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Day Three at Fred Hollows Foundation eye camp

CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 20 February 2008 | Views [722]


Third day of eye camp.

We first ventured into the consult room to see if the doctor was alright and I helped to make packets of pain killers for post-op patients (seeing this was the only thing I could do not knowing the language very well!) I met a young woman who came in for some treatment since she had irreversible blindness. I learnt she was a widow with two kids and no other family to help her. Her clothes were stained with dirt and haggard. She was incredibly poor but soldiered on despite her misfortune. My heart broke as I learnt they could do nothing to reverse her blindness and wished I could give one of my eyes just to make her life a little bit easier. I realised how lucky I am and how fortunate I have been in my life.

I interviewed Dr Kakada first thing before his day became too busy and we soon left to revisit Mot Suan to see how he was. Not only did we see he was recovering extremely well, we watched him help his daughter make rice noodles. The process required a high amount of manual labour. Before this, I never stopped to think how the noodles were made! There are over 4 steps to the method of making the noodles which takes them quite a few hours to make one basket full. The alarming thing was however that one basket would fetch only about US$10! It really puts getting a pay rise no matter how small back home into perspective! I also had the pleasure of interviewing his daughter!

We said our goodbyes and made our way back to Kampong Thom for an afternoon of relaxation. We all got our nails done (which cost the equivalent of 25 cents – it’s crazy considering I wouldn’t touch someone’s toe nails for a million dollars!!) and also had my hair done in dread-like braids so admittedly I didn’t have to wash it for the rest of my trip! However, I had to put up with the fact I looked like a drowned river rat! After dinner we unwound from three gruelling days of eye camp with a few beers and a spot of karaoke. It was good to let loose but I think the neighbours were sick of the dogs in the area howling to our tunes (or out-of-tunes).

Tags: Doctors, hospitals & health

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