No particular reason.
The group that supports the clinic was the subject of a story that was produced by my station. The photographer who shot the story remained in contact with the group (La Liga, also known as The Flying Doctors of Mercy).
A few years back, the story became a topic of conversation in our newsroom. That's how I heard about it.
It seems that the group often needs volunteers who have medical training or a command of the Spanish language.
I have neither of these things.
What I do have is the ability to take pictures. Which I admit, that's not going to do a lot of good if you need to see a doctor.
But if you need to see a doctor, having something to put a smile on your face will make the visit go a little easier.
We've done this a couple of times and I notice the same things each time.
There are a lot of people who have very little in the world. Sometimes when you don't have much, even a small thing can mean a lot.
We can't do much. It was just a small gesture to give each person who came to the clinic a photograph.
Just a photograph.
A 4x6 photograph isn't much in itself, but it brightened the day for a number of people. It gave them something to smile and even laugh about on day when there was more than enough pain, stress and fear to go around.
I've said it before. Yeah, memory might fade, but a photograph captures a moment in the time of your life. A time to where you'll never be able to return.
I'm pretty sure, for the most part no one is going to have fond memories of the free clinic, but we did manage to capture a few smiles.
At some point, I hope whoever looks at the pictures, will see someone they care about. Even if there isn't actually a smile on the face of the person in the photo, I hope seeing the person in the photo is enough to make someone smile.
That's what we did down in Tijuana.
We tried to make people smile.
Seeing a doctor can be difficult, so maybe the smile might not have happened on that day. I just imagine that someday it will.
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