November 2013 Trip Report

We were all disappointed to lose the October clinic to tropical storm Octave, but November offered a very special opening to the clinic season.  If you've read my past ramblings, you know I focus on the clinic proper which is, after all, our reason for being.  This trip there was a second defining event, the Saturday night fiesta in Constitucion, brought to us by local business leaders, the schools and local government.

If anyone ever had a shred of doubt the community appreciates our efforts, this event was certainly the cure.  I know it’s not possible, but I wish everyone who has participated in a clinic or is considering doing so could have been there.  Some of you will recall the fiestas from years ago and will remember the good food and fine entertainment provided.  This one lived up to the tradition, same great food and excellent entertainment provided by local talent, but in a bit more streamlined package.

As part of the event, and on behalf of all of you, I quite literally accepted the heart of their community!  Before you get too concerned about an authentic Aztec style human sacrifice, I should tell you that heart was made from a sponge and the red liquid was paint.  Still, symbolically and I believe from a cultural perspective, this was a striking gesture. 

After this small ceremony, I asked to say a few words and invited John Osborne, president of our parent organization, Flying Samaritans Arizona, to join me.  I provided comments in English, he in Spanish.  We acknowledged all from the US who contributed to this and past clinics and those who worked behind the scenes to coordinate, but we also reminded the community of their importance to our success.  There are the more obvious local contributors, the hard working individuals we see at clinic and those in official capacities that make certain our clinics are sanctioned and our provider’s US licenses are properly backed so treatment can be provided legally in Mexico.  Success also requires a community, including those who help spread information about clinic dates and services provided, and who transport those in need so they can receive treatment.  Beyond that, I believe we are helped and supported in ways we will never know or may not even be able to comprehend.  On behalf of all who contribute to our success, we humbly accepted the honor.

And now for the Lopez Mateos clinic - It was staffed by veterans, some returning veterans, students from our affiant chapters at ASU and Midwestern University medical school and many who were new to us.  Everyone stepped up as always and demonstrated great flexibility and dedication, doing what was required to achieve a very successful clinic.  For more specifics, please see Alicia’s blog http://samaritansmovil.blogspot.com/

Many may have read this far and wondered what happened to the scheduled clinic at LSI.  Sadly, the unexpected and last minute passing of one of their local volunteers made it necessary to cancel the clinic.  It appears our next attempt will be in January.

The next Lopez Mateos clinic trip will be December 20-22.  We struggle with being right on top of Christmas, but as we learned when clinic switched from second Saturday to third Saturday of the month, many of our patients rely on the consistency of that date to know when to come.  Also, we will continue the fine tradition of providing back packs full of gifts to be distributed by Santa to the children of the Hotel Serenidad employees.  I look forward to seeing you on another successful and rewarding journey.

¡ Viva las clínicas !

Dennis