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Good evening, amigos! Last night during our final team dinner at the Hotel Irtra, we were surprised by the hotel’s very own mariachi band! We celebrated the birthdays of the team (Chris and Stephanie) with cake and energetic dancing, including a very exuberant conga line with most of the team participating. It was a joyful evening of jubilance and friendship.

Today was our final day in Guatemala. We boarded the bus at seven this morning – after the surgeons checked on their patients from yesterday – and took off on a four-hour ride to Antigua (Faith in Practice also sends teams to the Obras hospital here). We were tested for COVID-19, and once our (negative) results returned from the lab, the team was free to spend the rest of the afternoon strolling around this beautiful city!

Many of the team members went shopping; there are many boutiques and artisans selling their work from small storefronts. Good food could be found on every corner, and although the team went their separate ways, many ended up at the same restaurant or store at some point throughout the day. Personally, my favorite stop was the tiny ice cream shop, selling flavors such as Avocado Basil and Pineapple Habanero (I played it safe and ate a Berry Cheesecake flavored scoop).

After the team returned from their afternoon in Antigua, we all gathered to eat our final celebration meal! It was a special time of fellowship among teammates as we all prepared for an early flight tomorrow. Wendy Robinson, our team leader, did a beautiful job of recognizing each team member for the work they did this week.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to have traveled with this team. I learned so much about what it means to be a medical professional, whether you’re a nurse, scrub tech, or physician. Watching this team heal these Guatemalan patients was truly an eye-opening experience, and the hand of God was unmistakable throughout the entire week. This team really is a gift to me, and to the people of Guatemala.

Thank you to all the employees and volunteers for Faith and Practice at the Hospital Hilario Galindo; we couldn’t have done any of what we achieved this week without you. Paola, Fito, Jaime, Gustavo, and Leo – we are so grateful for your organizational skills, and we admire your devotion to the patients.

Shout-out to the Faith in Practice employee, Ian, who has been helping me post my blogs and pictures every day!

Tomorrow, we will have a very early morning to catch the bus to Guatemala City. Then, we will fly back to Houston, where the team will go their separate ways across the US. Please pray for safe travels.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this week’s blogs as much as I have enjoyed writing them! I am so glad you were able to experience this wonderful adventure alongside the team. I can’t wait to see what God will continue to do through our hands, in this country, for these people.

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