Since we arrived to Antigua after dark last night, our first sight greeting us was the morning light illuminating Volcán de Fuego and Volcán de Agua. What a spectacular start to this week in Guatemala!
Our day began with the devotional delivered by Karen in which she reminded us that we are making a difference in the lives of Guatemalans, and they in turn are making a profound difference in our lives. This was followed by personal introductions by each member of Team Thompson, and a thorough orientation by Felipe, FIP’s Village Medical Program Director. With the new smaller teams this year TEAMWORK will be critical. We need to remember that while everyone has a role, we may be called on to help others, doing whatever needs to be done, and taking on multiple jobs. We all bring something to the team, but collectively we can make the biggest difference. That message was critical today as the main objective of the day was to set up the medical clinic in El Progreso.
The drive out to El Progreso was uneventful and by noon we arrived in our clinic town – San Cristobal Acasaguastlán. It’s there that the magic happens! In a few hours the FIP staff, the volunteer team and about 30 local volunteers unloaded the supplies, wheelchairs, tables, chairs, trunks and water, and created a temporary medical clinic inside a municipal building. The whole process is a little bit of amazing choreography, with a dash of chaos. Exam rooms are created, the pharmacy takes shape, and the wheelchair area is supplied with wheelchairs. It’s evident that many of the team and staff have years of experience and they know how to make the most of any location, taking into consideration flow, privacy, and space limitations.
With the clinic set-up completed, we can look forward to our first day tomorrow, when we’ll see 150 local Guatemalans. And we’re ready… Estamos listos!