Friday, September 10, 2010

Summer Work camp, by Noemi S. Rabina

After graduation from college, summer in 1954, we were made to select the area of Nursing that we would like to practice more. It was one month experience and I chose Public Health Nursing.

At that time, the YMCA was recruiting young people from different areas of knowledge to join their work camps. We were four new graduates from our school who were eager to go out of the city and meet other people who could benefit from whatever knowledge we had to offer. With our clinical instructor, we were headed to a small village of Cotta, Lucena, Quezon province.

We were joined by other young graduates of Home Economics, Education, Agriculture and Fisheries, all ready to roll up our sleeves and do our jobs for the rural folks. It was about a 6-8 hour train ride, which we enjoyed as we were getting acquainted with each other and enjoying the beautiful scenery and country fresh air.

We were met and welcomed by public officials and were escorted to the school where we were supposed to stay for a month. Cots and kitchen utensils were provided. Ladies occupied one room and gentlemen another. The kitchen was separate and we took turns cooking and washing dishes.

We met the village people who were very eager to learn whatever knowledge we had to offer. Our teaching in particular was about health and sanitation, child care, nutrition, first aid, and lectures for expectant mothers. We were glad that in this place, the people spoke our national language, not another dialect, so that teaching was effective.

A doctor from the town joined us on Saturdays as we set up a clinic for physical examinations and minor treatments. We wore our uniforms as we ministered to the people in the clinic as well as in our home visitations. We were happy to see their respect, love, and enthusiasm.

We made several friends. We were invited in town for dinner, for church service, for dance parties. But of course we nurses did not dance. On our free time, we strolled around and enjoyed the beauty and peacefulness of the country and the simple living of the people. In the evening, we conducted a program where anyone could participate, campers and residents alike. Sometimes we invited guest speakers.

At the end of the day, we who have the same faith, would sing hymns of praise and thanksgiving for the Lord who used us to minister to His people.


  1. Dear Noemi, I admire your beautiful spirit. It is people like you that are the real heros in life, not the ball players, or actors with fame and fortune.
    Your story of service to others is heart-warming.

  2. Noemi you truly show your love for God by your disciplined commitment to serve others.

  3. Noemi, you have shown your sincere dedication to nursing from day one when you selected your career of choice. I always enjoy hearing of the different facets of your life which always confirm that you are a very caring, dedicated person. Like I said before, Noemi should write the instruction book for the nursing career!

  4. Dear Noemi,
    It is obvious you were born to be a nurse and to devote your life to caring for others. You were hard working and conscientious and it is no wonder the villagers received you with respect, love and enthusiasm.

    Your stories are heartwarming, faith filled and inspiring. I have great admiration for your courage.
    May you continue to be blessed.