Week 1 – First Impressions

What a whirlwind of a week! It’s been exhausting in many ways, but it has also been one of the most concentrated periods of learning I have had in a long while. The clinicians at Siloam have been immensely helpful in expanding my understanding of American healthcare, both with regard to how the system logistically functions and how Christian medical providers can (and should) strive to provide holistic, whole-person care for people of both physical and spiritual poverty. I am grateful for their wise counsel, generous spirit, and eagerness to teach; we CHI students are immensely blessed to have another five weeks with these men and women of God.

One of the highlights of the week was serving with Siloam at a health fair on Friday afternoon organized to educate and equip the largely-refugee community for healthy living. At the event, people could have their vision, blood pressure, and bone density checked, receive free first aid kits, and learn some basics about nutrition (e.g. how to maintain a balanced diet). Many who came brought children, the management of whom became the task of us CHI students. Inundated with a screaming hoard of hyperactive children, I quickly felt overwhelmed and under-prepared to entertain (or, at the very least, retain a semblance of management or control over) these children. The kids played ball and ran around for a decent amount of time, but a few grew bored and wanted to climb on me for piggy-back rides. Eventually, I relented and as I ran around with a giggling kid of my back screaming, “Faster! Faster!” I couldn’t help but feel like I was Luke Skywalker under Yoda’s training to become a Jedi.

Though it was certainly physically taxing, it felt good to relax and have fun with those persistent, relentless bundles of energy. Needless to say, it’s been a lot of fun working in the community with Siloam; I’m greatly looking forward to continue doing so over the next few weeks.Doezal, James- CHI 2013

James is one of six students participating in Siloam’s Community Health Immersion this summer.

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