The thing I will remember most about our trip to Costa Rica is the people. The scenery was beautiful, yes, but we went there to help people see better and improve their quality of life. We were stationed in a remote area, far from the nearest town. Many of the patients had to make quite an effort to get to the clinic, which speaks to the respect they had for us and the need for services. Patients rode on horseback and walked many hours to be seen. They waited patiently and were very grateful when their exam was complete. We did not have all the high tech equipment we have here in the office but we were able to meet their needs. The two things they really needed were UV protection and reading glasses. The majority of the men we saw worked in the fields and had UV damage. A pair of sunglasses for protection from further damage is what they needed. The older patients needed reading glasses. It was very rewarding to see their eyes light up and a smile come over their face when they put on a pair of reading glasses and were able to read mall print. Some of the children were struggling in school and having headaches. Glasses will make a difference in their lives. The other people I will remember were the Lion volunteers. They had the difficult task of organizing the clinic, our transportation, lodging and meals. The welcomed us and took care of us like an extension of their own families. We were grateful for all of their hard work. I also have to say thank you to the other members of our team -Dr. Wilk, Kaila, and Hannah. We worked hard together and had a lot of fun together. It was a fantastic experience and I hope to visit again in the future.
Dr. Michele Naruszewicz