Last week, we welcomed eight students from the University of South Alabama Nurse Practitioner program to serve the people of Guatemala. They were accompanied by two USA professors, Daphne and Ashley, and one pediatrician, Laura, also. This was the first international trip to Guatemala for the University of South Alabama. We were very excited about their willingness to come and to help provide medical care for the people in our community.
Their trip was short, but they accomplished a lot! They managed to provide medical clinics in Santo Domingo, the Chimaltenango dump, Acatenango, and Colegio JET. In 3 days, they provided medical care to 650 patients!
They made house visits to our teachers and students, also. Two motorcycle accidents, one broken arm, and one fractured arm sums it up for the Colegio JET students and teachers. All of the incidents were not related! We have no idea why our teachers and students decided to wreck and break things within a 24 hour period! Thankfully, the nurses had lots of medicines.
The team was able to visit a local doctor, visit the local health department, go to the central market, practice their tortilla making skills, and visit homes in our community. They served a spaghetti lunch and passed out food bags to the people at the Chimaltenango dump. They listened to the children in our school tell how Grace Ministries has changed their lives. The children sang songs for the group and gave lots of hugs. They spent the day in Antigua and definitely helped the economy of Guatemala.
My absolute favorite part was watching the team build relationships with our teachers and students. Our teachers want the experience of translating for medical teams, and the nurses allowed them this opportunity. The nurses and the teachers showed compassion towards the people and took the extra time to listen to them. We had 9 nurses and 1 doctor commit to sponsor a child from the school! Every single person sponsored a child! (Daphne already had a sponsored child). They were able to meet and hug their sponsored children. I love seeing the children smile when they meet their sponsors!
What is the incentive for the nursing students to come on an international medical trip? The international medical trip can count towards the clinical hours for each nursing student. The nursing students were promised to receive at least 24 hours of clinical hours for 3 days of work. However, at the end of the week they earned 40 clinical hours! 3 days, 40 hours, 650 patients!
Who was the MVP of the trip? Without a doubt, Soy earned the MVP. He was the van driver for the nurses. It was hilarious listening to him talk about driving a group of women. They cry! They laugh! They shop a lot! They talk non-stop! However, they tolerated Soy for the week so maybe the nurses are the real MVPs.
If you want to see a ton of pictures, please go to Soy’s facebook page. He did an excellent job at posting pictures.
A huge “Thank You” to the team for their flexibility and great attitudes! They took the time to listen to the patients, they ate lunch at rapid speeds, they were willing to work in all types of work spaces, they showed compassion to the people, and they worked very long days!