Celaya Mexico Mission trip Day 1

 

We arrive at Del Bajio International Airport at 9:30 PM. We breeze through custom without any issue. We meet Miss Dora from the Celaya Rotary club who has a big sign “KONDROT” with her. She can not believe we get through custom so fast. Last year, the doctor was held up at custom for three and a half hours with questions about permits to bring in all the supplies. I was prepared and printed out multiple copies of our invitation letters and permits and made sure we have everything in order in case we get help up.

We hear horror stories of previous teams having trouble at custom. Once the Celaya mayor has to call the airport authorities to tell them to release the doctor and the supplies after the supplies boxes were held up for many hours.

After we get out of custom, my worries about being held up with the four large overstuffed suitcases carrying close to two hundred thousand dollars of eye surgical supplies and medicine, my mind finds itself focused on the next thing I need to worry about: our drive to Celeya.  Celeya is about one hour drive from the airport.  I was told by the coordinator that we will be picked up by two ladies from the rotary club and they are elderly so they request that we arrive and depart on flights during the daytime so they can drive us. I first booked the daytime flight on Friday arriving at 3 PM. Later they decided to add one more surgery day so we can treat eighty patients instead of just one day treating forty patients. The only option for us to add that one extra day is a flight change to arrive at 9:30 PM on Thursday to begin surgery on Friday.

Here we are in front of the Del Baijo International airport with our two hostesses Miss Dora and Miss Peggy from the Celaya Rotary club.

I am ready for Ed to take over the wheel and there is no way I am going to have these two elderly ladies drive us. one of them even moves around with a cane. Luckily, I find out that we are going to ride in a van with a chauffeur. What a relief!

We got to Miss Peggy’s house in Celaya where we spent the night. The ladies from the rotary club in Celaya are a really nice group of older ladies. They do a lot to organize the trip for us, they pick us up, give us a room to sleep in their house us and feed us. We get a good night sleep and get ready to start the day early in the morning of Friday as we have a heavy load of surgeries to accomplish.

Friday morning starts with a nice breakfast at Miss Peggy’s house.

On the drive to the Clinica Beatriz Velasco De Aleman, Ed practices his Spanish using Google translate.

Here we are in front of the clinic.

Patients are already waiting in the waiting hall.

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The clinic is very efficient. As we get in, patients are already prepared and ready in the pre-op area waiting to get on the surgery table.

Our day starts quickly. Our first case is ready for surgery.

Follow immediately by another case

Then another case.

The day went on, one patient after another get on that operating table as Ed becomes more and more used to the machine and he can finish the cases faster. Soon, to our own bewilderment, the clock on the wall says 6 PM and I do not think we have had a lunch break yet!

We squeezed in a couple of more patients

Then we call and quit and clock out at 7:15 PM as we have to give time for the last patient to recover after surgery and go home while we pack up our tools and clear out the operating room.

The hard-working warrior still manages a big smile at the end of a long day.  As we walk out, we were greeted by a happy patient, our last patient of the day just barely recovered from her surgery.

Hurray for the last patient of the day! We celebrate with a group picture!

Back at Miss Peggy’s house, Ed is so hungry he sits down to eat immediately. Miss Peggy has prepared ravioli and steak with a side serving of hot green salsa! Now that’s and Italian dish with a Mexican twist!  

We eat so fast and then we crash into bed for a good night sleep!

Until tomorrow, Buenas noches!

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