The word of the day is feet. We arrived at the school and geared ourselves for a long day. In Group 2, we split into two teams to see a total of 11 children. I knew only on paper what kind of magic we were here to create; the first two were a pair of twins who both had different affects to their lower extremities. These beautiful little girls both displayed normal understanding, and were approaching the cusp of the first bit of awareness of the thoughts of others.
This was my chance to be useful. Being in Hong Kong, although nice, did not give me the chance to practice my abilities, neither clinical nor oral. Now in Zhuhai, the children spoke Mandarin. When I wasn’t fitting children with casts (all of which we came across needed) I was tasked with distracting the children. The looks on the faces of both parents, children, and even colleagues from the other universities were laughable as I conversed with parents and children, talking about animals at the zoo, fruit, family, and whatever else came to mind.
All the synergy of our events came together to create a beautiful, effective flow of patient care. We walked in and saw children of all varieties; those with cases so mild we weren’t sure if we should treat them, those with cases so extreme that there was nothing we could do, those who come with trouble walking, and those who could not walk at all. For those beautiful young futures that we could promise something more, I look forward to returning and reassuring them that the future is indeed bright. Sightseeing in Asia was certainly great, but it cannot scrape the beauty of what we can do here. Now I feel as though I am leaving my mark in China, offering a real helping hand and actually changing the world.
Even tonight’s wind-down felt different from others. I felt closer, as though we had all moved a stage further; I believe today we have truly felt that our trip halfway around the world has purpose.