This past week I participated in a medical mission trip through VIMM and Clemson University to Ecuador. Our group was made up of varying levels of medical personnel from doctor to nursing student and we were accompanied by individuals in charge of evangelistic efforts. Our group was based out of Macas, Ecuador but held clinics on four different days. We stayed in a hotel and traveled from 30 minutes to 2 hours to locations where we held clinics: San Carlos, San Pablo, Namaqy, and Caya.
The patients we saw came from all over to receive attention and medicines. For some of them, this was the only medical attention they would receive until the next time a VIMM group comes into the area. The most common problem among the people was parasites. Deworming was done on almost everyone. We saw some interesting cases, a couple of surgical procedures were performed.
I loved the people there. On a whole, they were very easy to love. The children and babies were absolutely adorable. I totally wanted to take one home with me. My favorite part of the trip was probably when I got to play with the kids. They are so much better than me at soccer.
The language barrier was a bit of an issue there. Not only did we have to work around the fact that most of them spoke Spanish, we also had some patients that spoke native Indian languages. Needless to say, we needed a lot of interpreters to carry out our mission.
Overall, this was a wonderful experience. I loved learning about this country and culture. I had a lot of time to contemplate the lives of these people and the love that our Heavenly Father has for them. I'm grateful that I was able to be involved with this trip.