I feel so blessed and cannot believe that God has led me to be able to go on this CBM trip. I have come to appreciate so many little things that we as Americans would never even think were special or luxurious. We can call an ambulance on our cell phones and be to the hospital quickly, even in rural areas, and we don´t have to drive far to take our kids to school. Here, you must take your boat to the hospital if the ambulance boat isn´t docked at your village, and many villages don´t have schools, so you must take your children by boat to a village that does. If the village people need help, they must use a pay phone to call. At one of the villages, the pay phone was broken, but the smallest thing that I have come to appreciate is the American toilet and being able to just toss toilet paper into there when we´re done with it.
The people here are wonderful, and so gracious for the medical boat. We went to the reserve and the boat hasn´t been there for a few years. You could see how big the smiles were of the people in the village, especially the game warden. Some of the people who came onto the boat gave us hugs, or made sure to shake our hands. Some even tried to speak as much English as possible, if they knew any. There was one woman who had a growth on her ear and was very embarrassed by it. She asked to have it taken off, and was told to come back the next morning. She was the first one onto the boat the next day, and the smile on her face when she came out of the procedure room was amazing to see. We truly are blessed to be able to come here, treat, and meet the people of the Amazonas.
The “work” we did, it didn´t even seem like work. The people here make everything so fun, especially the crew, with their cheerful demeanors and graciousness. Aside from working, we also got to swim, play soccer, play other games with the children, and we got to hold several babies. We even got to sing karaoke in Urucara with some of the people who live there. Some people could speak a little bit of English, so they were excited to be able to practice their skills with us. The most unique part of our trip was that we got to attend a wedding on the top deck of the boat. I can`t wait to come back!