Everything about this trip so far has been an incredible experience. I am blessed to be with an amazing group of people who get along and work so well together. Today, orthopedics was fairly slow so I stopped by optical to see if they could use any help. The optical team was so welcoming and showed me what they did so that I could help patients if needed. The entire room was full of positive energy and laughter. It was just a great place to spend time. I was able to help by reorganizing some boxes of glasses and by translating to the best of my ability.

In the waiting area, just outside the optical room, I was assisting Mary Beth in determining the specific needs of each patient so that they could immediately be taken care of when they were called into the room. As I was struggling to understand what one man was telling me, two or three other ladies who were also sitting in the waiting area stepped in to help him get his story across to Mary Beth and I. It basically turned into a game of charades before we finally got the basic information that we needed from the patient. Who knew translating could be such physical work!?

The people here in Cartagena possess so much kindness and gratitude. The ladies who spend their days cooking and cleaning for us, and the translators who volunteer their time are all such a pleasure to work with. I never expected to laugh as much as I do during clinic. So far this has been an amazing and humbling experience. I look forward to what the remainder of our time here has to offer and I hope to continue to participate in these mission trips in the future.

PS - the food and juice here are simply incredible!!!


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