Visiting Jamtoli Camp
Dawn brought in a bright and sunny day but where I stayed, sunlight could not penetrate. The walls of the buildings were within a foot of each other blocking all the sunlight. If I strained hard I could see a sliver of daylight and that also helped me to see if the weather was hospitable for running. The tides had been high but I could not resist getting a dip.
The driver turned down our suggestion of taking the dirt army road which would take us through Kutupalong camp, potentially bypassing the traffic. He said the road was close but we only had his words for it. So it took us the usual two and a half hours to reach the clinic.
My translator set up the medications on the table as we, the healthcare volunteers, had to dispense our own medications, there was no pharmacist.
Our very first patient was a woman brought in by her son and immediately we detected a huge goiter peeking through her scarf as she sat down, however she had lived with it for over thirty years and she did not come in for that.
Near the end of the clinic, the wind blew and a drizzle began to fall. This had seemed to be the pattern for the past few days. No torrential rain followed.
Our last patient was a cute little boy who truly had no specific problem his mother could describe, she came to have her medication refilled. So we played with him till the rest of the team finished their clinic.
On our way we went into Jamtoli camp, it seemed more crowded than the last time I was here. The dirt steps had been reinforced with heavy sandbags. Each household now was furnished with a blue water container with a spout. The Monson rains had not created much destruction here but the roofs of all the houses had been weighted down with sandbags in preparation for the monsoon winds. The sun beat down on us making us sweat. Without warning welcoming sprinklers of shower cooled us down as we descended the steps to leave the camp.