Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's hard to believe that five months ago 12 students were calling their families and friends to announce the exciting news that we had been selected to be a part of Xavier's Interfaith Medical Mission Trip to Guatemala. It's even harder to believe that today was our last day in the clinic.
As usual we were divided into stations: dental, vision, vitals, pharmacy, or shadowing. Each student quickly taught one of his/her peers how to work the assigned station as patients lined up for a consult. By the end of our week in the clinic we found a system to get people through every station in the most efficient way possible. I think that this is, in part, due to the strong relationships that our Xavier group has formed with one another but I also think it is because of how kind and patient the people of Guatemala are, allowing us to develop that system.
I am so grateful to this community for not only providing us with the medical experience of a lifetime but also for welcoming us into their community and into their lives. As people left the clinic they said "Gracias" to us as we said "Gracias" to them. I'm sure they assumed that our response was due to our limited knowledge of the Spanish language but in reality, they gave us far more than we could ever give them and we will be forever thankful. Although communication was difficult at times, smiles and hugs are universal.
Stephanie Jantzen

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