April 30, 2008
For this day, I traveled with media team 2.
We visited 3 different places where volunteers were going – A school assembly and mentorship at Howard Cooke, a medical clinic deep in the hills of Mo’ Bay, and a children’s assembly at Challenge Basic School.
One of the things that I found so beautiful and so full of stories was the eyes of all the kids that I was able to capture… After looking at all the pictures this last one caught me… After taking a closer look, I saw an image of me in this kid’s eyes.. Symbolic, poetic, and amazing in so many different ways… Here’s a zoomed in look…
School assemblies are my favorite events to capture and this one was definitely fun… Now, onto the medical clinics... The blessings were so amazing… Unfortunately this was the only time that I had visited a single clinic. We had another photographer covering the clinics extensively and I was pulled for other volunteer efforts… I would have loved to capture the medical clinic miracles, but I served where I was needed… At any rate – here are some of the miracles that happened….
- Nearly $4 Million of medical time and supplies were volunteered for free to hundreds of people of Montego Bay
- Nearly 50 medical team members from several professions – doctors, dentists, physical therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, pediatricians – volunteered their time and created 8 different makeshift medical clinic sites in Montego Bay over 4 days.
- A child came in to a clinic with an infected tooth – not doing well. He was days if not hours from dying as the infection was moving upwards into his root and soon his brain. The doctors were able to pull the tooth, treat the infection, administer antibiotics, and save his life.
- Two young girls were sadly diagnosed with cervical cancer, but now know that steps need to be taken for further care
- A few young women discovered they were pregnant and got appropriate care and advice. Some of the young girls were sadly victims of abuse. They were cared for, prayed over, encouraged, and loved by our volunteer staff.
- A partially paralyzed man who suffered a stroke three months ago was carried into the clinic by his brother for medical care. He was prayed over, given physical therapy, given a walker, and miraculously took his first steps since his stroke - two days later after coming to the clinic.
- Those bits were were only just a snippet of the miracles that happened…
Now… Off to Challenge Basic School for a school assembly with the children’s team! Lots of energy, storytelling, fun, and mentorship…
That last shot is one of my personal favorites of the trip. Not necessarily for the picture quality, but for me it just captured so much about why we were going to individual schools and meeting with the youth of Jamaica. Just beautiful… The day was so full of events – I was exhausted.
I do have to say that after all that – understanding that we are they eyes of this trip really began to make sense. I had the privilege of seeing things on the trip that the majority of the volunteers were not able to see. They often saw only where they served. Community projects builders never really saw a children’s group assembly and the sports team wasn’t really able to see and absorb the miracle of the medical clinics. I was asked to be an observer and a storyteller of multiple avenues of service… a wide-angle view of a vast effort… the eyes of the trip... with that responsibility, I was able to see the tons of different ways that this effort was effecting the people of Jamaica. It just keeps getting more mind blowing...