Today is our final day in SJM! Getting up around 6 or so, everyone prepared to do a final presentation for the community.
We posted info graphs around the walls of the clinic. Displayed were water samples, survey results from home visits, and those collected during health stations. Topics included the following: Nutrition, Water Filtration, and Sanitation among other data. A few people from our group, as well as some health promoters, presented the findings. Some things stood out: Children consume coffee and a couple of samples turned out to have lots of bacteria! These were some surprising finds. But this helps the community scrutinize urgent issues.
We finished presentations around 9. Yet, we were in for another surprise!! The community gathered at the school for a farewell ceremony. Both AMOS interns and locals united for the celebration. One of the community leaders hosted the service. There was singing, dancing, prayer, and some theater. And the mariachi band made another appearance!
We had a presentation too. We sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow with the first part in English then the second in Spanish. While we sounded good singing it in English, it was a mess in Spanish. But it was worth the attempt.
After songs, we transitioned to the dance portion of the service. The host called me up to dance, which caught me off guard. I tippy-toed up slowly to the center almost where he stood. The health promotoras also stood waiting to dance. He asked me who I wanted to dance with but I just shrugged my shoulders. Eventually, I danced with one of them and we did ranchera: It involves stepping and swinging back and forth like a waltz. It was my first time dancing ranchera, so I had no idea what was going on. A few other couples danced as well, so the experience wasn’t too embarrassing.
At the end of service, we were given the chance to say a last few words and goodbyes.
After the service ended (around 10), we finished packing the truck and left San Jose de Mula. As we backed out, we waved goodbye with everyone in the community waving back. Some health promotoras also hitched a ride with us standing on the rear of the truck. With the rear of the truck exposed and with small ladders on each side, I was amazed that they could balance while standing. They were all returning to their homes for the weekend to rest. Some lived close and far, with one living just a few minutes away and another 7 hours away! That’s quite a trip! We also stopped at the same gas stations as on the way to San Jose.