Day 1 – Packing Party in Reverse
24 hours into the mission and all is well.
The mission team and luggage arrived without incident in San Lucas Toliman late yesterday afternoon. It was a long day of travel — a 6 AM departure from Kansas City, a tight connection in Houston, arrival in Guatemala City at noon and a three-hour bus trip to San Lucas.
We see our first patients at 7:30 Monday morning, so today was our opportunity to unpack and get organized. 30 suitcases packed three weeks ago with 1,500 pounds of medical equipment and supplies reappear in San Lucas and are quickly sorted and stocked.
From the perspective of this first-time mission participant, the teamwork and efficiency is impressive. This is an experienced team. 17 of our 23 mission participants are MedMissions veterans… and 14 have made the trip to San Lucas before.
Today felt more like a homecoming than a work day. Old friendships are renewed — within the team and with the local hospital staff. Little orientation is required. The hospital layout and equipment are familiar. Working relationships are well-established on this seventh mission to Hospital Obras Sociale.
Preparations were completed quicker than anticipated. So, 16 of us took advantage of a beautiful afternoon to charter a boat to Panajachel, the better-known tourist town on Lake Atitlan. This was our best souvenir shopping opportunity and a chance to relax before the busy week ahead.
And, what better way to complete a great Day 1? Why not watch the Royals’ season opener vs. the Mets. Yes, to everyone’s amazement, the Hotel Toliman can tune into ESPN!
All considered, it has been a good 24 hours. Safe travels. On-time luggage. Hospital preparations completed. Friendships renewed. And a 4-3 Royals’ victory. It doesn’t get much better than that!