Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do a medical clinic today, either, as we had been planning to spend two days in Conguaco. Which meant another day at construction! This was extremely helpful, as there were many piles of rocks and dirt that needed to be moved six or seven feet, and this got done much faster with all the extra people standing around watching me and Susan do it! No, no, I’m kidding- everyone actually worked very hard. Here is a picture of Matt working extremely hard:

mat working hard

He also did shovel and carry some things, to be fair. I think we all had an extremely productive and enjoyable last day working as one big STIMMA team alongside our Guatemalan brothers who have been working hard at the school and the Doppenberg family, who have been unbelievable hosts and guides. The progress on the special needs school has been amazing, but there is still much work (and fundraising to pay for the work!) to be done prior to the school being ready to open.

This afternoon, we unpacked and repacked our hockey bags, separating the items we need to take home from those that we will be leaving behind for STIMMA’s next journey to Guatemala and for the Doppenberg family to use and distribute over the next year. We have attempted to leave enough medications for those patients that we saw who were put on long-term medication management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. They will also have follow up care by Dr. Milton, a local doctor who works with the Doppenbergs.

Finally, here a picture of the Doppenberg boys, Amelia and Lisandro all dolled up for Lisandro’s Kindergarten graduation tonight. It’s a formal affair, and the boys looked great dressed up- although we did need to remind Gabe to tuck in his shirt and wear black socks.

doppenberg boys and lisandro all dolled up 

All in all, it has been an amazing eleven days, filled with more highs and lows than can be counted. Although we came as strangers, we will leave tomorrow filled with memories of laughter, tears shed, friendships forged, and lessons learned. And everyone will be counting down the days until next year, which is tentatively dated for November 7-19, 2016!!

Thank you all for coming on this journey with us; thank you to Veneta and Linsay for their hard work throughout the year to plan the trip; and thank you to Joey and Becky, our fearless construction and medical team leads. This has been an incredible trip, the first for some and one of many for others, but unforgettable for all of us.

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STIMMA (Short Term International Medical Missions Abroad) is a registered Canadian charity with no political or religious affiliations, connecting medical, pharmaceuticals & support personnel with communities in need.

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