Annie is a senior nursing major from Whitefish Bay, WI
Mucho amor de Guatemala!
We made it here safe and sound on New Year’s Eve. Little did we know what an exciting first night it would be!
Every time I have the opportunity to travel, I am reminded of the same feeling of overwhelming amazement and curiosity. The beauty of the mountains as we fly in, the excitement to meet up with our medical team from Los Angeles, the beautiful Guatemalan children strapped to their mothers' backs, the crowd-packed streets on New Year’s Eve, listening to a New Year’s Day Mass in Spanish, and bonding with the group on the rooftop garden of our hotel. This is just a taste of our first day... Everything hit at once and it was incredible! Being able to celebrate such an exciting holiday in a new place was awesome and I was amazed to see the incredible mix of people on the streets, celebrating together. Seeing strangers embracing to come together and celebrate the start of a new year was very cool and it was a perfect beginning to jumpstart our medical mission here in Guatemala! After celebrating and bonding with the group and getting more familiar in this new country, we start the work of our mission trip in Patanatic!
After tonight’s preparation meeting for the clinic and getting to know the streets of Panajachel, I am filled with a new kind of excitement and apprehension. Getting off of the plane in Guatemala, one of the flight attendants pulled me aside to say she was so grateful for our group and how cool it was for us as students to be able to learn in a community that could benefit so much from our actions. I know that as helpful as our aid in the community will be, we will benefit so much more from the experience. In this unique setting we are going to learn so much more from our interactions with the Guatemalan people, our amazing medical team, and one other as a group. Starting off the week I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity to put my practical nursing skills into action, form new relationships with a great group of people, and learn by doing. I hope our group will be able to bring the excitement and unity of our New Year’s Eve celebrations into the clinic as we start our adventures tomorrow!