Today is reality---all the planning for this week has been done and now is when the rubber meets the road. Because one of the goals is to provide a sustainable healthcare system, we were privileged to have a group of Colombian medical students join us. "We are showing a different type of treatment to the Colombian students---we are teaching, as well as treating," said Dr. Steve.

In preparation for this week, our Colombian counterparts pre-screened 543 people allowing us to treat the most needy first. Knowing in advance what medical attention was needed allowed the team to expedite treatment and be more efficient by seeing more people than would have been possible otherwise.

As the clinic opened, Pastor Giovanni addressed the team, reminding us that we should do all for the Lord---to glorify God by serving our neighbor. His prayer was that our motivation be that our Heavenly Father smiles this week.

Today we had a patient that was having an acute cardiac episode with extremely elevated blood pressure. The patient had a history of cardiac issues, so the nurses assessed, consulted with the physicians and medicated within our resources to stabilize her. Fortunately, one of the local partner physicians and his resident just happened to be on site and were able to transport her to the appropriate medical facility. Yeah God!!

About 2:15pm we lost power for the remainder of the afternoon. The headlamps that we decided to take along really came in handy, especially for the pharmacy team who had no source of light.

Laurie writes, "As I observed doctors working in the various exam rooms it occurred to me that electricity was really not necessary for most treatment being provided. Exams continued, surgeries continued, and consultations continued. Aside from the lack of air conditioning in the exam rooms, our day continued as though there was no interruption."

Brenda writes, "As a new RN, I was very apprehensive about my skills to assess patients on my own. And after Dr. Jeff briefed us pre-clinic Sunday night, I was terrified! He basically said you nurses know what you are doing so just trust your instincts. On Monday morning I was amazed at how quickly we all became a team.the doctors, other nurses, and interpreters were so helpful. My jitters were calmed after the first few patients and I feel I've gained a lot of confidence for the rest of the week."

Nancy says, "The first day is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant, like Dr. Michael said. It's a bit overwhelming. I learned how to do a refraction and find glasses that would work. The interpreters were phenomenal! The electricity went out and I've never been so hot in my life." To her husband, Clyde she writes, "I'm okay. I'm still trying to get in touch with you and trying to send 2 emails that seem to have not been sent. Love you, sweetheart."

Blessings to all, Team Cartagena

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