WHAT IS YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE WITH OPERATION RAINBOW
HOW DID YOU LEARN ABOUT OPERATION RAINBOW
At work, from other Operation Rainbow team members.
Them: “We are planning for our next mission trip, we need supplies/donations etc.”
Me: “TAKE ME, PLEASE !”
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO JOIN AN OPERATION RAINBOW MISSION
The idea of global health has always appealed to me. I liked Operation Rainbow because it was not connected to any religious affiliation, just the will and desire to help provide health care and health education to under-served areas.
WHERE HAVE YOU TRAVELED ON MISSIONS, AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE?
I have been on 28 missions since 2007! I have been to Ecuador (Cuenca, Quito, Loja) Nicaragua (Esteli ), Guatemala (Guatemala City, Huehuetenango), Honduras (Comayagua), Tela, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba), Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo), and Palestine (Nablus).
Each one is special in its own way.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR BEST EXPERIENCES ON AN OPERATION RAINBOW MISSION?
I have great memories from most of the trips. One of them was my first mission to Cuenca, Ecuador. I couldn’t have asked for a better team; fun, hard-working, kind, compassionate. The beautiful kids, with their huge eyes and smiles. The gratitude on the faces of the families. After my first trip, I realized that I had found my “home. And then, the mission to Palestine. Still very surreal.
I find the trips are a good “reset” button and always come at the right time for me! They help ground me and re-orient to what is really important in my life. I always return from these trips with gratitude, humility, and a greater appreciation of simplicity and love. Despite the sadness of the injustices of the world, I return from each trip with mixed emotions, sometimes a little broken-hearted, and sometimes a full heart and a soothed soul.
ARE YOU PLANNING TO SERVE ON A FUTURE TRIP?
Yes! Always! I wish I could go on every single one!
I like to share my skills and impart my knowledge to the host staff. I hope they learn from us as a team, find ways to push expectations, and improve their native communities’ outcomes. We encourage and develop the local teams to become self-sufficient.
And I learn SO MUCH MORE from them; the holistic approach to health, the different health care beliefs and practices that contribute to their well-being, the importance of family and community. I see how the perspective of “global” health, for me, means crossing borders, but for some means going outside of their remote communities and attempting to integrate their indigenous health care beliefs with modern, allopathy treatments. The balance of life.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU SHARE ABOUT YOUR OPERATION RAINBOW EXPERIENCE
For me, Operation Rainbow’s work is filled with compassion, empathy, and sincerity; no enforced religious/ political affiliation, no agenda other than to provide. I’m always amazed by the team members’ generosity, the people who donate to the organization, and especially to those who volunteer and contribute in any way possible.
For most team members, we realize that our actions are not truly altruistic or selfless; how could they be, when we return with so much more than we went with.