One final online ‘hola’ from Jeff before we head home to London via Houstonagua tomorrow morning.
For our last day in Nicaragua, we were back in clinic for a half day session and we saw as many patients in three hours as we have previous days in double the time. The afternoon was spent presenting our most interesting cases of the week to Dr. Cerrato and in the evening we closed with dinner and a salsa lesson from a guy who could have won Dancing with the Stars with Miss Piggy.
Every one of us has learned so much here from Louis, Dr. Cerrato and Carla and we are all eager to share this knowledge with our family, friends, teachers and colleagues when we return home.
Before I forget, I want to thank everyone from around the world who, has checked out the blog and the photos on the Flickr site since we left last Friday.
And I’d like to especially thank the parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, wives and children (Hi Jen, Clark and Anika!) who shared their loved ones with the ASB team for the past eight days and allowed us to experience an adventure that was one so full of learning, service, compassion and friendship. And a little zip-lining too.
I’ll never forget the look on Lauren’s face when she saw the young woman with AIDS at the hospital the day after she met her in her home.
And Sara’s experience as a repeat ASBer and camp counselor extraordinaire, she knew the ins and outs of this wild ride we were on while the rest of us tried to figure it out.
And Sabrina’s dominance of the Spanish language and how she became our one-stop Berlitz translation guide.
And Janina’s phone call from her mom.
And Brynn’s excitement on the bus ride home after she and the other female members of our team were swarmed by dozens of school girls seeking hugs, pencils, stickers, bubbles and what seemed like hundreds of photos following our clinic at Guancastio.
And Aaren’s two big thumbs up when sailing down the final zip-line of the Mambacho Canopy Tour.
And Slick Willy’s, well I don’t know what it is, but he’s got it in spades. And diamonds. And hearts. And clubs.
And Carly’s face Saturday morning when she was sitting at the breakfast table with the colour back in her cheeks and the smile right where it belongs.
And Erin’s knowledge of nursing as she guided me and so many others through vital sign readings and needles in the classroom, in the clinic and in the field.
And Alex’s remarkable composure in the airport when we landed in Nicaragua – 10 minutes with this young man our first day here and I knew our team was going to be alright.
And Yuri’s sheer strength, not only pulling down zip-line cables others were jumping to reach but as a person, whose kindhearted demeanor gives new meaning to the term “gentle giant.”
And Aleshia’s head whipping around for a story on a bus about a child she saw in the field, a woman she met in the clinic or to give a shout out to a friend when one was due.
And Liz’s pages and pages and pages and pages of journaling. If anyone wants to know what really happened in Nicaragua get a hold of this future doctor’s journal.
To the young men of Habitacion #8, who let an old man raise the average age of the room by a good half-decade.
I’ll never forget Ryan’s internal alarm clock, used not only to get him up for his morning runs but to keep the rest of us on schedule, and more importantly, at breakfast.
And Vivek’s depth, not only in the pitch of his voice but in the strength of his words and the passion of his conviction.
And Matt’s mattness. He’s the total package. It’s not easy holding the title of “Student Leader” on a team full of students. But the way he carried himself these past eight days, it was easy for all of us – and that includes me and Cat – to look to him for guidance, direction and leadership. Dr. Cerrato told me Matt was going to be a brilliant doctor one day. And I couldn’t agree more.
And finally, Cat. After watching her in action this week, she could have been a doctor. Or a politician. Or an analyst/therapist. Or a stand-up comic. But she’s the Coordinator, Student Engagement Programs at Western’s Centre for New Students. And the students, both current and future, at The University of Western Ontario are lucky to have her.
The next time you hear from us, we’ll be back home in London.
It’s been quite an adventure. And we have BEEN the change.
Thanks for joining us along the way and I encourage all of you to be the change.