Since arriving Sunday evening back at our base in Moratuwa, we've had a busy few days visiting Adara Savana, the school for differently-abled, sorting glasses for our next clinics, and a couple outside events. (Plus trying to sleep just a bit...and enjoying some tasty "short eats", as they call certain traditional snack foods prepared by local vendors.)
To catch up, I'll focus this post on our last eye clinic.
After resigning ourselves to not being able to travel to Sunday's planned location due to flood danger, we were blessed with clear skies, and were able to join with the local church in Hiniduma for Sunday morning service.
Immediately following the service, we set up the clinic and got to work with exams and dispensing eyeglasses. The pastor, his mother, and sister graciously opened their home near the church to host the afternoon's clinic.
To reiterate, this home was flooded up to the roof just in May 2017.
It's a bit hard to tell from this next picture, but the still-high river level is currently 15-20 feet down the fairly steep riverbank behind their home. The floodwaters in May came up so quickly that some - including the pastor's family - had to be rescued from their rooftops, but we heard testimonies of thankfulness that they were able to get to safety, even though many homes required extensive repair.
One gentlemen attending the clinic shared that he needed glasses because his were lost in the chaos of the flood.
This little grandma, who is 76 years old, still has to support herself through the backbreaking work as a tea picker on a local estate. It has become very hard for her to even see the select leaves she must pluck. Her prescription ended up being a Coke-bottle-bottom -6.00 strength - the strongest glasses we had with us.
And why, you may ask, is this gentleman threading a needle? He works as an umbrella repairman, and so this is the perfect practical double-check of his diagnosed prescription.
In 2 hours and 40 minutes, 98 people had their eyes examined, and 83 received free eyeglasses, thanks to the generosity of many of you reading this. Thank you so much for being a vital part of this exciting journey in Sri Lanka.
Tomorrow we drive about 6 hours northeast to Trincomalee, where we will hold clinics in nearby settlements on Friday and Saturday. I've never been to this area, and am looking forward to seeing new regions of this beautiful country and meeting more of its gracious people. Stay tuned!