enjoyed time in fellowship if time allowed. A few days we did not get back to camp until late so we went to bed early.

Each day Jay, my pharmacist partner in crime, would share the the theme for the day. Here are the themes of each day! Thanks to Jay for your encouragement and jokes that kept us smiling!

Here is Jay with a new friend!
Here is Jay with a new friend!

Day 1: Get er Done!
Day 2: You are no longer new!
Day 3: It’s not about me!
Day 4: With a hot shower, and God I can do more!
Day 5: Ask yourself what makes you come alive or I went to Ginger Hill and I’m still alive! (If you are afraid of heights..I do not recommend keeping your eyes open on the way to Ginger Hill on the bus!)
Day 6: With God’s help what thing can I fix?

Jay encouraged us to reflect on the week, and to see if there was something God was calling us to do based on our experience here in Jamaica, with MMI, or beyond. All in all we had a great time of service in St. Elizabeth. It was amazing for me to see over the last 3 years, the Jamaican health care system in this rural area has improved, as many of the clinics now had access to a doctor and medications once per week. Health Education and Dental Care are still a great need.

Praying for God to continue his work in this country that is so often, “religious” but often just like us, misses the message of Grace. There will be a few more blog posts on Jamaica to come, Dustin will share his experience, and some of my students wrote reflection papers that they are willing to share with you as well.

Blessed be His name!

Patients waiting for the clinic to open.
Patients waiting for the clinic to open.

Jamaica Part 1

Hello Family & Friends…we just wanted to share a few posts with you from our recent medical mission trip to Jamaica.  Here is part 1! Thanks for all of your prayers and support while we were gone.

We arrived on Friday afternoon around 3pm to Montego Bay. No flight issues, praise the Lord! It took a little less than 2 hours to clear customs with the medications, we had just a small issue with them taking 2 bottles of medication that apparently weren’t approved.

We got to El Greco, the hotel in Montego Bay where we are staying one night, and got settled and then headed out to find dinner. We had a minor incident of a key breaking off in our lock that had to be fixed before dinner, but other than that we were smooth sailing! I won’t mention which student broke the key. 🙂

We had dinner at The Pelican in Montego Bay, most of the team had Jerk Chicken with Rice and “Peas”…Peas in Jamaica are really beans. A few others had fish or curry veggies. The bill for the CU team was 11,000 Jam dollars, which is funny to see on a receipt! But don’t worry that’s around 130 USD, so it was a pretty good deal for all of us!

We enjoyed dinner and got to know some of the other team members better. We then headed back to the hotel and most went to sleep quickly since we had gotten up so early!

On Saturday about half of us got up early for breakfast in order to get some beach time,it was raining on and off but we got some beach time despite the clouds.

Dustin and I at Doctor’s Cove beach across from El Greco in Montego Bay

We packed up at 11am and left for the Parish of St. Elizabeth. It was about a 3 hour drive. We stopped for lunch at Treasure Beach home of Jack Sprat restaurant.

Jack Sprat...it was even featured in T & L magazine this past year!
Jack Sprat…it was even featured in T & L magazine this past year!

We all had Jerk Sausage Pizza and enjoyed the sunshine & water on the drier side of the island for a few hours…then it was time to get to the camp!

CU Students @ Treasure Beach!
CU Students @ Treasure Beach!

We settled into the camp Saturday evening and had chicken soup for dinner. The students enjoyed getting to enjoy a bit of Jamaican Sunshine before getting to work. We enjoyed some time of fellowship Saturday evening before getting more much needed rest!

Sunday = Church + Team Meetings + Med Packing! We had a wonderful church service held here at the camp in the chapel.

Talented team leading worship..Bethany and Ella (CU Students) are on Vocals and Keys…Kassandra also played the guitar on other songs!

Just before lunch we took the team down the road  to check out of the great view at the Oceanview Hotel.

Most of the Team from Dayton...so windy but still amazing scenery!
Most of the Team from Dayton (minus our photographer Dustin)…so windy….but still amazing scenery!

Then we enjoyed a WONDERFUL Jamaican lunch of Jerk Chicken (of course!). After lunch we got to work.  We unpacked all the meds I purchased from Jamaica and the ones we brought with us, out of our whole order, only the metformin was missing…too bad it’s one of the one’s we need the most! So thankful to have Jay with us again this year, he is a pharmacist from Missouri that keeps me laughing and knows how to get the job done! He was here on the first trip Sarah and I made to Jamaica too. He helped organize the med packing process along with our pharmacy students and residents, while I met with the other team leaders.

Emily (one of our pharmacy residents at Grandview...helping out with med packing!)
Emily (one of our pharmacy residents at Grandview…helping out with med packing!)

The process was also expedited because I made labels and one of the ladies from the dental team printed them all off for us in advance! We were so close to being finshed when dinner came around, just not quite. We finished med packing after dinner and spent time in prayer for the week with our team. We also lifted up those at home we knew had great needs as well.
Part 2…the real work began on Monday with our first day of clinics…Stay tuned!