It is true what they say about stepping outside one’s comfort zone. This IS where the magic happens! I see it in those opening themselves up to new ideas. I see it in communities taking on new projects. And I see it in the team of volunteers who travel with us to Nicaragua to participate in the Volcano Challenge Dental/Eye Care brigade.
With support garnered pre-trip departure for their quest to conquer three (or is it four?!) volcanoes in two days in support of funding a community water well as part of the Nicaragua Water Project, armed with camping supplies, significant water weight, too little sunscreen, and LOTS of heart, the team hits the trail.
It is not comfortable.
It is not comfortable, but we collectively put our heads down and put one foot in front of the other. We breathe (heavily). We sweat (profusely). We repeat (because it’s just a little farther, right?). And once in a while, we even remember to look up from the path. To appreciate where we have been and where we are going.
Our reward is hard-fought. It is seeming solitude in the land of lakes and volcanoes. It is a crater lake swim and the glow of not one, but two Volcano-top sunsets. Our trophies are blisters and bruises. And bragging rights. And pride. And satisfaction. We are indeed spent. A challenge it was! We are hot. We are sweaty. And sticky. And dirty. On the truck ride back, we sit too close for comfort. But are strangely comfortable with one another. We emerge as victors. Friends. Teammates.
The magic happens. United by our purpose — as a team of dentists, optometrists, volunteers, and all-around mission-accomplishers — we are ready to take on the next challenge! Next up, four dental and eye care clinic days in remote communities in the Chinandega region of northwest Nicaragua.