Wyatt left around 11, so after clinic work was done I hung out with Mario, Rolando, and Kenia and a couple other staff members who were dropping in and out as they finished their work. Sometimes they talk really fast and it is hard to understand. I laugh a lot at things that I am not exactly sure about. Ah, language barriers. I talked with Doctora Mathos for awhile, and then it was time for el almuerzo.
Every year, the clinic staff at ZOE has a Christmas lunch. It happened today, so after working in the morning, most of the employees gathered on the third floor for turkey, stuffing, rice, salad, and torreja. Food! It was great, as the food often is here.
Celeste made a speech before the lunch, which was actually pretty helpful because it helped me figure out how things at the clinic work.
Here is what I know:
-Clínica ZOE is run by a church, which helps with funding and outreach. Additional funding is supplied by Unite For Sight.
-The clinic has been gradually expanding. The first floor is optometry and ophthalmology, and the second floor has a lab, more optometry offices, regular doctors, and pediatricians. There is also a psychologist and social worker.
-Something something... security being provided for free for the month of January?
-The clinic operates with a public attitude, although it has private clients. For those who are too poor to pay or too poor to pay full price, they are able to get the care they need. However, there are many clients who are middle class and pay for the services they get.
-In the next year, they will be looking for a newer, larger location in hopes to expand the clinic and its functions to be more like a hospital. They're running out of space.
-Many of the doctors work part time. Dr. Mathos, for instance, has her own private clinic in the afternoon. Other doctors work short shifts and volunteer their time so that they can help people get the medical care they need.
-Celeste is in charge of all the employees--there are like 40-- which consist of doctors, technicians, office workers, outreach, security, and then volunteers.
A couple other employees made speeches about how grateful they were for the other clinic staff as well as the work they are able to do. It was a really nice lunch and it was pretty clear that everyone is really close and supportive of one another. I'm glad that I'm starting to get know a few of them!