Medical Mission Personel Fly to Mexico by Rich Lopez

Flying during the Super Bowl in a commercial jet with only 14 passengers is peaceful.  One can only imagine what is taking place in bars, homes throughout the world.  I’m arriving late to El Mante, Boulder’s Sister City in the State of Taumaulipas Mexico. [Pilot: we’ll be taking off in a few minutes, score is 3 to 0 Pittsburgh].  Nearly 100 medical personnel from Boulder Community Hospital are here for the 19th Medical Mission.  The Advance Team arrived on Wednesday to begin the hard work of setting up clinics to treat patients, some who have been waiting a year to see a doctor.   All but 7 of us are medical personnel. [The score is now 10- 0 Pittsburgh]. We are administrative persons or in my case, a member of the Boulder Community Hospital Board of Directors.  What will I do there?  Help.  Help in any way I can.

A few years ago I spent several days trying to arrange for a young girl and her mother to fly to Colorado where a Loveland surgeon volunteered to perform a delicate surgery on her face to remove a large growth.  Visas, paperwork, calls to the US Embassy and then calls to representative Mark Udall’s office consumed my time.  Ultimately, the girl’s family decided against traveling to the US, but we learned that a relative living and working in the US had sent money to the family to pay a local surgeon to perform the operation.  Seem unusual to forego a free operation and free trip for two to Colorado?  The girl and her family are indigenous Indians who live in the mountains, miles from Mante.  She came to the clinic with an uncle who spoke Spanish.  Her language was spoken only in the villages. [Flight attendant: the score is now 10-7 Pittsburgh]

I don’t know what to expect when I land.  There was one email from friends in Mante, who were going to try and have a car and driver meet me at the Tampico Airport and drive me the 90 kilometers to Mante.  But, it is Super Bowl Sunday and many of our friends South of the Board do enjoy football too.  I’m prepared to take a taxi to the bus station and catch a bus to Mante.  I wonder what the score is now?   It’s 6:30 PM Boulder time.  Looks like we’re getting ready to land.

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