Sunday, March 14, 2010
2. You are reminded that happiness doesn't come from things.
3. You realize how easy it is to bond with people who live half a world a way and whose lives are very different from your own especially when you are all coming together for a single goal. You gain so many friends.
4. You gain a great appreciation for your health and the health of your children and your access to medical care.
5. You realize how a few people coming together can create a big change in the lives of others.
It's funny because you always get comments from others when they hear you are going, telling you what good work you are doing, but really in a sense it almost feels selfish to go. The experiences are so rich and personally rewarding you sometimes feel what you receive from it is greater than the benefit the children receive from the surgeries.
Yes, I am already getting my suitcases packed for the next one. I figure realistically and logistically I can only do about 1x a year now...I wish I could do it again tomorrow, but home duty calls and my family is my first love. But already dreaming whats next? Egypt? India? Bangladesh? Ethopia? Although I'd easily go back to Jordan in a heartbeat. I have never gone back to a site I have done a second time and that would be a fun experience.
My family really is so supportive. People always say, "Your husband's okay with this--?" Especially when I told them I did 4 missions the first year we were married. He doesn't get threatened by it. He knows it's important to me, and I wouldn't be the woman I am if I didn't do these things. He knows how passionate I am about it and supports me 100%. And my parents support me too, my mom came to help Allen with the boys (who by the way got seriously sick in my absence- which actually made me feel bad about being gone however cleaning up after 5 days of sick kids- secretly glad I missed that) and if you know my mom you know my house is now cleaner than ever and my freezer is filled with dinners and (seriously I should take a picture) over 30 homemade lunches in containers for my husband. I also returned to blissfully happy children. I have spent the week reassimilating into life, catching up on all the mail, bills, school papers, everything else that went on hold for 2 weeks.
There is a certain let down factor when you are done. It always feels kind of like a dream. It's sad to see it end. To know that in reality you will likely not see those families and people again. You go from being so busy and focused and connected back to ordinary life. It take a week or so to sort of recenter yourself back in your everyday world.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
Day 4- Day 1 of Surgery- We were running 5 tables, 4 general and one local. My playroom was set up right outside the OR. The space is kind of small and there was water that dripped down from the ceiling in the middle of the room so you had to be careful where you sat. Also the lights didn't work until the last day-so you can imagine my surprise and excitement when they turned on the last day. One day I was playing basketball in the dark with one of the kids and wishing for flashlights or glowsticks.
I have to say I had the best translators and helpers ever on a mission!! Operation Smile Jordan is well established in country and really it made my job so much easier. My poor translators though- get so used to translating the pre op teaching speal. I am sure they can all, in their sleep, demonstrate with my teaching puppet all about the masks, the ivs, tongue stitches (for cleft palate cases) and even rectal tylenol.