The Mission starts today

By Rich Lopez
Visit his blog on The Daily Camera


February 10, 2010: The Boulder Community Hospital Mante Medical Mission starts today. The first teams flies to Tampico Mexico this morning. We fly in mulitple groups because the Tampico airport cannot accomodate large jets. This transit bottleneck is a minor challenge, but means some team members will spend a few extra hours getting to know the George Bush International Airport. Once we arrive in Tampico, we gather our bags and go through customs. Then it’s time for a bus ride to Mante. Typically, we arrive late in the evening at the town square. There we meet our host families who will house and feed us for the next week. This is where the friendships are established or rekindled. Some of us will stay at one of two hotels, the Monterey or Hotel Mante.

The Mante mural symbolizes the relationships between Boulder. The flags and eagles of both countries provide the backdrop to the natural symbols of each city; Boulder’s Flatirons and Mante’s Nacimiento (a cave where the Mante River is born). The sun and the moon represent the permanence of the relationship. What is special is that transformation of the “stars” on the American flag into “peace doves” traveling to Mante. The doves represent the members of the medical team who travel to Mante to heal and treat their citizens. Check it out on the North wall of The Dairy Center. Makes you tingle.

The medical supplies have either been brought by truck in January or have been in storage since last year’s mission. I’m a little worried because last year, I was in charge of the inventory and packing of 150 boxes from the Medical Clinic. “Rich, what happened to the 8 inch catheters?” “Yo Lopez, where are the 2 inch bandages?” Please let there be 150 boxes!

Bonnie Iris "Tarde de verano"

Bonnie Iris “Tarde de verano”

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