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Ecuador Trip 2010

July 12, 2010

We went again, we changed focus some, we learned a lot.

Again this year 15 student nurses, nurses, and lay people gave up time, money, and their common creature comforts to follow me to areas around Quito, Ecuador for health care mission. This year it was just us nurses. I was quite proud. We saw over 400 people in 4 days, but the clinic and health screenings were not the most important part. This year, because we are nurses, we did public health. Hand washing and dental hygiene education, handing out anti parasite medications, and providing tooth brushes, tooth paste, and vitamins to entire schools of children was our greatest accomplishment. In such activity we build sustainable health change and help others to continue health practices long after we are gone. Although the students felt like this portion was not really the hard or fun work, it was by far the most important.

Here are just a few things we learned this year:

  • That nurses are very good at picking up abnormals.
  • That nurses make good teachers of health.
  • That each person on a team has a different job and that each of those jobs is equally important (none of clinic could get done if even one person had been missing)
  • That access to health care does not mean that one can afford the medications.
  • That a little time listening, Tylenol, and TLC goes a long way in building relationships.
  • That we take WAY too many things for granted… like warm water, clean water, flushing toilet paper, going anywhere we want at about any time, and that we are not nearly as content as we should be.
  • That there are so many other people who give so much more than we do, out of love, to make this world a better place.
  • Humility.

To all of you who supported us in any form, thank you. To the people of Ecuador, thank  you. To the patients who taught us humility, thank you. Hopefully we will all come together again in that great country!

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 23, 2010 12:48 am

    Ecuador is one of the most beautiful countries of South America and its people is just great.

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