Dr. Parker - Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Operation Walk Syracuse - Guatemala Mission 2016

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Today, 44 people traveled from the US to Antigua, Guatemala for Operation Walk New York (also known as Operation Walk Syracuse). Doctors, nurses, scrub techs, physical therapists, anesthetists, equipment reps and personnel... here we go again!

But how does this happen?

The world wakes up slowly. Its true for all of us, for each of us. We stir, we wake, we take the first breath of this day, our next day. It's dark. Our eyes open, and consciousness arrives. What's today? Thursday. What am I doing today?

Oh. Airport. It's time to go to the airport.

Most of us are familiar with early-morning travel. It's dark. It's dark when you wake up, it's dark when you get to the airport, it's dark when you board your first flight. You squint at your boarding pass with tired, hollow eyes. Coffee.

It's a remarkable thing, then, to arrive at your gate, still in the dark wee hours, to find 44 friends and colleagues congregated, smiling and energetic. Excited.

Once again, I am left to marvel at the fact that it's possible to wake up in New York, and have dinner in Guatemala. Seriously... take a look at a globe. Find Syracuse, and then find Guatemala. If this fact doesn't astound you, at least a little, then you're not really thinking it through all the way.

And I am left to marvel at the commitment that these individuals share for the betterment of others.

Over the next 8 days, OpWalkNY will meet and engage the Guatemalan culture, turn our attention to those with the most profound orthopedic needs, and then - replace joints, replace joints, replace joints.

Here we go again.