After a long travel day, we’ve arrived in beautiful Guatemala! A lovely group of people has gathered here from all over the states – Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, Colorado, Kansas, Alaska, and California. The day has been full of smiles and laughter as everyone has welcomed each other back after a two-year absence. It is evident that the volunteers who have done this work before have missed it during the shutdown and are eager to begin their service again.
The day began early for those meeting at IAH in Houston and even earlier for those whose first leg of the trip was to Houston. We met others here in Guatemala. Our travels were smooth, and the trunks of medical supplies made it through customs, so we piled into three buses (two for us and one for luggage) and began the drive to Antigua. We passed so many cars, people and motorcycles, and so much vegetation and color on the winding road to Antigua, arriving at the beautiful Quinta de Las Flores, our home for the week. We settled into our rooms, had a team meeting, and are now enjoying some downtime before dinner. The Faith in Practice staff, Andreas and Jaime, are wonderful and taking very good care of us. Tomorrow will be a day of getting organized at Los Obras, the hospital we work out of, and meeting our patients.
The majority of our 34-person team has made this trip before, some 10 or 12 times before and many five, six, and seven times. One person has traveled 24 hours, and another goes on multiple medical mission trips a year – it’s his passion.
Something very special must happen over the next few days. Excitement, joy, and affection permeate the air around this group. Being new to this, I am looking forward to discovering what it is all about.