It rained today. When I say rain I really mean RAIN. Like proper rain. In buckets from the clouds above.
That’s problematic if you have to undertake your clinic on the ground but also the reason a waterproof tarpaulin comes in very handy.
Dozens of people appeared when we arrived this morning and gently jostled for first place to see our medical team under the trees. As the rain got heavier we hopped into the back of the vehicle to shelter from the increasingly heavier drops (I mean pints really) falling from the sky… and when it got too humid in the boot we were back outside in the open air to see the children who needed medical attention.
We’ve seen children with a whole range of conditions today – from things that could be treated under the trees, both surgical and medical, to those that needed to come back to the health centre with us in the car.
But in amongst all of the children was a remarkable woman. The matriarch of the community – at 86 years of age. Her husband died 30 years ago and she has lived all through the Khmer-Rouge times. I can’t even begin to imagine the things she has seen.
She very quietly sat beside me for the whole of the clinic – with a calming influence over the group that was forming.
And when clinic was over she showed us into her house beside the road and offered us lunch.
The thing about all of the Cambodian people I’ve met on outreach is how generous they are.
Sometimes it really is those who have the least that give the most.