Patti was our first scholarship recipient who contacted us right after our website went live. She is a second career nurse after working as a Social Worker in Sacramento, California.
The trip was great! I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go. Thank you to One Nurse At A Time for the scholarship.
Liga runs 3 clinics in Sinaloa, Mexico. I was assigned to El Carrizo. We flew down to Mexico in small airplanes piloted by volunteers. I learned there is a whole culture of what I call “plane” people. Some of the pilots are doctors (hence the nickname for the organization – “flying doctors of mercy”), one is a nurse, another one is a dental hygienist, at least one other was a retired man who likes to fly. My group left 7:30 am Friday morning. We arrived in El Fuerte, Mexico around 4 pm. After a brief meeting, one of the organizers took the first timers on a tour of the town. Very charming.
On Saturday morning, the El Carrizo volunteers boarded those small planes again and flew to the clinic (about a 15 minute trip across the mountains). We saw patients all morning and then broke for lunch. My morning job was working with 2 other volunteers in intake. We had a Mexican doctor and an OB/GYN from The States who saw patients. After lunch I helped organize a home visit kit and accompanied the doctor, another nurse, and an interpreter on home visits. This was an eye opening experience. I’ve traveled to Latin America a few times before, but the discrepancy in the standard of living between The States and south of the border is always a humbling experience. This was no less true of this trip.
We finished our day about 4:00pm and returned to El Fuerte by plane. We all left Sunday morning about 7 am.
I am so grateful for this experience. It is the primary reason I decided, at age 50, to leave my secure, good enough paying government job, to go to nursing school. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to live my dream in the form of this first mission trip. Thank you again!