Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bubbles and Blessings

I honestly do not know how to start. This trip has been difficult for me to process. I have felt almost every single emotion in these short six days, and sometimes even all of them at once. This trip has taught me so much and has exposed me to things I have never seen before, both good and bad.

Every drive we have is full of beautiful scenery where there are hundreds of different plant life, terrace farming, vibrant flowers, mountains filled with greenery, banana trees, lemon trees, avocado trees, and multiple volcanoes. I am always mesmerized because it looks like a painting. The view of the mountains and scenery is forever implanted into my mind.

The streets here are something I have never seen before in my life. The streets are extremely crowded with venders, tuk tuks, buses, motorcycles, and wild dogs. The little shops that line the streets are so colorful with shades of blue, orange, yellow, and red. The dogs run all around, sit under tables at restaurants, and apparently try to get into hotels as well. One night we were all out at night and were walking back to our hotel. Our hotel has sliding doors that they leave slightly open all the time. So, when we all walked in, the dogs decided to walk into the hotel with us. Now imagine dogs running around a hotel lobby with 12 people trying to chase them out. I asked the hotel clerk if this happens often, and he said it’s the very first time it has ever happened. So to say the least, there is never a dull moment on the streets of Panajachel.

Now about the amazing people here.  I cannot say enough to give these people justice. These people are so incredibly strong. The land here is filled with hills, and the hills aren’t typical hills. They are incredibly steep. These people hike up these mountains with baskets on their heads, babies on their back, difficulties with walking, and poor vision. The mother’s love for their children, the brother’s love for his sister, the child’s love for their parents, and all the love that I have witnessed has been so beautiful. O have made many relationships with these people. Mynor is mi amigo who loved playing  with burbarjas (bubbles) with me. This little boy was shy, but he lite up with the biggest smile when I gave him burbarjas and played with him. Even though we did not talk much, our laughing and smiles was more than enough communication. I will never forget mi amigo Mynor, for he taught me so much with little to no words. What a blessing it was to meet him. I also was able to speak Spanish to multiple women who were so thankful, kind hearted, and vulnerable to me. I felt so welcomed into their village of Patanatic.

I cannot describe how influencial this trip has been and will be on my life and nursing career. I have made life long friendships with my wonderful team members. I have learned so much from the medical team, my new family, and an incredible 12 year old, Grace. I have found my nursing role model and who inspires me to be the best me and the best nurse. I have found myself through this trip, and I am a better person because of this trip. Gracias a Dios.

Maria Hill

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