I am Chris Treleaven and I was asked to be the guest blogger today. It is my pleasure to share my thoughts and observations about this day and the incredible experience of serving with Faith In Practice in villages across Guatemala.
Today was our second day of operating clinics in Poloqua and our final day before returning to Antigua. It seems the last three days of working in the villages has gone quickly, and even though some fatigue has set in, there was no momentum lost today as we cared for hundreds of local residents. My role as pharmacy assistant makes it possible for me and other pharmacy team members to view and interact with most every patient, as the pharmacy is the last stop in his or her visit after the clinics. Patients are usually smiling and/or have a look of relief on their faces. The satisfaction that brings is indescribable.
I believe that the reality of what our team has accomplished in the last four days has not set in with our team yet. Each team member from both the U.S. and Guatemala have been so focused on his/her job each day that the magnitude of what those jobs collectively accomplish is amazing: thousands of poor Guatemalan citizens are feeling cared for today, feeling relief from pain or nagging soreness, feeling hope for a better quality of life with a surgery or procedure in the near future. And for some, the excitement of new life with life-saving treatment.
I can only speak for myself when I say that I am changed by this experience, but I venture to say that others may feel the same: Appreciation for my country and the life I am blessed with, new friendships made, amazement at the incredible knowledge, skill and compassion of team members, encounter with the Guatemalan citizens and appreciation for their culture and traditions, and for the incredible work Faith In Practice has been doing here for the last 25 years.