I am a midwife, and for many years I had a wish, which was to go on a volunteer expedition to Africa, and it has finally come true. Although it has nothing to do with my specialty, I have known Elena since we were little (an inseparable friend of my cousin Inés), and the whole family has always admired her.
I started the contact with the foundation now a year ago, when I signed up to volunteer at the shop ( one day a week ), where otherwise we started our relationship with the expeditions.
As I was saying, finally my wish has been fulfilled, I have just returned from Mozambique, and I have to say that it has exceeded my expectations.
On this occasion, we were 9 people, the head Elena, excellent surgeon and also great curranta, Guillermo Argentinean surgeon as the only male representative, who gave us the joy and gratitude, Andrea, from Galicia, with his serenity, visited before and after the patients, Simona, Italian, anesthesia, But above all, I prepared each and every one of them, Miriam and Ale, the instrumentalists, spectacular professionals, without whom nothing would be possible, and the volunteers, the Catalan Isabela (veteran of the expedition), and the Andalusian and young Alba, together with me, tried to do our bit. Also the help of the local professionals, who worked as much or more than us.
The patients; I can imagine their nerves before the operation, during the operation they were all terrified and the next day they changed their faces, when the bandage was removed and they could see. This is the best thing of all, their faces of happiness and gratitude, compensated more than enough for all the exhaustion that we carried with us.
Exhaustion, which begins the day of arrival setting up the operating room, the five days of operations, almost 12h and 339 cataracts. The last day with the dismantling and farewell of the operating room.
I would like to mention the O’Gaiato house, where we were staying, the magnificent human staff that runs it and that took care of us at all times. Thank you all.
To those 150 orphan children who gave us a lesson in education and humanity, but above all I will remember their smiles and their morning hugs that gave us gasoline for the whole day.
In conclusion, thanks to the Elena Barraquer Foundation and to everyone I have shared these days with for this unforgettable experience, where you learn to value what is important, and where I would recommend going to everyone.