Friday, August 17, 2012

How was the trip?

Returning from Guatemala and Peru last week many people asked me “How was the trip? My response has been perhaps, surprising initially.

I’ve said two things emphatically 
1. How grateful I am that it didn’t rain in Guatemala
2)  How super grateful I was that I did not fall in the Amazon nor Napo River!  

Neither of these statements are to discount the tremendous opportunity to see Dr. Brent Burket and Dr. Jennifer Thoene and their four children working at Hospitalito – Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, or to meet Dr. Toni Lullio and Dr. Brian Medernach at Santa Clotilde in Peru.

Brent and Jennifer
Four wonderful Catholic Mission Doctors serving the poor and indigenous population in their areas. The  opportunities to meet patients, and to hear the stories of successes, babies born, children cared for, and to meet families in surrounding communities, this is ultimately the joy of the trip.  

My first answer, however, can be found in the fact that my last two trips to Guatemala were met with hurricanes, mudslides, bridge and road closures and even a volcano! So, no rain during the day in Guatemala was a thrill!

Toni and Brian
As this was my first trip to Peru I knew that the voyage to Santa Clotilde would include a one hour boat up the Amazon, followed by a four hour trip up the Napo River on ‘rapid’ boats. (Toni had provided very detailed information about the trip)  Had they not been rapid – I was told the trip would take 3 days.  It was not the accommodations, which were great, or the ground transportation by motorcycle taxi, nor the boats themselves which were very comfortable, live chickens and all.  The two docks that needed to be navigated afforded multiple opportunities for a fall into the water. For the ‘sure-footed’ perhaps these kind of things aren’t as intimidating, however I generally have one fall per trip, and I was sure it would be here, where I would get disastrously wet, be truly embarrassed, and possibly even hurt myself – though the last was the least of my concerns.

I am prayerfully grateful that I did not fall here, or in fact, anywhere on this trip!  So in a posture of thanksgiving, I am grateful for this trip ‘with no trip-and-fall’ and look forward to sharing more about the locations, the doctors and the patients soon.