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Nemecek, Raffaela

Erfahrungsberichte > Archiv
Guadalupe 21. Juni bis 24. August 2015

Guadalupe - Toothless but happy!
I have been in Guadalupe for two months - Two months full of beautiful and intensive experiences.
I always wanted to participate in a voluntary project in a developing country. It was my dream to be able to help locally - to go to a place far off and help as much as I can.
If you feel like this, too, this is the best project you can participate!
 Guadalupe is…
…  a small city in the South of Ecuador. I came to Quito and visited the capital for two days with Frank and Torsten, the German dentists, I worked with later for four weeks. Padre Jorge organized our flight from Quito to Loja (Catamayo) where our taxidriver Messias (husband of Lida, the dentists’ assistant) was already waiting for us with our name written on a paper, welcoming us with a big smile. On the 2,5-hours-drive to Guadalupe through the Andean mountains we were all awed by the amazing green nature and the beautiful landscapes. Immediately, the exertions of the travel were blown away. Full of suspense (and already full of impressions) we arrived in Guadalupe where Amanda welcomed us warmly and showed us our new home: The big house with the amazing veranda and the hammock! (which should become my favourite places) Amazing! The house is sweetly decorated with pictures of Germany to make you feel comfortable. Even a map of Germany is hanging downstairs next to the many german books!
 Guadalupe is…
… the clinic. It is the biggest and most important part of the town. Even of the province. Many patients come from far away to get a treatment - they go by bus for several hours, they walk through the woods  and wait the whole morning (if necessary) to be seen by the doctor. Your work as a voluntario is so important for these patients. They need your help. You are the one who can relieve their pain, who can make them laugh again, who can make them eat again without pain. You are able to help them. Everything is ready for you in the clinic – you just have to come and help.
For me as a technican the laboratory was the most important place in the clinic. It is fully equipped with all the materials you need to create a wonderful placa for the patients.
Guadalupe is ...
… the hermanas (sisters from the convent). They greet the new voluntarios with so much heart and love that when you leave it never happens without at least a small teardrop in your eyes. When we went to lunch for the first time I was hugged and kissed on my cheek by the hermanas who already came our way to welcome us. They took our hands to lead us to the room where the fantastic cooked meal was already prepared. Without the hermanas Guadalupe would not be Guadalupe. With their kind humour and warmness they make you feel so much welcomed!
Guadalupe is…
… a place full of harmony and relaxation. You take your breakfast with the other voluntarios on the veranda. The nature welcomes you and your new day in Guadalupe. Although it is always the same view - everyday it is different. Every morning it is like a new screen, a new movie you watch. You are never  tired to watch this movie. The most beautiful and tranquillizing movie. The perfect start for a new day in the clinic!
 Guadalupe is…
… the people. The people are Guadalupe. In the beginning I was a little bit shocked of the poorness and the simplicity of the ciudad of Guadalupe. We came from a rich, well organized country where the poor people at least have a certain standard. The people here have such a difficult life, they work all the day. It is sometimes unbelievable but they always manage every situation. They have so much strength and power. When you stay there for a while you begin to think about your own life and your problems. In comparison to them they seem to be such small problems – problems which are so unimportant now you are in Guadalupe. You live just in the moment and help the people. Nothing else matters. The only thing is the people. The people which come to the clinic to get one of their many problems solved. And you are the one who can help them.
 Guadalupe is…
…  the voluntarios. You never know who will come next. I was there for 2 months and I saw many voluntarios come and leave. I worked with many different colleagues and we always had a big harmony. I worked with much older dentists, with an Italian dentist, some older technicians and doctors. I was always the youngest but they never made me feel like this. We were always a team. We all came to Guadalupe to work together and do the best for the patients. It really was absolutely wonderful! We worked together, we lived together, we ate together, we went out on the weekends. I will never forget the many different impressive characters I got to know. 
 Guadalupe is…
 … the weekends. On the weekends we always did something in the surrounding area. With Patrizio, a 15 year old boy from Guadalupe, we went up on the mountain through the muddy forest with rubber boots and stocks. It was always an adventure and full of funny moments going somewhere into the woods or riding on horses. We also made some bus tours to the next bigger cities like Loja and Zamora which are a good variety to the small ciudad of Guadalupe. The bus system is very good developed and absolutely easy to understand and the Ecuadorian people like to help if necessary.
 Guadalupe is…
So much more… You just have to experience Guadalupe! Go there, do it! Everyone is enthusiastic! You will enjoy it.

Write to Padre Jorge -  he will answer immediately. He probably  is the best organized and most deeply committed person you can have for such a project.
 
Thank you, Padre Jorge, that you started this clinic project and plan everything so well!
 
And a big Thank you goes to all my voluntary colleagues which I got to know in Guadalupe! I will never forget our time in the big ciudad of Guadalupe! J You were the best!

Raffaela Nemecek

 
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