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  • Rebeca Mendizabal

Thanks the size of Texas!

When I walked into the naval hospital on Monday, in a way I went in blind. An online posting had asked for Spanish interpreters. Other than that I honestly knew very little about the doctors and their work.

That was Monday. That was before assisting with numerous eye exams, distributing bagfuls of glasses, and even witnessing two out of more than 200 cataract surgeries. That was also before I had the opportunity to spend five days with the Mission of Healing Eyes crew.

Now that the exhausting but triumphant week is over, I can proudly say that I have a much clearer picture of the doctors and what exactly it is that all of you do. For starters, I learned that most of you are not doctors (despite what your scrubs initially had me believing). And after my first day at the hospital, I realized that each individual was crucial to the success of this mission. Without the surgeons, hundreds of people would not have had their sight restored, but without every single volunteer over a thousand patients would not have been seen. To say that the people of Guerrero appreciated your efforts would be like saying that Ricardo only paid 900, not 9,000, pesos for a fermented bottle of grape juice. In other words, it would be a great undervaluation of their overwhelming gratitude. Or to use a real-world example, the locals valued you so much that they decided to make you one of them! (That’s the glass-half-full version.)

Finally, I’d like to say thanks for improving my own perspective. As a semi-recent college grad trying to figure out life after college, lately I’ve been concentrating most of my energy on me, myself, and guess the final first-person pronoun. So seeing all of you passionately work towards a selfless cause was inspirational and refreshing. It’s a week I will be talking about for much longer. And I hope to someday be part of a sequel because, as Molly would say, “You guys are gems!”

And unlike y’all with your fancy FM3’s, I am still just a GEM (Gringa En México). So take advantage of your dual citizenship and hopefully we will meet again here soon!

Thanks, take care, and hook ‘em!

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