Life here in Ecuador is to be enjoyed each day. That is what I have learned from my experience here this last month.
In church I sat next to a woman and her 18 month old son during one of the nine nights of prayers before the town fiesta. The service finished at 9:00 and I heard the next morning that the child had died later that evening. He choked on a piece of hard candy. The mother has been widowed twice already and the child who died was born within weeks of the death of her second husband in a mining accident.
The same week a 14 year old girl was laughing with her friends at school, went home, took the food out to the pigs, and then hung herself from the roof of the pig pen.
The following week was the funeral of an elderly neighbor and the one month memorial mass for my friend and neighbor’s mother.
The town only has 500 families so this is a lot of tragedy for one month. Nothing in life is for sure or guaranteed. Living here has taught me that every day should be lived to the fullest and one should do all one can each day to serve others. Today could be your last opportunity.
We are in the middle of changing the clinic to a new status. Thus soon more people working here, more services offered, surgery offered again so things will be different. We may have a laboratory or maybe not. We may turn into a specialty clinic or a day hospital. We may have a new nurse and lab worker. We have started the reconstruction, which is hard to see the nice exam rooms divided into small cubicles asked for by the health department. By April we should know which of these changes will be coming about. We should confirm plans following the health department inspections. Thus lots of changes, but lots of hope too, to be able to help more people with added services.