Andy, the school director, joked to me that this is the kind of thing I was wanting to see GWA doing all along. He wasn't far off the mark.
I am so impressed with what they set up this week. There was a free medical clinic at the school, and hundreds, if not thousands, of Moroccans came to be seen, for vision (with free eyeglasses, the most popular division), gastrointestinal issues, peds, rhuematatic disorders, gynecology... They started in a large crowd outside the gates, which I'm told turned into a small mob at times rushing the gates before it was controlled. The local municipal government set up tents for shade outside the school, along with large new Moroccan flags at the roundabout at the front of school, and at the entrance of the school. Actually, a lot of us still here were initially quite mystified initially by the flags and tent- we thought someone was having a wedding right outside the school! With all the Moroccan flags, I actually almost missed my stop in the big taxi, thinking that I was coming on the King's Palace, and not the school.
After making it through the crowd, they came to triage in the cafeteria. Here's where I got to help for a couple days, a little. I was assisting patients get to the right room after they'd been screened. They had much better translators than me, in the form of students like Zouheir, Zineb, Lina, and Ali. But I got to use my Arabic to help the patients get to their doctors. It's probably been the most fun thing I've done all year- working with the lower class and helping them holistically. Nearly all of those coming were exteremely poor, living in slums, ghettos, or places like the village next door to the school.
After triage they went to their various doctors. It was wonderful to see our school suddenly looking like part of Morocco. The most natural thing in the world, to see Moroccans every where, wearing normal clothing, playing in the scorpion-filled grass...It felt...right.
Stacy, next year's high-school history teacher, did a bang-up job with her brother entertaining the kids with music and the guitar. She had a giant crowd around her, all excited and entertained. Which was really needed- because there was such a great need, and so few doctors, many had to wait all day or even longer to be seen. The line above is just for vision, and stretched half-way down the school building.
For the first time some of these people will have seen a doctor. Some women were five months pregnant and hadn't yet been to a doctor. Some didn't read because their eyesight was so poor they were incapable of seeing without glasses- and incapable of buying anything. Some were urgent cases, who wouldn't have been able to survive without this free care. I'm told theclinic will continue on through tomorrow.
GWA has done great work this week.