Hello Friends and Family,
We are all home safely and in our respective states and countries! We are starting to adjust back to our normal routines and we apologize for not being the best at keeping the blog up to date, but once the surgeries started every member of our team was busy and worked long into the night. The mission week was filled with lots of laughter, amazing surgeries, and yes… exhaustion. Our team members were extremely hard working throughout the entire trip. The hospital that we worked with in Riobamba was very welcoming and wanted to work with us in helping the people of Ecuador. Their staff was so accommodating and helpful throughout our entire time there. It was fun for our team to interact with many of their local doctors and nurses and to learn from them about local medicine and culture. We hope they learned the same things from our team. The surgeries that were performed varied day to day, but one surgery that was performed included microtia, which is a congenital deformity in which the ear is deformed, which is very common in Riobamba, Ecuador. Some other surgeries performed included thyroidectomy, cleft lips, laparoscopy cholesectomy, colostomy reversal, prostatectomy, and many more. Our last night in Riobamba we went out with the local staff and spent the evening dancing and talking about the previous week. After a meaningful week in Riobamba, we organized all of the items that we had donated to the hospital, said our goodbyes, and boarded the bus for our journey back to Quito. Once in Quito we continued to say goodbyes as a few of our team members started their journey back to the States. The rest of the team spent a few days together decompressing, reminiscing and visiting the amazing sites of Machu Picchu and the sacred valley in Peru.
A huge thank you to all of you who supported this mission and allowed the team to have another incredible and life changing mission. No matter how many times you do a mission, the experience is always too big for words. The feeling of giving back and changing a life is an incredible experience. We will have more pictures up soon so you can see some of the amazing work this team was able to accomplish.
Operation International Team Michigan – Riobamba, Ecuador