Observations and Reflections from Rev. Calvin Mutti, Rotarian from Andover, Massachusetts, Non-Medical volunteer, Assistant Quartermaster, and Rookie Mission Participant, written midway through our time here.
1) “Life is good—living can be difficult.” (William Grimm, MD, Evansville, Indiana)
Being a guest in Pereira hosted by the local Rotary Club I am welcomed into the core of life here, given amazing access to the fears and hopes of these people, our brothers and sisters in Earth’s family. During the screening clinic on the opening day and the 4 surgery days that have followed thus far, I have witnessed the courage of the human spirit in a father from whose eyes flow tears of hope and love as he is told his 6 year old son will have a surgery that will make his eyelids open and close fully. From birth his eyelids have been partially immobilized, like a garage door that is not linked to the motor, hence they never fully close or open. I sto0d nearby as Dr. David Morwood “borrowed” tendon from the child’s forearm and attaches it inside his eyelid, thereby connecting the motor to the door, a vital link mending nature’s mistake. The procedure lasted several hours. In the recovery room father and mother were gently ushered in to be reunited with their son. I looked at their faces as they supported one another, embracing with nonverbal parental radiance their child whose life has been transformed in front of them. A hard lump rose in my throat. Sunday morning during rounds the stitches were removed, the thickened crust of dried tears and salve were washed away. Tentatively he blinked his eyelids. Once, twice. It hurt at first. The shades that open and close on the windows of his soul are functioning as they have never before. He is on the mend so when he falls asleep at night, his beautifully large dark eyes will close in rest and fully open in the morning as his life begins afresh—a new day for sure!