Farewell to Guatemala, March 16, 2019

Posted on: 03/19/2019

Author: Joyce Gilbreath

Farewell to Guatemala, Faith In Practice Team 611 is going home.

"You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you.  You have to go to them sometimes."

                                               Winnie the Pooh,  A.A. Milne

The trunks are packed, the trucks are loaded, team members of Faith In Practice Team 611 are going home.  I feel that the Winnie the Pooh quote says it all.  Many friendships have been formed this week and if history repeats itself, many of the same volunteers will be back together next year.  Thanks to our Mission Coordinator, Terry Estes, and our Team Physician,  Bill Lent, for their leadership this week.  Also, a huge thank you to our local Faith In Practice Guatemalan staff and village volunteers  who without their work throughout the year, these village missions could not be accomplished.

To the many followers of this team, thank you for supporting Faith In Practice in your thoughts and prayers this week and the many other ways that you contribute to Faith In Practice throughout the year. To my fellow team members; it was a joy and honor to represent this team to the outside followers.   I witnessed so many caring acts, genuine friendship between members and always treating the patients with respect and dignity.

Best Dressed Scrubs theme of Hollywood brought out the best, I promised glitz and glamour.  You judge for yourself.

A little human interest story.  There is a photo attached of Pediatric Clinic physician, Dr. Gregg Dimmick  holding a color cut-out of "Flat Stanley".  This was created by his grand daughter, Brooklyn, 5 years old. They have a project together where he carries Flat Stanley with him when he travels, thus letting him see the world. Flat Stanley was placed on the  walls of each pediatric clinic.  I am sure he has a lot of good stories to tell to Brooklyn.

There is also a photo of your photo/journalist(me) that Mindy sent with the caption, "behind the lens of the camera".  I think that describes my job.

I promised statistics for the week:  Total number of patients for the week is 1,986.  General Medicine saw 621, Pediatrics with 242, OB/GYN saw 206.  The Dental Clinic had 261 patients with 546 extractions.  A lot of Guatemalans will be eating better with less pain.  Via Cryo saw 217 and performed 4 treatments of suspicious lesions.   Wheelchair Clinic gave out 118 wheelchairs and 43 mobility assistive devices (canes, walkers and crutches).  Referrals to Faith In Practice Surgery teams in the future was 310 patients.  When these procedures are done, it will drastically change the lives of many Guatemalans.  There were 520 lab test and multiple, multiple pharmacy prescriptions given out.  I would call this a VERY SUCCESSFUL WEEK.

Volunteers will be returning to their jobs and daily routines but we will not forget the faces of the Guatemalan people who we came to serve.  They will be etched in our hearts and minds.  In the short week, we have witnessed hope, despair, poverty, gratitude and joy. We saw a stoical attitude of most with acceptance of their hard life.  We will remember the people of Guatemala and we will  know that we always receive far more than we give.

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."  also,  Winnie the Pooh

Until next year,

Goodbye from Guatemala

Joyce Gilbreath

Photo/Journalist Faith In Practice Team 611