As I've mentioned, the people on the mission with Operati0n Rainb0w were all volunteers who spent their own money and used their vacation time to come on this trip. They were all incredibly hard working people who were very good at their jobs. The surgeons performed complicated, difficult surgeries and they did it with about half the tools they were used to and they often creatively manipulated the equipment they did have in order to make it work for our particular cases.
|That's a lot of plates and pins, yo.|
|Notice she's wearing scrubs and a gown? That's because she also had to be in the OR and the preop waiting room. And the recovery room. All the rooms, pretty much.|
|She also saw a lot of the postop patients with me, kept a master list of them, and printed out the final copy of instructions that I made with one of the docs.|
But the Operati0n Rainb0w team wasn't the only group of people in the OR area. The El Salvadorian doctors and nurses were there, too. They worked alongside our team, assisting the surgeons, helping coordinate and find equipment, and learning as much as our doctors could teach them. Our being there created lots of extra work for them and they didn't get paid any overtime.
The Ladies of Pediatrics Association is a group that runs a cafe in San Miguel to donate money to the pediatrics and they volunteered to host us while we were in the hospital. They cooked our lunches at home and brought them to us in the hospital. They made sure our fridge was stocked with water, gatorade, and sodas, and they also brought us snacks like pupusas and pandulces every few hours.
|We gave them flowers.|
THE MAYOR CAME.
|They demonstrated a traditional El Salvadorian dance.|
When we were leaving everyone thanked us again and again and gave us hugs and took photos with us.
"Will you come back next year?" they asked, "Please?"
"We will try."