[Video: Chuck Hawk, a University of Toledo medical student, joins a group of Guatemalan schoolchildren for some game time at recess.]
I wanted to write my blog entry about hope. This Tuesday, Christian, Rachel and I went with Orfe [SewHope's social worker] to Mango to visit a local school. Our task was simply to distribute vitamins to the children and medications to the parents that were present at the school. As part of a new effort, we were also to apply fluoride to the children’s teeth. As the day progressed I noticed two things. First, many of the children were small for their age. Second I noticed that many of the kids were living with what appeared to be very painful cavities in the teeth. I felt sorrow for the fact that so many kids around in the world are living without food and are suffering from conditions that are preventable.
There were a few other things that about the kids that I noticed. The most apparent to me was the fact that children of the school were so joyful in spite of the circumstances. They insisted that we join them for recess. They were so full of energy and joy. I can’t help but think that they would get along perfectly with kids from back home. Another thing I noticed was how kind they were to one another. There were kids in the class with special needs and many of the students were very eager to help and embrace their peers.
So how is this post about about hope? The spirited and joyful nature of the children is what gives me hope for improvement. They don’t let their circumstances spoil their attitudes. They are constantly working to make the best of their situation. Above all, they are kind and joyful in the face of their struggle. I think that we all can learn so much from their excellent example.
Chuck Hawk is a medical student at the University of Toledo. He joined us at the clinic in Guatemala this week, along with Dr. Anne, Dr. Gary, Dr. Kim, and three other medical students.