One of the many things I had hoped to find time for while living in CTG is volunteering, and then opportunity presented itself within the first month of being here!!
There was an opportunity to donate things, i.e. bread or juices, which we did, but also an opportunity to donate your time — I’ve got plenty to spare right now!! I was able to assist in setting up the store room for all the equipment, instruments, etc. that had been shipped to ensure the surgeries, which started yesterday, would go smooth. It wasn’t glamorous, I lifted boxes, I crossed of inventory on lists, but knowing that this helps with 60-80 surgeries that will be conducted, it’s more than glamorous: it’s very rewarding.
The hospital is cute, has just been updated dramatically over the past two years and offers care to all children — with or without insurance or financial means. Since the hospital is considered charitable, it doesn’t receive a lot do financial support from the Colombian Government, but mainly lives off donations. The local Rotary Club is instrumental in helping with bringing “Healing the Children” to Cartagena and La Casa de Niño. These nurses and doctors donate their time by using vacation time to come here…Tom, Anna Marie and Clare have been on numerous trips, if I recall correctly, this is Clare’s 46th trip!!! It was the first trip for Patty and Eli. There’s a lot more information in the link provided above!!
I’m scheduled to go back on Thursday afternoon for sure, I do actually hope to make it back more than once next week!!