The story of the Whale in two versions

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          Monday was an exceptional pleasant day.  We drove for an hour west of Quimistan to the village of El Pinal where we were well received.  On arrival, the team unpacked our busito (read “a van stuffed with supplies, 7 missionaries, a translator, 2 AP student helpers and a driver”) we set up the HAF hygiene clinic.  Seventy students experienced hand washing, de-worming, teeth brushing, and fluoride treatment.  Using the de-worming tablets this year is so much better than the previous method of using a liquid.  Allen B actually tried one of the tablets to understand whether the grimaces we were seeing on the children’s faces were from a bad taste or simply from the anticipation of one.  His judgment: It really doesn’t taste bad at all.

          While the vision clinic was being set up, Patty told the children how God facilitated Jonah’s trip to Ninevah via the belly of a big fish.  Using questions interspersed with sound effects of the wind and waves and imaginations of being in a dark, cold, wet fish’s belly for three days and nights, she was able to persuade them that even when things are the darkest, God still cares for us and can accomplish the purpose intended for us.  With story completed, mini-whales with flippers, spouts, and smiley faces were constructed by the students using a paper bag, a balloon, and assorted accessories.   The project ended with the children learning and singing a simple short round about Jonah.  While the Jonah project was ongoing with half of the team, the vision team examined 23 patients, fitting 21 with a pair of glasses.
          Departing El Pinal we drove for three quarters of an hour to a shady stop near a creek just outside of El Jicaro to enjoy our picnic lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches al fresco.  After lunch we drove into El Jicaro and set up the hygiene clinic treating 25 students.  Our missionary dental member (Patty) performed a random field examination of 15 students.  The results indicated that 100% of the children required one or more fillings and about half require one or more extractions. The concept of a HAF sponsored traveling dental team for these mountain top villages will be an ongoing discussion when our dentists from Aiken arrive on Wednesday.  Naturally a board of director’s discussion and approval will be required before that would be done—not to mention recruiting a dental team.
          Patty, with a lot of help from Daniel, our translator, retold the story of Jonah, and Allen B led the classroom full of children and parents learning and singing the Jonah song.   
         Thus ended a most fulfilling day.