Patti A., R.N.

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!