Farewell from Tara:
Tomorrow we start our journey back home. As we are excited to get back to our loved ones (and pizza) we are sad to see this week come to an end. We have learned so many valuable lessons that we will carry with us forever. Thank you again for your support and following along on our journey.
Reflections from Sue:
We completed one more year of a successful Medical Mission in Sumpango. Even though we had to change our location of the clinic this year, we were able to serve hundreds of loving, kind people. Our team was made up of many new people who fit in as if they had been doing this mission for years. As we end our week I have a full heart. The people of Sumpango show Americans so much kindness. I feel very inspired to do likewise.
Reflections from Tswvyim
As Woodlands time in the clinic come to a closure, and my time in Los Olivos Chruch come to an end, the memories made, friendships made, laughters shared, and experience acquired will never be forgotten .
When the woodlands team first arrived in Guatemala City on Saturday (11/9/16), I had no idea what to expect, to be honest I was so nervous/scared I wanted to go home. I knew no one; I felt like I didn't deserve to be on the trip. My knowledge in the medical field was limited and I had no medical experience whatsoever. I don't know what it was, but as negative as I was, something in me told me to keep my head up and that this trip was meant for me.
So as the weekend ended and the week passed by, my life changed for the better. The voice in my head that kept talking to me was absolutely right, this trip was for me! I was fortunate enough to take part in experiences I thought I'd never be able to take part in. I got to use an opthalmoscope to look at healthy optic discs, an otoscope to check for healthy eardrums, administer cortisone shots to the knees to reduce inflammation in the knees to alleviate pain, look for the Human Papilloma Virus through various slides under a microscope, administer anesthetic shots to the mouth, do a tooth extraction, assist with tooth fillings, check glucose levels, find blood pressure, brush up on my Spanish, and so much more. I could go on and on about the amount of knowledge I've learned during my short stay in Guatemala, but if there's one thing I learned that stood out to me the most, it would be the meaning of appreciation.
The locals here are so appreciative of anything and everything they have and it's so contagious. The Sumpango team treated over 749+ patients and not one of them were ungrateful or rude about their experience. There were patients who waited outside the clinic at 5:00 am and the clinic wouldn't open until 9 am. We had patients who walked hours to be treated, we even have patients who walked hours just be told their needs are out of our the Sumpango team's hands. In addition we even had patients who waited HOURS in line to be treated for accidents that occurred years ago and not one of them complained. After everything was said and done, they would smile and genuinely say "gracias" (thank you).
Although it's sad that we couldn't help everyone, it brings joy to me knowing that the Sumpango team was able to make a difference on the lives of so many. Through the language of love and a big smile, we (the sumpango team and locals) learned so much from each other.