Travel Notes from 30,000 Feet

Thank you to Penny Peterson, MSN, RN, for jotting and sharing these reflections on her journey home from her service adventure.

"As I make my journey to home I am reflecting on the plane about my time spent in Guatemala. I am wondering what change it may make in the trajectory of my life. It is only fitting that as I reflect, I am reading the Creative Nursing journal given to me by my dear friend Natalie Lu as I departed on my journey. The journal speaks about many things, but the focus of this publication is Social Justice and Nursing. It provided more food for thought as I began my journey home.
I went to Guatemala to do a site visit to Mayan Families in Panajachel. The hope is that this will become a place to bring students during a Global Health class. I could never have imagined the poverty and the need of the people of Guatemala before visiting the area of Panajachel. According to Watson (2008) 60% of the people of this world live on 6% of the income. This is ever so evident in the region of Panajachel. I could never have imagined people living in places with a dirt floor and a leaking tin roof. The water (if there is water in the home) is contaminated with parasites. Watson spoke about holding other's lives in our hands and caring for humans when their survival is threatened. This we must do while having respect for another human being.
So a question to me personally is how can I make a difference? I began by co-sponsoring a student with another faculty that joined me on this journey through When we met him and his family we brought a food basket and a water filter so they have clean water to drink. While these were wonderful gestures, it is not enough to do these things and walk away. Mayan Families works to develop programs that can be sustained and empower people through education. My thoughts right now are trying to figure out how I can help them in that mission."
Watson, J. (2008). Social justice and human caring: A model of caring science as a hopeful paradigm for moral justice for humanity. Creative Nursing: A Journal of Values, Issues, Experience & Collaboration, 14(2), 54-61.