These kids–happy, carefree, loving, constantly smiling. Every time I'm there I learn so much from them.
I look at these pictures and all I can do is smile. There is absolutely no better feeling that I have ever experienced that can even compare to how I feel when I am there. It's crazy to think that a place with so little, can actually have so much. Every women, man, child that I met, no matter what their situation (personally, physically, economically) they were positive, they were happy and they were grateful. I could have just smiled there way and I probable could have gotten a hug. Nevertheless, I had the pleasure to make sure that they were ok, give them treatments and in return I got love, tears, hugs, prayers, kisses and non stop thank yous. I saw kids receive their first back packs and school supplies and in return we got hugs so hard that they never wanted to let go. I saw some people that I treated there three years ago, I was some peoples first doctor, I was some kids first health check and they were my reminder that I love what I do. While we were there, a group of nine doctors and myself, were able to treat over two thousand people! I've never felt so loved or appreciated in my whole entire life... I started doing these trips because I thought it was the right thing to do and now I do them because I know it's the least that I can do. I can't thank Dr. Christopher Taylor enough for this annual experience and I can't wait to be back next year.
A World Where Women and Girls are Safe From Slavery
Mission: They work to care for and secure the rights of young women and girls who are victims or at risk of being victims of slavery and to successfully recover, educate, train and reintegrate them into mainstream society through financial independence in a sustainable and innovative manner. They accomplish this by helping and teaching them how to achieve financial independence through sustainable careers. They then welcome them to become a part of our survivor empowerment network.
Fundraiser: To raise money for the organization a brave group of individuals are going on a 580 mile walk.The Camino beginning at St. Jean Pied de Port, France and ends in Santiago de Compostella. In the past only 11.5% of people finish and 3-4% of the people are injured the first day. Only 20% of the people who start in SJPP are able to walk the full Camino from start to finish without quitting from dehydration, exhaustion, shin splints, plantar fascitis, or other injuries. They are walking the Camino to make a new video about devotion to the cause. No money from the charity is being used to fund the walk or create the video. It is 100% from outside funding as the money for the charity is used exclusively for the girls.
My Role: To make sure that more people cross the finish line, so that more money can go to the cause. Prior to the walk, I donated over eleven thousand dollars worth of nutrition programs to the contestants to make sure that they would be better prepared for the walk. In addition, I will be helping them with nutrition guidelines during the walk, as well as a restorative training program to decrease the risk of any injuries while participating.
This trip has been the most impactful experience of my life! It surpassed what I expected and it helped solidify that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing in life. The people of these communities were beyond grateful, they expressed so much love and they taught me so much! Additionally, the looks on these kids faces were priceless and reactions after were even better. Being able to treat over a hundred patients was absolutely amazing, the conversations, the gifts shared, the tears cried and the smiles expressed will never be forgotten. Especially with one women that I met while on this trip. I met her and her daughter on the first day of our mission. She came in with excruciating neck pain that prevented her from sleeping through the night. I treated her for a week and it was the first time that she was pain free and the first time she slept in ten years. To say she was grateful, would be saying it lightly. Throughout that week, this women brought in every family member and every one of the people in her village and by the end of the week they presented me a gift. They saved all of their money for a week and put it together to buy me a sauce. I remember this women holding me so tight, crying, making me cry. Although this women thought I was such a big impact on her life, I don't think she'll ever know how much she changed my life and I owe her the biggest thank you for that. I hope to see her again in the future, so that I can give her a proper thank you!