It most certainly has been an eventful past few days. We left early on Sunday morning to head into one of the many villages in Nicaragua. This was where the medical clinics were to be held. After about 6 1/2 hours of driving on the “roads,” we arrived in the village and began to set up. The government actually closes school for one week and allows BMDMI to use the facilities to hold the clinics in. So they set up one room as a medical clinic, one as a dentist, another as a pharmacy, another as a shop, and yet another as an optometrist.

Monday marked the first official day of the clinic. 8am came and hundreds of people began to line up for registration. The clinic allows about 250 per group to go through, with anywhere from 4-5 groups per day making the rounds. I believe Monday brought over 1,200 people to the clinic. The team expects similar numbers throughout the week.

We spent the morning capturing the events in the village. We continually had our hearts broken as we saw the poverty in the eyes of these people. One of the stations was taking photos of each family and printing it out for them to keep. It was amazing to see the joy on their faces as they got what may be the only photo of themselves that they’ll ever own. The joy they had even as they came out of the dentist was amazing, considering they had just had a toothy removed or worked on. But they knew that it was for their best and would cure their toothaches!

Things got interesting for the video crew after lunch. The BMDMI team has a group of veterinarians that go around and give shots to the cattle, horses, pigs and dogs of those who live in the village. We wanted to tag along to capture some of the events. They would go from animal to animal, tie it up, and proceed to quickly give it the shots using a rather large needle gun. Needless to say, the animals were not too happy about this. I had the opportunity to vaccinate one of the cows. It’s much harder than it looks! You have to watch for them jumping around and breaking trees down.

Vaccinating animals in the middle of a random road leads to organized chaos. We had people giving animals shots while cows, horses, pigs and dogs all went nuts. Meanwhile, random farmers would walk up the streets leading their herd in to be vaccinated. We even had one woman run home, pick up her pig, then proceed to run down the hill while holding her squealing animal. It had to be one of the funniest sights I’ve ever seen. At another point a bunch of people were holding down one of the pigs to be vaccinated. The pig was going nuts as people yelled and tried to give it the shot. I was down on one knee right in front of it, trying to get a good shot, when suddenly an angry dog comes out of no where and bites me in the leg! He didn’t break the skin, but it certainly startled me.

Today ended our time in the village. It was sad to leave the team, even after being with them for such a short time. They were a pure pleasure to work with. Our Departure time couldn’t have been better though. Right after we took our last shot and packed up, the skies opened up and a massive downpour began! I believe it wrapped up in time for the next round of patients, but it certainly was good that it didn’t come any sooner.

There are so many other stories that we cannot wait to share. This is only a tiny piece of what we’ve experienced so far this week. Tomorrow we are headed out to capture a few more of the ministries BMDMI has in the area. Hopefully I’ll have more of an update soon!

– Adam Erickson