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The team started Day Two with some breakfast, followed by inspiration and prayer from our Administrator Paige Dean and our Surgery Lead Manish Wani…who flew in late the night before (really that morning) to join us.  In the background, Volcan de Fuego reminded us of our small scale in comparison with the rest of the world, even as we readied ourself for the larger scale and importance of our own work ahead.

Before departing for Las Obras Sociales del Santo Hermann Pedro, Paige reminded us of James 2:14 and the message that we should always strive to back up our faith and words with our actions.

Some walked to the Obras for their first time, getting to experience the city and its people on a Sunday filled with life and color, as the town was getting ready for a Lenten processional through the city later in the day.

As we reached the Obras at 7am, we paused for additional prayer in the main courtyard, where patients and families had already began waiting for us.  As we would learn later, some had travelled for up to 12 hours to see the team, and determine if our schedules and talents would allow them their much needed surgeries.

From triage to clinical interviews, to admission, we learned more about the patients that our team would treat throughout the week.  We found hernias that people had endured for years, chronic tonsillitis, and other painful nasal and throat issues.  As each surgeon’s schedules started to fill up, some had to be deferred for future trips, and a few referred to specialists because, even with this talented team, some things would take much longer than our one week.

Overall, over 100 patients were seen before noon, as the team readied Pre-Op, the Operating Rooms, and Post-Op spaces for the week.  With the goal of seeing everyone scheduled, the surgery teams had full schedules, but an empty triage by lunchtime.  A big part of day two…accomplished.

The team spent some of their remaining afternoon visiting Casa de Fe, where patients and families recover after their surgeries.  Bringing smiles and some children’s toys, the team met several former and future patients and their families before winding down in Antigua for the evening.  The highlight of the afternoon for many was the Lenten procession, which included a ceremonial stop at the Obras itself.

First big day tomorrow!

-Erin Machac


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