Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mi Familia Lejos de Casa

How could I write a blog about everything happening on our trip and not go on and on for pages and pages? It honestly is an experience you just have to be a part of to understand the life and culture. The life and culture of Guatemala is very different than ours, yet so similar that it often reminds me of my home. The families in Guatemala are so kind and loving that they would wait hours and hours just to see Lauri or Richard. We have had the privilege to see many school children and their teachers. Today we travelled to San Pedro which is across Lake Atitlan to do physicals and checkups on some of the children and teachers in the school. One topic I wanted to mention about the teachers is how some of the teachers know so much about their students; it is unreal and not like many teachers in the United States. Teachers here know their students and histories. They know if they are constipated or if they like milk. I could not say the same about my teachers at times.

Besides the teachers, all members of each family care immensely toward one another. The community of Patanatic is much like a family. As Richard said it best today, “We truly are blessed to feel their pulse in life.”

So I am going to write the remainder of my blog a little differently than my team mates. We all have had such an eye-opening, mind-opening, and heart-opening experience that we are encountering in Guatemala, but I wanted to write about my team because this wouldn’t be such a great experience without them. Words cannot express how well our group dynamic is and how we each want to achieve our common goal: to provide the best medical care we can for the developing country of Guatemala.

Overall I couldn’t thank Rabbi Abie, Stephanie, and Lauri for selecting me for this trip. My friends and family for their love, support, and monetary donation to make this trip possible.

I want to thank my group mates for all their hard work and dedication to improving the lives of the Guatemalans through education and prevention. We all bring our own skills to the table and provide unique qualities to inspire all of us to continue on the path to finding the best career choice. So without further ado, I would like to tell everyone reading our blogs a little about my trip mates, that I call family.

Rabbi Abie - The “wordy” tree root to our group. Literally without him there would be no trip. Everything is always a big deal to him because he wants us to see the value in all things.

Dr. Lauri - She has this indescribable magical way with children. She has such a kind and pure heart and she is the most giving Pediatrician I know. She also has a great sense of style that makes all of us girls on the trip jealous of her clothes.

Dr. Richard - A fabulous medical educator who cares so much about his patients and makes sure they understand and can repeat everything he told them. Richard has this welcoming personality that all of us became instant friends when we first met 5 days ago. I feel like I have known him forever.

Nurse Cathy - Always so willing to bring up the mood or fill the downtime with one of her crazy stories. Cathy cares immensely for all patients and I totally love how OCD she is about everything!

Nurse Bonnie - Totally love all of her Spanglish words! Such a fun and wise nurse who is super energized and melts at the sight of a baby or child,

Stephanie Renny - Ties all the ends up that nobody else can. She is the glue that keeps our group together and on track. She literally can handle anything thrown at her and perform efficiently. She is also so cute and spunky, and all of us adore her!

Tyler - Tyler is so quiet - he just takes everything in and is always trying to problem solve to make any horrible situation better. Also it’s so refreshing to watch him play and color with the PEDS patients.

Sam - Sam is the diva of our trip and he totally knows it. He’s always there to put a smile on everyone’s face. Sam makes this trip so much fun and enjoyable.

Andrew - Many thanks go out to Andrew for constantly following us around and taking all of our pictures and videos of us with the children and families. Also Andrew is never afraid to put his camera down and assist any of us with any task, whether that be pharmacy or plotting growth curves.

Stephanie I. - This trip would be so much rougher without our Spanish translator! Stephanie has definitely been a trooper with all the translations and is undoubtedly the most giving person on this trip. Muchas gracias mi amiga!

Rachel S. - Rachel is so passionate about all the little things in life. She loves getting involved in a great cause. She is great at looking at things from a new or positive perspective.

Kristen - Loves every Geez that walks through the clinic doors. It’s so cute to watch Kristen interact with all the families because she is so friendly,

Becka - Becka is so curious about everything and you can see the passion she has to always be learning something new. She could be so busy but if she finds a friend in pain, she would be right there to help them.

Brittany - Britt’s laugher is the most contagious laughter I have ever heard. You could spot her anywhere with her laughter. She has such a positive outlook on life and she always tries to look at the big picture.

Morgan - I am honestly so surprised that Morg doesn’t have a Guatemalan child in her suitcase to take back with us to the U.S. - Morgan hates to see a child in distress or pain and would do anything to comfort them.

Kelsey - Her southern mannerisms makes everyone feel welcomed. Kelsey absolutely loves all the families and makes sure everybody is involved and has what they need.

Rachel G - My Roomie for the week! Rach is so crazy and incredibly hard working. She wants to help everyone and is always willing to go with the flow.

Kathy - Kathy is everybody’s mom for the week. She always make sure that we have used our hand sanitizer and we have our waters. Also I love seeing her talk about optometry. She has this refreshing passion about life and eyes that it just make everyone so giddy and delighted.

Like I said before these people are absolutely wonderful and are quickly becoming my family away from home.

Love to all!

Emmalee Phelps
March 6, 2014

P.S. Eric Would you please make a baby with Stephanie? She is absolutely so adorable when she’s holding all the babies down here! :-)

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