Back in August when I was in Riobamba for my first Medlife clinic, I had the pleasure of spending three days in the same community. The first two days I was working on our group development project which was a washroom for their school. When we first arrived, a few of us needed to use the “facility” and we were told they were at the top of this hill. On the way up we had a few casualties. It was so embarrassing and all the locals were laughing. We just couldn’t seem to find an easy way to get up this hill. We were slipping and falling everywhere. We all agreed that stairs were much needed.
Once we started to work on the project this hill became even more of a nightmare. On the first day we had to carry big rocks up this hill to the worksite. And all we kept thinking was how terrible it was that children had to climb this hill to get to school.
On the second day, four 50kg bags of cement mix had to be carried up. Some of us attempted to do it in pairs but it was impossible because one of you was always falling. The locals again laughed and then showed us how it was done.
Today I saw that Medlife posted pictures from their recent mobile clinic in the same village. I was thrilled to look through the album and see the familiar faces of community members that I had come to know. While browsing through the pictures I was excited, thrilled, and joyous to see that the recent clinics had built stairs on that terrible hill. I really showed me that Medlife does listen to communities and give them what they really need. To people who never had the challenge of climbing this hill, they will just look like stairs, nothing particularly special or important. But to someone who had to walk up and down the hill, be it only for 3 days, this is a world of a change. This will prevent injuries to students trying to get to and from school, and help the community members who live at the top of the get home hill safely .
I am so proud to be part of an organization that is making a long term, sustainable impact. And I can’t wait to go back one day and climb those stairs myself!
Good work Medlife team!