We are finished day 8 of 10 clinic days. What an opportunity this has been for an adventure with my son Adam. For an old guy like myself who is used to working 4 days a week, we have done 8 straight days! These have been 10 to 12 hr days. To say I am feeling a bit fatigued is an understatement. Two more to go. It has been wonderful to see Adam thrive in a hectic environment, where we have seen and served vision care to over 3000 people so far. I am confident he has made the right choice and will succeed in his choice to become an Optometrist. Back at the hotel we talk about the emotional encounters we both had with various people who we have given the gift of sight back to.
We laugh about other situations we observed with people and fellow team mates. What a great team that has come over. There has been no crankiness, or outbursts, just a will to get everyone seen and taken care of. The people of the Philippines have been very welcoming to us all. We have had a real opportunity to see how the people live and behave. I will hold these memories dear for many years to come. It will be nice to get back to milder temperatures of Canada as we both drip with sweat every day. We have all had great translators helping us who have added both fun and understanding with the people we have helped. I am truly happy for making the choice to be involved with this TWECS mission.
Lyle Myrfield OD Courtenay, BC
An Adventure with my son
When we first drove into Tanauan I noticed first how much it has rebuilt. So many houses are now somewhat livable and the tents are gone. Mass grave sites have been memorialized. The town square is alive again with laughter and music in the evenings. Word had spread that we were coming and my sister-in-law already had a list of 40 names that wanted to be seen.
Once we told them the protocol of first come first serve, no one gave us a hassle but instead got up at 4am to get in line with the many other people that decided to show up early (clinic opened at 7am). By the last day, people had started lining up at 1am.
Even if they had to wait all day they were still smiling and happy to receive their new pair of glasses. And all left with new found hope. I have been able to talk to people I haven't seen in a long time. We were able to service over 2000 people from the town of Tanauan and yet we had to turn over 200 people away which is why I was happy that we decided to add clinic days here. I am proud to come along with my daughter on this mission. It has been an unforgettable experience.
Olivia Mestito, Manitoba
Olivia Mestito, Manitoba