Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bienvenidos a Ecuador

I’m in Ecuador for a week working on a story about a medical mission team comprised of doctors, nurses, medical techies, and volunteers. They return each year to a couple of hospitals in the city of Ambato. The mission was started 16 years ago by an Ecuadorian-born surgeon who had immigrated to the States and decided to give back to the hospitals where he was trained.

A photographer and I are shadowing them. We joined these men and women from Birmingham, Memphis, Lexington, KY, Fargo, ND, Madison, WI, and Los Angeles in a cultural immersion. We were complete turistas upon landing in Quito, haggling in the markets with cameras dangling around our necks.

But once we boarded the bus bound for Ambato, the attitude changed. The focus honed.

The mission had begun.

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