Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mission and vision

On Saturday afternoon, Hernan, our great bus driver, and Alcides, a Suchitoto friend, moved a small mountain of bins and boxes and bottles of water from our storeroom to Hernan's microbus, and we took off to meet our mission team. They came in right on time, even though they'd lost three hours on the takeoff of their Seattle-Houston flight, and while we had to wait two hours in customs, we got through without any difficulty, perhaps thanks to the elegance of our new burnt orange duffles (see photo).

We set up the operating suite at Hospital San Rafael in Santa Tecla on Sunday, and bright and early on Monday morning the patients showed up, a wonderful group of hopeful seniors. So, happily, did our community volunteers, Reyna and Gumersindo, and Rosa, who started volunteering with us in Comasagua in 2009, and seems to have made it a habit - for which we're more than grateful. Rosa and Reyna and Gumersindo help everyone get dressed in their hospital gowns and booties (see photo).

Rosa and Reyna and Gumersindo and I are the outside crew, getting the patients ready for surgery and taking them to their beds for the night afterwards. The inside crew - our two ophthalmologists, optometrist, operating room staff, nurse, interpreter, and photo-journalist - quickly found the rhythm of a successful team. We did ten surgeries on Monday, nine today, and it's all gone very smoothly. In the evenings we gather at the Centro Loyola in Antiguo Cuscatlan, not far from the hospital, for talk and a good meal. And we all remember the beautiful faces we've seen in the day. The final photo shows one of them.

Talk about mission and vision - what a great combination!

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