February 2016 Surgical Trip

The schedule of procedures for the first day of the trip
The schedule of procedures for the first day of the trip

Although it seems like it’s routine now for this group of amazing medical professionals led by our awesome Shirley  Winkler–it is not routine. We are still daring to do surgical interventions in a remote area without any infrastructure imaginable–surgical procedures that are just part of day-to-day operations for our  US neighbor 90 mins away on a plane ride. Talk about surgery in a suitcase. We have to bring everything we can imagine that we will need to carry out this audacious objective to provide medical procedures to a group of people who have too many obstacles to count. To get this service in Port Au Prince, they have to travel 70 miles, but it might as well be 700 miles.

Today we begin. There is excitable anxiety to get started as usual for the first day of every surgical trip.

We have our list of patients for the first day, and even for the second day–this is our plan. But as we get going in our day, we know there will be unexpected situations that arise that will make us rethink our plan and will undoubtedly shuffle the schedule. But that is totally okay. At the end of the day, the objective is to serve the community. Of course, in that process our hearts get energized, because we can see concrete actions and results. We hope that somehow we are helping and not hurting, and we hope that the people will return to their community and continue to impact its future the best way they know how.

We are amazingly blessed to have the perfect team makeup once again for this year’s trip. We have four new people on this trip–less than 24 hours in the trip, they were already talking about next year. Shirley’s excitement knocked any type of liquid that was near her onto herself and whoever else was around her, because she knows that we have the right team once again.

We are in Bainet for a week, but we have been working in Zorangé for 17 years. The newcomers had an opportunity to see the work that’s been going on for that time, and they were excited to connect the dots. To see the history that has been established in almost two decades.

A few of us were reflecting. Karina Bethje, a long time volunteer with the Foundation, and I were saying that we are not that smart, that organized, or that connected to do what has been done in Zorangé the last 17 years. With our school, that is providing education to almost 500 students; our clinic provides care to the community; and our newest edifice, our church. The only way these have been done is not because of our sheer will and determination–only God has enabled this to happen. We are happy to play a role and be a part of this amazing team.

The team makeup continues to evolve as new passionate people join us and older partners retire. We are seeing second generations of volunteers, and very soon they will become “victims of Haiti’s passion.” I love it, I love it.