On Sunday morning after Mass followed with our last breakfast at the mission, we headed by van to Antigua for an afternoon of shopping and sight-seeing. The town was quite busy, as this was the election day of the Presidential race in Guatemala. With the help of Carol and Terri, I was able to meet up with my Guatemala Spanish teacher Ana. She spent the afternoon with us. Later that night, the team had supper together for the last time as we reminisced over our week and talked about our upcoming transition back to our lives in Minnesota.
Upon our arrival into Minnesota, we were all well and in excellent spirits! Our group became a very close cohesive group- united in spirit, with a common purpose, and definitely “Moved to Serve”! We have grown closer together by our experiences, our work, our love for the people of Guatemala and the good times we have spent together. Old friendships have been reunited, and new friendships established. We have grown spiritually and have developed a deeper understanding of what it means to be called to serve the poor and the sick.
You are all very special people. I feel honored and blessed to have been part of this team and to have worked by your side during the past eight days. It was an honor to co-lead this team with Bridget- you are very talented. Your love and compassion for the work you do is contagious! Dr. Jim and Dr. John- it was an honor to work with you and consult with you on our more difficult patients and situations. Your talents and patience are abundant and I thank you for sharing them with our team, the people of Guatemala and with me! Our nurses Katy, Sara and Colette have shown much compassion and love for the work they do. They were always willing to lend a hand wherever needed and of course, didn’t mind the benefit of holding those little babies!!! Our new “pharmacist” Chuck became exceptionally proficient in counting pills and organizing medications and labels. Even more important, he brought humor and entertainment to the children who waited so patiently, to the health promoters and especially to our team. Where would we be without a little humor in our life? Chuck and Carol (one of our interpreters) reminded us often that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.
The interpreters Carol, Terri and Bridget worked very hard all week-both at clinic and all day long helping those of us with little or no Spanish speaking skills. I always felt you had the toughest job on this team because most days your jobs never ended. You were interpreting (working) nearly all day! Your patience and talents were greatly appreciated by everyone on this team!
As a team, your compassion and love for the people we served and the people of Guatemala was admirable. Again, it was an honor to have served with each of you. You are truly exceptional examples of faith in action!