Not exactly “Trains, Planes, and Automobiles,” but there were several connecting flights, as well as a harrowing van ride as we made our way to Antigua, Guatemala today, to begin a full week of medical support to individuals in need. Most of us started this day very early, waking up as early as 3:00 AM, to make sure we caught our early morning flights. With the exception of some storm clouds in the way in Kansas City, the trip went off without a hitch. It was great to have time getting acquainted or re-acquainted with team members as we traveled south together.
Arriving in Guatemala City, Deb, Pam, and Sylvia, our leaders, met us as we came through the customs’ doors. They brought along several cheerful staff members from Obras Hospital, who helped load our medical supplies and personal suitcases into waiting vans. Once everyone was accounted for, we too, climbed into vans, and were off on the final leg of the trip. The drivers were amazing, driving through the three lanes of bumper to bumper city traffic like pros. (Having learned to drive on Chicago streets, let me tell you, this was terrifying, even for me, yet they kept us safe, and made it look easy!) As the city fell behind us and we continued into the rural mountainous region, the beauty of the country takes your breath away. And before you know it, around the corner, we were rolling into ancient Antigua. Such organization – we’re dropped off at the hotel doors, and our luggage is there waiting, with medical supplies on the way to the hospital.
Now the work begins! An all Team Meeting was called for late afternoon. It was not only an opportunity to get to know more members of the team, but a time to get details about our week’s assignments. After the general information was shared, we broke up into our specific groups, making specific plans for tomorrow – our first day with patients. There is excitement in the air, even though we are tired. A good night’s sleep will take care of that, and we’ll be ready for our patients and their families!