Finally the day arrived.
After many months of forced stoppage due to the pandemic, in November 2020 we read a post on Facebook about the success of an expedition of the “Ruta de la Luz” and “Dentistas sobre Ruedas” in Missirah (Senegal). We contacted them to find out how they had done it and they immediately offered us their availability to do something together. Thanks for the confidence.
The truth is that it has been a very exciting expedition to organize. Maria and I looked at each other every day and said… Are we forgetting something? The travel regulations changed very often, quarantines, PCR tests, vaccinations, passports, well…. The most gratifying thing was the thrill that our regular partners showed when we told them that we were going back to the expeditions. The incredible response from the Air France team, thank you, Vanessa, Rober and Adolphe, we are undoubtedly very fans of your company … To the Transeaba team (porters at the airport), that despite how hard the pandemic has been for their activity, they gave us all their help. It moved us deeply.
I want to make the most out of these lines to thank the entire Mango team. You cannot imagine how important it is to know that you are there.
Flight to Paris, all perfect and on time. We continue to Dakar, a long trip but the movies and the emotion keep us entertained (it is not feminism, but we were all women). We arrive to Dakar and there are twenty suitcases and only five of us, so each one had to carry 4 in a trolley, plus her hand luggage and her backpack. So, we do a Tetris and mission accomplished. 100 meters ahead we have to dismantle the Tetris to pass the suitcases through a scanner, while a few “robust” soldiers look at us with some amazement. Let’s see how they do it? We disassembled the Tetris, we reassembled it, this time the occasional suitcase fell from the trolley, but finally we reached the car where the local team of Dentistas sobre Ruedas (DSR) help us. We spend the night at a hotel one hour from the airport for the next morning to continue to Missarah. Four hours by car, but we finally arrived … The entire team that was waiting for us was at our disposal to transform the room that had been assigned to us into an operating room. Mission accomplished and to rest.
The routine is set in our lives from Monday to Friday. Breakfast at 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. towards the surgery room, 15-minute break to eat something quickly and return to the surgery room.
There were 127 surgeries and the satisfaction of having been able to help so many people. But what encourages us to continue with our work is the unfair situation that exists for so many millions of people in the world where visual health is not a right. With all the problems that this entails in order to lead a dignified life and contribute to the objectives of sustainable development. Elena Barraquer Foundation renews its commitment to fight against preventable blindness caused by cataracts and we encourage all of you to do so with us.
A big hug,