Editor’s note: Umma Amina, RN, is a nurse at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center. She volunteers with the Glens Falls Medical Mission Foundation, which since 1996 has served the needs of underrepresented populations in Guatemala. She returned to Guatemala this month and sent this dispatch on April 16.
Each year upon returning from Guatemala there is a slight culture shock that occurs. I walk into my closet and see an abundance of shoes. Why do I have five pairs of black shoes and some of my patients in Guatemala have no shoes?
I turn on the faucet and have an abundance of water. Why do I have so much clean water and some of my patient’s in Guatemala have no access to clean water?
I walk into work at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland and have access to an abundance of medical equipment, medical technology and medical personnel who provide high quality medical care. This is why I go to Guatemala: because I am thankful and so blessed to live and be where I am that I feel compelled to help those who do not have access to medical care.
” Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin.”