Yesterday the entire team spent several hours going through the storage unit at the hospital. It was in complete disarray, almost as if a hurricane had come through. Underneath piles of medical supplies were several children’s toys and baby clothes that had been sent by previous missions but not passed out. We took great delight in passing them out to the little children sleeping on the floor of a hospital room next to a sibling with an IV in their arm while mom slept on a bench in the lobby (often for several days). Last night the women on our team passed out the leftovers from our supper meal. These people, starving much of the time, were patient and so grateful for the least little bit of foot.
On our last morning in Benin Africa I went around passing out the remaining candy and crackers we had left to the hospital patients and the families who were there to look after them. They had been far more interested in the huge soccer ball I had tucked under my arm for the pediatric ward. Giving out two Ritz crackers to the adults or one chocolate covered almond to the children made you feel like a superstar. When I ran out, my heart sank because I knew that this was the last small gift we could leave them. I am so grateful to Louis and Judy Bourget for their hard work and dedication to putting together such an amazingly funny and hard-working team. Sister Monique demonstrated such spiritual strength and discipline to our group.
She also stood up on a motorcycle while it was moving and worked so very hard to make sure we had both an educational and meaning full mission. Mini Momo Dr. Renee Bourget Jr. at the age of 14, showed us what our future can be. If every youth was as gracious and as kind and as motivated as Renee, I have great hopes for our province. The rest of the team were a combination of brilliant and extremely kind people who washed dishes with a smile and took care of each other and their patients.
This trip has been a life-changing one for me and I will treasurer every memory, both sad and exhilarating. I pray for everyone on our team, the hospital staff and for all those here in Africa striving to do the best to take care of their family and their neighbors.
Thanks again Louis for including me on your Benin Mission. I will be forever grateful.