Wednesday, March 9, 2016

“If the longing you see is not before you it’s ahead of you.”

Day Three of being in Guatemala and already I have learned so much about myself.  I always ask myself “what is my purpose in life?” I have been struggling with this question since my junior year of high school. During my high school years I fell in love with being of service to others. It felt good going to the soup kitchens, shelters, and volunteering in any way possible that I could. I fell in love with the people that I met, and the stories that were shared, and what they taught me about life. I enjoy being of service to others because it makes me happy.

What makes me uncomfortable is the amount of privilege that I have and sometimes hold over them. How can I do justice when I am not on the same level of the people in which I want to help better their lives?  I don’t want to be a savior; I don’t see myself fit to save anyone from their problems. In order for me to fully understand the people I must first understand them as humans. Humans that hurt, cry, love, live and breathe the same way I do. What am I, a black American, doing on an interfaith trip in Guatemala……going back to that question of discernment “what is my purpose in life?" I know that I am in love with serving others and volunteering but am I truly impacting anyone’s life?

Nurse Stephanie answered my question today, she said “don’t down play the little things you do in life because you don’t know how much they impact someone's life.” I guess for me it’s hard because I don’t see that impact, and if I didn’t see the impact did I really helps better their lives? I struggle with these questions daily and as I grow spiritually and mentally I realize that everything I do regarding serving others is coming from a place of love, and that place of love allows me to do the best I can, and be the best I can. I want to be the change that I want to see in the world; this requires me taking baby steps and being patient. This change wouldn’t happen overnight but it will happen as long as my motives are driven by love.

So far I have had an amazing experience with the healthcare professionals on my team.  I have quotes to describe each one.
Dr. Eric: “Be like a duck: be calm on the top, but paddle like hell on the bottom!”
This quote exemplifies Dr. Eric very well. In his pharmacy in Guatemala he is very calm and has a great system that the pharmacy runs on. But at the same time he is “paddling hard as hell”; he is making sure each patient is receiving the appropriate medication, and takes his time to double check with the doctors. The pharmacy is never out of order and he makes sure that each student learns accordingly.   -   Gracias!
Dr. Lauri:  “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger, women are already strong.  It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.”
This quote describes Dr. Lauri so well; she exemplifies strength as a woman, a doctor, and as a mom. She has inspired me so much on this trip and I am so blessed to be in the presence of such powerful women. She says that the women in Pantanic are “kick ass females”; she in turn is a kick-ass female. She is an amazing doctor who shows others what it truly means to be women and men for others, and to cura personalis (to care for the whole person).   -   Gracias!
Nurse Stephanie: “Butterflies can’t see their wings, they can’t see how truly beautiful they are.”
Nurse Stephanie: I don’t think she realizes how truly beautiful she is. Her soul is beautiful, her characteristics are beautiful; her passion for caring for others is beautiful.  That is what makes her an incredible nurse. People like Stephanie are willing to beat someone up, in order to make sure patients like Jose Daniel receive proper healthcare.    -   Gracias!
Dr. Richard: “Do small things with great love.”
Dr. Richard exams and teaches us students with great love. Everything he does while in the clinic comes from a place of love. He makes sure he has the time to educate us and allow us to gain hands-on experience. I now know why the past participants on this trip were very fond of Dr. Richard. He is an amazing doctor who is passionate about caring for patients.    -   Gracias!

I am a Xavier University student on an interfaith trip to Guatemala.
I wonder if I will ever find my purpose in life.
I hear babies crying, Spanish being spoken, and students yelling “Uno, Duo, Tres,  ESCUPE!!
I worry if the people in Guatemala will ever be free of their struggles
I dream of a world that everyone has the equal opportunity to thrive
I hope that our 2016 medical mission trip has served a great purpose
I want the world to see the beauty of this world, which God has created for us.
I wish for peace and love toward those who are marginalized

Enlara E. Ndum 

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