I have been going to Angel Notion, a clinic in the northern reaches of Playa del Carmen, for three years now. Every Friday a Diabetes Clinic is conducted for people to come in for blood sugar testing and consultation with a physician about medication and diet. All of this is done for a donation of whatever they can afford. The patients don’t eat before, so I cook a meal to break the fast and provide nutritional information. Marilou has joined me for the past year and many others have helped along the way.
Last Friday we planned to make Lentil Soup, so I soaked and cooked the lentils at home the night before knowing that we would not have time for our huge pot to boil sufficiently. The clinic begins at 7:30 am and many of the ladies wait at the door for at least an hour before, so when we arrived with already cooked soup they were optimistic.
We brought fresh vegetables that we chopped tiny and put in the microwave before adding them to the soup pot: potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and chayotes (a native squash). BUT, the stove would only yield a tiny flame which would have taken hours to heat our tub of soup. Someone went across the street and bought another tank of gas, which when connected provided no stronger flame. Consequently we ladled the soup into plastic bowls which we microwaved individually then returned to the pot.
Finally we began serving the soup but many of the patients had already left for work. The veggies were a little crunchy and many of the women enjoyed the lentils and broth but pushed the vegetables aside because their teeth were not strong enough. This is all “live and learn”. We hope to have our old “homemade” stove hooked up next week so that boiling is possible. Our efforts are appreciated and we receive many kisses and hugs from the patients which put smiles on all faces.