Sitting down to write this, I am struck by how much I feel as if I’ve experienced today, let alone in the three short (but long, actually) days I’ve been in Tijuana. Tijuana is a very chaotic, colorful and multifaceted city, and It feel as if I am still processing a lot of what I’ve seen and done so far, but I will do my best to share some of my experiences here.
Today began with a trip to the health clinic that is partnered with Esperanza. They are located in an area near Tijuana’s old dump, where a lot of people live in the garbage in really unsafe and unsanitary positions. We received a tour of the facility by Sister Silvia, the sweetest woman who was very excited, but nervous, to practice her English. The nuns and medical staff who work there do some amazing work with the local community. They offer an array of services, from dentistry to gynecology to psychology, and it seemed to me that they did a lot from not that much. They also train local community members to be advocates for health in their own neighborhood, which I believe really is an example the self-supporting principle that is so important to Esperanza. I really enjoyed the visit and once again gave me some hope that good can be done in areas facing such difficulties.
After the clinic, we were back at the work site. Alyssa is blogging as well tonight, so I will let her share more details about the work we did today, but it was a long day full of some hard work. I left very dirty and very tired, which is definitely a sign of a good day!
I am constantly wishing that I knew Spanish so I could further understand what was happening around me and be able to communicate with the people we interact with more. However, I’m learning that a lot can be said without words. As I previously said, I am still processing a great deal about this place and what I am seeing here. But I am sure that I am having an amazing time and learning a lot about Tijuana, Mexico, and myself.