My heart jumped in jubilation as I heard from Ma’am Betty, the homemaker of my host family for the last week of my stay in Holland, that my request to visit Sinai Centrum was granted. I am in the field of Psychology thus my interest in seeing another psychiatric health facility is really intense. I thought that this will give me insights on how to make sound suggestions in improving the psychiatric facility in my hometown. More than that, I also believe that I will be able to harvest a number of real-life lessons.
Ma’am Betty told me that it was just a small organization. However, I was quite surprised when we arrive. For me, it was really huge. Well, I am basing it from our facility here in Cebu. After braving the cold from the outside, we proceeded to the office and an introduction of my visit to the colleagues of Ma’am Betty followed. After that, through the sharing of Ma’am Betty, I was able to gather pieces of relevant information. I knew that Sinai Centrum is a Jewish institution which used to cater around 200 patients. The move to transfer it to another location made it to handle only 12 patients as of this time. My quick tour of the place made me see the impressive isolation room, the well-kept activity room, the patient’s room, the smoking room and the stock room. These are just some of the sections I was able to see.
I am quite impressed of the structure, the equipment and the facility in general to the point that it made me wonder how come that they need to transfer. But more than those is the sincerity I felt from the way the staff took care of the patients. No words can better describe the compassion and the dedication that stemmed from the deepest part of their hearts as they fulfill their responsibilities by endlessly demonstrating proper care to the patients who were denied sanity.
I was also deeply touched by the moment that I joined the coffee break with the staff and the patients. I felt the intense connection of both parties through the unique dynamics demonstrated by all. I was even astonished about the lucid interval I witnessed. In the sane minds of the patients lies a reservoir of depth meanings. And in their hearts are picturesque memories of a bitter-sweet past.
In my short visit, I found bliss. The goodness of human in extending assistance is an experience worth reliving. The meeting of two beautiful worlds, the normal and the special, is a proof that when love surrounds it is human nature to give a piece one’s self in the name of service.
I take my hats off to all I met in Sinai Centrum. May all of you be blessed with a meaningful life.