Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Interim Evolution of a Plan

After the leaving the plantel in Honduras it took time to readjust. My life in the states seemed extravagant and the guilt tremendous. Imagine the guilt you feel when you have ordered desert even though your full….now amplify that about ten fold. Every time I wanted to go to dinner or buy clothes I kept hearing a voice in the back of my mind whispering ..….that would be 1 box of lice cream or that would be 4 little beds or I could pay for another case of antibiotics with this money. The nightmares were relentless. After wrestling with my emotions and learning to acknowledge my anger over the severe injustice in the world it became clear to me that there was only one solution for me personally. I would dedicate the rest of my life and the skills God so generously provided me to people in need and in this moment those children need me and there are plenty of people in the poorest areas of our American cities who are suffering in much the same way.

The next year was filled with emails and calls and blessings from above. I was flying back from the American Academy of Pediatrics annual convention and I met a wonderful and very kind hearted gentleman who happened to be from Kodak. He related to my stories from Honduras and had a few of his own. Since that time we have been working toward developing a medical model that will work for the rural areas of Central America. There are, as Tracy Kiderer put it, “Mountains Beyond Mountains” to struggle with and climb before we get there, but if we don’t try then it matters to no one, if we try has the potential to “matter” for many.

Over the year there were several donations to help make things possible, Kodak donated a dental cam toward the project, Post Central a film editing company, provided a high tech lap top for collecting medical records in the field, fellow physicians and nurses from Rochester donated medical supplies, clothes, medical books and computers. I contacted every organization I could and was able to purchase several boxes of medications to take back with me.

Now I sit a year later loaded up like a pack mule trotting through the airport. If you saw me you would think I was homeless. I had on a dress with a big old straw hat (right out of a bad re-run of Hee Haw) a fluorescent rain coat tied at my waste and my stethoscope slung around my neck (I really did try to fit that sucker in my bag but it just wouldn’t go). To top it off I was lugging 2 body bags, a cheap black suitcase on wheels (which suddenly only wanted to turn sideways) and there was a giant camo bag stuffed to the brim on my back….ugh! The people at the baggage check were polite and supportive of my cause. Although they tested my bags for illegal drugs but didn’t hold me up. Now security was fun….. you have to practically strip naked to go through the little detector things and you have to take lap tops and electronic devices out of your bag and place them in bins along with your clothes. So here’s me hat shoes two jackets into a bin. Then I had to unpack my entire camo bag with the 2 lap tops, video cam, extra hard drive and camera then re-pack it on the other side and because I was traveling internationally I got to do it all a second time in Miami! …….Note to self……don’t use underwear as padding material in the future. The good news……they didn’t think I had a gun this time ( I left my ottoscope at home) and so they let me pass. I’m only half way there and Lord knows what will await me at the other end….

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