10 special little people, now “adoptive Pateplumas” from different origins: Donosti, Barcelona, Almeria, Granada, Leon, Valencia, Venezuela, Ibiza, Teruel…. We met at El Prat airport on the 16th of July at 17.00h in the afternoon and that’s where the great adventure began.
For me, Belén, it was my first experience in this wonderful Foundation and you have made it unforgettable.
When 10 strangers come together with so much humanity and professionalism, it shows the world that it is possible to create magic in just one week, changing the lives of many people. How lucky we were to go to Honduras, what a luxury welcome we received from each and every one of the people we met.
Thanks to all the people at the Elena Barraquer Foundation for their masterful organisation and for keeping an eye on everything from Spain.
Thanks to the workers of the Santa Barbara Hospital for their tireless and necessary help and also to the 2 ophthalmologists and the instrumentalist in Tegucigalpa. We did not have time to get to know the country but we did get to know the people and they are wonderful.
Thank you Joaquín (surgeon) and Mevi (instrumentalist of the Foundation) for your enormous professionalism, it is mesmerising to watch you work. And thank you for always making sure that everything was perfect and for making it so easy.
Thank you Rosalia (instrumentalist) for demonstrating that great efforts can be made for others by not hesitating to repeat this madness with only 3 weeks difference, you must be very proud of yourself, you are a great instrumentalist.
Thank you Enrique (surgeon) for being an excellent surgeon, always caring so much for your patients and for making our bus trips so enjoyable with your songs.
Thank you Esteban (anaesthesiologist) for your closeness to each and every one of us and for your excellent treatment with the patients, you are a tireless person with whom talking is highly enriching.
Thanks to my “Camperas” (field assistants), the 4 rookies who have supported each other with so much affection from the first minute, it seems like we have known each other all our lives.
To the smiling Eli (fashion expert), you went through a lot of nerves but you showed that willing is able, you know that for me you are the bravest for entering in an unknown world with the only purpose of helping in whatever was needed.
To my almost soul mate Cris (nurse), a machine that takes care of everything in the operating theatre, you are as excellent a nurse as you are a good person, the guardian angel as Eli used to say.
And of course, my adopted daughter and roommate Crisu (medical student), the youngest of the group and with endless energy, she was a great public relations person with the Hondurans. You will be a wonderful doctor, very close to your patients.
Thank you Fran (ophthalmologist) for your enormous sympathy and for being my “super-partner” in the consultations, we have achieved an almost instantaneous interaction in the consultation, it is very easy to work with someone with such a big heart. Leo and Sagittarius together we can handle 200 patients a day and whatever it takes, and we were the lucky ones to uncover the eye of the patients and receive their hugs and smiles of emotion.
I am Belén, an optometrist with a passion for learning new things, and I decided to join this crazy adventure with a lot of enthusiasm and uncertainty. And now I can say loud and clear that there is no one who regrets it. Yesterday I arrived in León after more than 30 hours since we left the Hotel in Santa Barbara (Honduras) and, although my whole body aches, I would go back to live this experience without thinking about it. Nobody should be blinded by an avoidable cause and nobody, of those of us who know how to do something to avoid it, should stand still. The reward we receive in our hearts is almost as healing for us as it is for a blind person to see the light again.
We operated on a total of 360 cataracts in 5 days. And what a coincidence that in WhatsApp 360 means “I miss you”. I miss you very much my Brigada de loquitos españoles y hondureños.
Hopefully fate will bring us all together again around a baleada, a lifeguard and dancing punta.