The Episcopal Church in Trinidad
Today we went and visited the site of our clinic: the village of Trinidad. It is just this side of Santa Barbara, which is about and hour and twenty minutes by bus. It is a nice village: cobble stone streets give way to quaint house and a few odd shops. Most of its inhabitants work in the nearby coffee fields. We arrived this morning for a special mass that they were holding in our honor - they usually hold their services in the evening. The church is small with maybe seven rows of small pews on each side, and shows serious sings of weathering. But it is gorgeous. We were greeted with smiles and open arms, and we participated in a traditional Episcopal Eucharist, presided over by their rector, Father Hector. Though everything was in Spanish, it was hard not to understand the sentiment of everything that was said and sung – the welcoming sincerity and love could not be mistaken. The exchange of peace, in the middle of the service, was a long one, as we greeted, hugged, and kissed nearly every member of the congregation. After the mass we worked with Fr. Hector and members of the congregation to transform the parish into a clinic. When we left this morning we did not know exactly where we would be setting up shop, but it turns out we will be doing so in the church. Using pews, tables, and even the alter, we set up stations to triage, areas to treat, a pharmacy, and unloaded what supplies we had. There is a small glitch (our first of many, I'm sure) – our 8 boxes of medications have not yet cleared customs, despite all the appropriate paperwork we provided. We are told that everything will be available first thing in the morning for us to collect and drive to Trinidad. Tomorrow morning we will stock our pharmacy and start seeing patients…

Posted on June 9, 2008 .