Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mexico mission trip '09

My third daughter Signe and I spent last week in Reynosa, Mexico, on a medical mission trip. My wife Lisa and I decided that when our girls turn 13, I would take them on a mission trip for some one-on-one father/daughter time, and Lisa would take them on a trip when they turn 18. So this was Signe's turn.

We travelled to Reynosa with a group from the Methodist church here in Morgan City. There were 2 physicians - me and another physician from Mexico. We saw patients the whole time - over 100 patients each day that we worked. We treated many different conditions - colds, hypertension, diabetes, worms, lice, headaches, rashes, back aches. One elderly woman was very sick with pneumonia - we had to make special arrangements for her treatment. We take so much for granted here in the U.S.

Other members of the team did other jobs - dispensed medications, took blood pressures/blood sugars, translated, cut hair, held babies, etc. There's a long line to be seen by the doctor, so Signe entertained children with coloring books and fingernail polish. She was a tremendous help to the team wherever she was needed, especially in the pharmacy.

It's always quite a bit of juggling to do to arrange to go on a mission trip. Getting off work/out of school, travel arrangements, passport, travel shots, packing, etc. I also get a little apprehensive travelling outside of the U.S. with terrorism, anti-U.S. sentiments, kidnappings, especially when I've brought my young daughter along. I come home from the trip really exhausted from the work that we've done.

But as tired as I am, as much work as it is, I feel so good about what we've done. It feels so right to do this work. I learn so much about life on these trips. I feel like I owe this and so much more, given the many blessings in my life.