Home Again, Home Again

Hola from los Estados Unidos! Well, that’s a wrap on another incredible KF trip to San Miguel. For those of you with family members, friends, or coworkers who were on the trip, you may find them slightly useless, sore, and sleep deprived today. If you had been there this week and seen the long hours they had logged, you’d understand why! We also want to take a moment to recognize all our fallen soldiers on this Memorial Day. We remember those who protected our country so that we can do what we do. You are the real heroes today and every day.

Here’s a recap of what happened from Friday to Sunday…

Friday we completed 4 cases then began the arduous task of packing up. El Hospital General has so graciously let us use their basement to store some of our supplies over the past several years, so Fridays are full of taking inventory, packing, re-packing, counting, and hauling supplies down to the basement. This year, KF got another upgrade! Plastic totes to pack in!!! This may sound like a small improvement to non-KFers, but for those of us who have been packing in the same cardboard boxes since 1991, plastic bins were a HUGE upgrade. This year may have also been a new record for least amount of time spent in the basement (note, no one is sad about this). After we had finished packing, we gave the hospital staff hugs and left the hospital one last time. We will miss you El Hospital General! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you did for us this week. From the staff to the food to the volunteers and service, NONE of this would happen without you all.

Friday afternoon some of us went shopping, some of us slept (cough cough, me) and Friday night we all met at Dr. Andrews’ house for closing ceremonies. We said more goodbyes as most of team anesthesia left Saturday. Saturday morning we shopped and relaxed and took in all that San Miguel has to offer before heading out to our favorite spot, Nirvana, Saturday afternoon. We shared laughs and memories from the week and began talking about next year. Saturday night we returned to our abodes and listened to our last night of fireworks and music drifting up from the streets. Sunday was a fairly uneventful travel day and we all made it safely back to our homes and our families who greeted us with open arms and smiles.

I say this every year, but we are truly lucky to have the privilege to do what we do. Kids First, the work that we do, the people that we meet, the parents who trust us with their children…it is all a privilege and one that we never take for granted. We are approaching the 25 year mark for our trips. From El Salvador to the DR to Colombia to our home of the past several years in San Miguel, we have been fortunate to do what we do for so long. You may here us whine about the long hours or how our backs hurt or about the inevitable hiccups we have during the trip, but ask anyone who goes and I guarantee they will tell you  that this week is one of their favorites of the year. Amidst the lack of sleep and Montezuma’s revenge and Credence Clearwater Revival, there are kids’ whose lives are changed, their are hugs from parents with tear-filled eyes, their are friends some of us only get to see once a year, there is a KF family. So to simply put, thank you. Thank you to our families and employers who let us leave for a week every year to do what we love. Thank you to the people of San Miguel for welcoming us with open arms for over 10 years. Thank you the staff and volunteers at El Hospital General who make our week happen. Thank you to the parents who trust us with their children and the children who trust us with their lives. Thank you most of all to the KF team. To the doctors, nurses, volunteers, and everyone in between. Cheers to another successful trip. And cheers to what the 2017 trip has in store! KF blogger, signing out

Here are pictures from this week that wouldn’t post earlier!

Stephen Justis