Saturday, March 5, 2016

Take Off

Today, we took off bright and early at 4:15 am to catch our first of two flights to get us to Guatemala before a long, winding car ride up to Panajachel. If I am going to be honest, I am not the best air traveler due to the take offs and landings. Take offs in a plane leave me with a sense of anxiousness, wonder, and excitement all at the same time. The start of this medical mission trip is much like taking off in a plane- there is some anxiousness, a bunch of wonder at the new sights we are seeing, and the most excitement you have ever imagined all in our group. Due to the fact that I am uneasy during the start of any flight before the plane is fully in the air, my friends in my row on the plane acted like a support system to keep me calm, and it worked wonderfully. I have honestly never felt less uneasy on any plane ride than the two I took today. That same support system is already in full effect here in Guatemala. Each of us had the responsibility to carry two, 50 pound bags full of medical supplies on top of our personal luggage, help pack it on top of the van, and bring it down off the van to the clinic. The whole endeavor went smoothly because we worked as a team and supported one another. Although it was dark before we made it to the clinic, so we weren’t able to see Patanatic or Panajachel in the light, today was a very fulfilling, very long day. Today was just our group taking off into this adventure of a week and I can’t wait to see where we will land.

Brooke Chastain

The Packing Party

Lo Hicimos

In the words of Dora, we did it. We made it to Guate, Guate, Guatemala! It's exciting to experience this journey again. The beauty of this adventure is that each year that passes, there are 12 fresh eyes that see Guatemala, Patanatic, with such open hearts and compassion for this village and its people. Something tells me that this group is going to soak up every moment they are given no matter what the opportunity is. I can't wait to reflect upon each day with them. But first we have to do a little work to get the clinic up and running so they CAN have the experience I know as an alumni they will have.

Nurse Bonnie ran Triage when I went on this trip as a student. She was so graceful and ingenious. My prayer is that I can be 1/8 of that for these students. So as Nurse Bonnie taught me, always take a picture of the before and after so you can remember the work you did to make the clinic into a functioning thing. So here is the before. I know you will see some photos of the clinic in action very soon.

Stephanie Ibemere