How Many Mission Team Members Does it Take to Give an Eye Test? (Random Reflections on my first few days in Guyana)

Since I can’t seem to find my own words to tell you about this experience, I’ll get started by borrowing some. Meredith Andrews begins her song “What it Means to Love” with the following lyrics

How can I forget your face?

When all it took was just one day,

To see it wasn’t ordinary,

I could never be the same.

I’ve been here for three days and each day we’ve visited Plastic City. We have interacted with families, taught children and met a physical need by fitting adults for reading glasses. In order to provide reading glasses, we are using a portable eye test that allows us to determine the correct strength or magnification power that each individual needs. While trying to learn to use the testing device, holding up a small print document for the man or woman to read, and being careful about personal space, Stephanie and I sometimes found ourselves entwined in a personal game of Twister.

The good news is we’ve touched lives and distributed reading glasses to men and women in two sections of Plastic City, a total of 45 homes on Saturday and 43 homes today (Monday).

Another highlight so far is the children… all of them! Their deep eyes and bright, joyful smiles have been precious from our very first interactions. They are hungry for attention and love. They like to be helpful. They enjoy having someone read to them. They love discovering new things and talking about what they’ve learned. Boys and girls from… nursery, elementary, and teenagers. All are lovely and loveable! I’m soaking in the moments. Already I enjoy reviewing my photos and recalling memories.

On a lighter note, I pondered buying a skirt in a little market on the street near Vreed-en-Hoop only to learn that the shop owner had just returned from California where she purchased most of what was in her shop. We laughed to think that I nearly bought Guyanese clothes that were brought into Guyana from America and were made in China.

I’ve been on the verge of tears a time or two, seen desperation and witnessed hope. Thankfully, I’ve also laughed a lot!! Even tonight, when I’m tired, sunburned and smelly, I dread leaving and look forward to a future return.

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