An Emotional Day in Some Dreary Weather

This morning we were up and out of the apartments bright and early at 7:45 on our way to the Austral Pilar campus in some gloomy weather. We all fell asleep on the bus ride and didn’t realize that we sat in traffic for an extra half hour. We were concerned if we would still make everything on time as today was a full day of lectures and site visits. We were also a little annoyed that we were so late even though traffic was “an Argentina normal.” We visited a community health center run by nuns in a low-income area. This center also has a program to help students before or after school with their homework and allows them a space to play. We met the cutest little boy waiting in the center who would keep peering around corners to wave. We managed to take a group picture with him on the way out and all of us couldn’t stop talking about how happy it made us.

The morning annoyance of everything being delayed quickly vanished after the community health visit and especially once we arrived at our last visit: The Good Samaritan Hospice Care Center. No one likes to talk about death, especially at our age. However, every person with us has experienced it at one point or another. Although it is a scary thing to think and talk about, it unites us all. Our presenter talked about a twenty-four-year-old boy who was addicted to drugs, HIV positive and had cancer with no family support. He was trying to work to support himself but was in such pain and filth that people turned him away. After the Good Samaritan sought him out, he was reluctant at first to trust the association. However, he soon let his guard down and completely changed. He enjoyed helping those there, forgave and was forgiven, reconnected with his family, and trusted those in the Good Samaritan. He even was able to meet his music idol, surrounded by his mother and his Good Samaritan family. He lived his best life in The Good Samaritan and died peaceful and calm because of this place that took him in to help.

Listening to the presentation, hearing the stories and being on the hospice grounds allowed me to realize how grateful I am for what I have. It was a very humbling experience listening to the presenter discuss death in a professional manner with rain pouring outside. The rain seemed to match the mood, and after visiting and meeting some current residents in the hospice care, each of us was there for anyone who wanted to talk or cry or just be silent. This visit bonded all of us here in Argentina as we went through it together. I can’t believe we’ve already finished day 5!

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