That little quote is from Mother Teresa aka the ultimate humanitarian.
I can't believe yesterday was the last day of surgery. My week in Guwahati flew by, I feel like I am supposed to be here so much longer. Yesterday we finished operating for the mission. Our team did over 260 surgeries, bringing the total between the two teams to 509 surgeries. It didn't feel like we did that many!! I attribute that to working with such an awesome team in the recovery room. We came from all walks of life and different backgrounds but we just clicked. I never felt over worked, I always felt supported. I couldn't have asked for a better first experience. The last day of surgery we only repaired cleft lips so the patients were in and out very quickly.
One of my duties I took over this week was continuing to be the nurse the potential patients saw through the screening process. This means I would leave the recovery room and walk down to the screening area, take every kid/adults height, weight, vital signs and a few other measurements. I loved being the person being designated to do this because I then got to see many of these people receive surgery. One little baby I screened was just about the cutest thing I have ever seen. She looked more Nepalese than Indian and her mother was BEAUTIFUL. This little girl was so happy every time I saw her! Yesterday morning I got to the hospital and saw the mom sitting in the chair, waiting for her daughter to be called back to the operating room. I just had to cuddle with the baby for a minute! I held her and played with her, lifting her up in the air and tickling her meanwhile she would just laugh and smile away. I didn't want to give her back! She went back not long after and had her lip repaired then came to the recovery room. She woke up quickly, fed and was able to go down to the floor. I definitely made a trip down to see her and hold her one last time. It is such a pleasure to see these kids through the whole process.
We only did a half day and it moved by quickly. After the surgeries were all done I went one last time to the downtown area to look at some bags but I couldn't find any I liked. I did buy a kilo and a half of Assam and Darjeeling tea. Very excited about that little purchase! After that I headed back to the hotel and relaxed until... THE FINAL PARTY
Every mission ends with a nice dinner where people get semi-dressed up, eat dinner and dance. I was super bummed because yesterday it rained. The one day of rain in this region's dry season. The final party was held outside and luckily the rain ceased for about a hour while we were down there. As I was eating dinner, though, it started up again as a light shower. I just pulled my handy dandy Indian scarf over my head and kept right on eating. Then it was time to dance. I LOVE DANCING. I do it in public all the time. I wouldn't mind living in a musical, breaking out in song and dance throughout the day. Anyways, I digress. The point is, I knew I would be out there dancing my little feet off but I wasn't sure about anyone else. It turned into one large dance party with surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, our Indian translators, and every other medical personnel that was there. Our nearly 80 year old head of surgery even got out there. (side note: will be posting more about this awe inspiring man later)
The fact that everyone was dancing wasn't even the best part. That light sprinkle turned into a downpour. Then it became a thunder and lightening storm. The deluge didn't stop anyone though. I was dancing away and looked up just in time to see a perfect lightning bolt streak across the sky. We danced on like this for a couple of hours, everyone sopping wet and chilled to the bone by the end of the night. So there you have it, I danced my heart out in thunder, lightning and rain in INDIA. I was down there just in disbelief that this is my life. It was the perfect way to end my stay in Guwahati.
It's almost time to leave for the airport! I am headed back to Delhi now for a few jam packed days around Delhi and Agra including THE Taj Mahal!!