It is hard to believe that tomorrow is Wednesday. The week has been so busy that I have barely had time to take a breath! We truly have an amazing group and it feels like we have known each other for decades!
The trip to Flores was fairly uneventful. Everyone made their connections and the 10 of us boarded the TACA plane to Flores together...although Gary was looking little pale after his GI illness on Friday and then running through the Guate City airport to make our connection. I love the warmth and serenity I feel when I step off the plane in Flores. In some weird way it feels like I am 'home' (my 2nd home)!
Monday morning we caught an early breakfast (6:15) and then headed to the clinic in Santa Ana to unpack and repack. It may sound inefficient, but we had 18 suitcases full of 'goodies' (medical supplies) to organize and unpack so that we could choose what supplies we would need to take to the village. The group was amazingly efficient, each person finding a niche and going right to work. We were back on the road by 9:00 and headed to Purusila, a village where we have done some work before. Sr. Pam is actually spearheading a computer program in the preschool/ kindergarten there. This school is run by a very bright and generous family. The director is a wonderful lady whose mother started the school and takes great pride in it. She graciously volunteered the school for us to turn into a clinic for the day, and we really took over! We turned the 4-room building into a multi-specialty clinic, complete with 'general medicine, pediatrics and podiatry as well as a lab and pharmacy. We apparently underestimated the need in this village because we ran out of medicines (several) before the day was over. Everyone really stepped up and stepped outside their comfort zones to see the patients who came for care. After a trip back to Santa Ana to unload the tables and supplies, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at La Luna with Ismael and his family as well as Sr. Pam. I continue to be amazed at what the Martines family is accomplishing in so many areas.
Today we were at the clinic in Santa Ana. It has been amazing having Dr. John Lane, a podiatrist, on this trip. He has done some incredible things with casting materials (not only for feet, but for legs, wrists, and arms too! ). Although we were not nearly as busy as yesterday, it was nice to be able to take some time to chat with people a bit and hear their 'stories'. It gives me such a different perspective on their lives and struggles.
This afternoon I finally got to see the progress on the birthing center in Chal. The community has done a great job, and today there were 2 boys (14 and 19) working on finishing the 'stucco' on the back of the building. They were doing such professional work that I could not believe they were teenagers volunteering to do the work. It was so incredible to see the progress they have made and dream about the future of this place!
So many stories to tell, but suffice it to say we are having a great week, mostly because of an amazing group of people who are willing to jump in and do anything that is needed or asked.