I should first open up and say….wow, it has been a long time since I have blogged. June of 2021! That may be the longest break that I have ever taken. Needless to say, it has been an eventful 17 months but more on that later.
I wanted to write again this week for a special reason. I have the honor of hosting with my work friend, Julie, our CHG Healthcare Difference Makers on a Medical Mission trip with International Medical Relief (IMR) to Chiang Mai Thailand this week. Not only that, I got to bring my mom with me! For both of us, a trip of a lifetime. We are about half way through the trip and I though I would share my perspective on our time here.
First things first, let me tell you about our CHG Difference Makers. For 6 years , we have recognized at CHG people who live our core value of Putting People First by serving each other and in their local communities. Four winners are chosen each year, and the award is going on a company-paid humanitarian trip. COVID put a stall in our trip plans, but we are excited this year to be back at it traveling again this year in Thailand. Congrats to Amanda, Nick, Mariska and Randy for bring a CHG difference maker this year, and thank you so much for the impact all of you make in your lives for others!
Our partner IMR helps us by leading these trips. They bring together our Difference Makers, a few of us hosts and clinicians from around the world to help local communities. Our team here in Chiang Mai is about 20 people on mission and a local support team of dozens helping. We are all working on bring our talents together as a team to help make a sustaining difference for the people of Thailand – one small thing at a time. Karla and PJ are amazing! Their knowledge, giving spirit and willingness to help all of us and the people who need it in the world is an inspiring example for all of us
It has been an amazing start to the trip. We started on Saturday night with meeting the team, and organized and trained Sunday and just completed our first two days in clinic. For me, the best part of the trip so far has been meeting the Thai people. In our clinics the last two days, we have seen over 250 people. The first day we were about an hour southwest of Chiang Mai, helped by the Thai ministry of health and yesterday we were 2 hours away from the city, in the hills northwest of Chiang Mai serving the Karen people.
There are so many lessons to learn from these days, but the one that sticks out to me the most after these 3 days, and one that is embodied by our Difference Makers, is how much of a difference you can make with the little things you do. We did stretching classes, sang songs, taught oral hygiene, taught hand washing and of course provided medical care. But most of all we were here, helping and working with as a team.
Thank you CHG and IMR for leading the way, and bringing our mission back to Thailand – a beautiful country with beautiful people.