Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The backyard

The actual hospital rounds begin on Thursday—a good thing, I guess, because for the past two days, Abby and I have had ample time to roam around Malaybalay, catch up on our reading (medicine-related or otherwise), finalize domestic arrangements (Ate Dina and Inday agreed to cook for us), and have casual chats with some of the doctors and staff at Bethel Baptist Hospital, all of whom were so warm and accommodating that we were already invited to our first dinner last night. The dinner was at Pastor Philip and Dr. Jena's house, just right across the guest house where we're staying.

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During our orientation at 3 pm this afternoon, Doctors Troy, Susan, Leslie, and Hope asked if, by any chance, one of us would be having our birthday during our stay here. I said I had mine last Sunday. They erupted in excitement. "We'll celebrate it then! Do you like chocolate mousse?"

"I absolutely love chocolate," I said.

Our mentors joked that we should pick eating engagements over our hospital duties if we had to. Tin, Migs, JD, and Joseph, who rotated here last year, all gained weight when they came back to PGH.

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I just love being here. From where I'm writing this, I can hear crickets. We have no need for electric fans because it's cold. It rains in the afternoons. And we're surrounded by greenery and fresh air.

To give you a sense of how the place looks like, here are some photos I took this afternoon.

Abby looks scary here, like the dreaded white ladies I saw on November 1 specials of Magandang Gabi Bayan when I was young.

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Old trees line the roads. The evenings are quiet, and I get restful sleep and the weirdest dreams. I get to spend quality, private time with God in my own room, and I'm thankful for my progress in my finish-reading-the-entire-Bible project.

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I'll do jogging around the compound's perimeter one of these days. I just hope this dog doesn't chase me. (I have a fear of canines; I was bitten thrice before).

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But more than the physical surroundings, the best experience I've had is meeting the people who work in this small hospital. The doctors who welcomed us were gracious and kind. Their stories were filled with thanksgiving and praises to God: how the Lord, for instance, led them to Bethel and gave them a heart for missions. Their constant reminder: that we should keep in mind that we are Christians first before we are doctors. And that we should do all to glorify Him. A timely reminder, indeed.



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