19 June 2012

Meet Eunice

This is Eunice. This is her kitchen. She graciously welcomed me in, engaging me in pleasant conversation and making no apologies for her humble situation.
Rainwater is collected in buckets for drinking and cooking. Bleach is commonly used for cleansing and sterilizing.
See her grandson peeking to see me? She asked him to go out and harvest some coconuts for the group. So he climbed this palm and kicked down five or six young coconuts with his feet. He found us a couple of pomelos too. Delicious. There is simply not anything as good as the refreshing water of a young coconut. Slightly sweet, very wet. Thirst-quenching.
Eunice is the health worker at Red Hill, on the Barime River in Region One. Years ago, she went down river to take a six month health education course. She finished, returned to her village to work as a health professional and has been doing this for nearly thirty years. I asked her about vaccines -- she said the immunizations come in from down the river. They have posters in the clinic like this one, specifying what level of care is provided.
She has two daughters, ages 11 and 14. They both go to a boarding academy down river, about two hours in a fast boat. She said she sees them every month or so. She hopes they will return and support the village as either nurses or teachers.

The village of Red Hill desperately needs more teachers. I was speechless when I learned that this one brave woman {see her there on the left?} has one hundred and eleven pupils. All in one room. In grades ranging from 1st to 8th. All by herself. Yeah. Speechless. These are just a few of the kids. They were testing that day, but many of them came down to the clinic to visit the dentists.
They are all brave. Brave and strong and kind and patient and thoughtful and happy. And brave.