Sunday, October 28, 2012

Maraming Salamat, Ate Pami!

Stenciling in our main delivery room
I've just had a marathon of a week, beginning with sitting through horrific traffic for over 4 hours on Monday to pick up a team from my home church from the airport during their 10 hour layover back to the US, show them Shalom, and take them back to the airport to catch their flight. One of the team members, Jane, stayed to stencil Tagalog Bible verses on the wall of our new clinic. It's GORGEOUS! I dropped her off at the airport last night.

Touching up in our alternative delivery room
But one of the things short term visitors like to do is take a walk through one of the local communities we serve. You see, Shalom is actually located in a rather quiet area. We have a cock-fighting farm on one side, a farm/overgrown jungle on another side, and a subdivision on the other sides. Looking around, you really don't see too much poverty if you don't look too closely. However, just a 3 minute walk up the hill leads you to a very densely populated squatter community.

So, when Jane asked if we could go, off we went! As soon as we stepped off the road, we were inundated with children following us, asking for us to take their picture so they could see it on the digital camera. We stopped and bought a P1 (2c) miniscule bag of chips for a snack and continued on. When we stepped into a new area, a group of 8 kids went running up to me, "Ate," ("ah-tay," which means "big sister"), they cried, "I was born at Shalom!" All the other kids parroted the first kid. Of course, I had to get a picture with them...these kids, our legacy. These beautiful laughing children.

The awesome, photo-loving kids, doing our "wacky" shot
Later on during our walk after dozens of high-fives and spontaneous hugs, a young lady with a baby in her arms came running (literally, running!) up to me, "Maraming salamat, Ate Pami!" (thank you, Pami), "My baby was born at Shalom!" The little dude is 10 months old and an adorable chub. The mom was beaming and so excited to show off her son.

 And this folks, is why I love my job.

Because no trip to the barrio is complete without pop-in-a-bag

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