A month ago we moved in to our new house. When we cleaned out the storage unit, there was my Kelty backpack. That Kelty was my tried and true partner for 18 months (aside from WS of course!). Where I went, it went. That day as I took it into the house, I hoisted it up on my back, giving it a familiar kick with my hip, even though it was empty. And it felt good, so good to have it on my back again.
Once in the house, I placed it in the closet, not knowing when it would see the light of day again.
Enter my friend Gina.
Gina and I went to physical therapy school together a number of years ago (okay a long time ago). I have not seen Gina since we graduated, but we had reconnected on facebook. We chatted back and forth about our love for travel, and our desire to go and volunteer our services somewhere in the world as therapists. Africa? Too expensive right now. Asia? Not enough time off. And so we put our volunteer thoughts on the back burner, and continued to dream about the day we could make it happen.
Not long after, Gina posted on her facebook that she was going to Haiti. She had been in contact with a group from the University of Miami. The deployment could be as short as one week, which is perfect for those who want to donate their time but do not have a lot of time off from work.
When Gina returned, she contacted me, telling me about her experiences, and how if I could just get to Miami, it would be a great volunteer experience. After I saw her photos and read her posts, I couldn’t say no.
In one month’s time, my Kelty and I will go to Haiti with Gina for a week of volunteer services through Medishare and the University of Miami. We will be providing physical therapy services at a field hospital directly off the airport in Port-au-Prince. I plan to blog about the trip once I return to the US as internet usage is limited to 10 minutes a day.
The pack is back, baby, and this time filled with sheets, pillows, shoes, and supplies not for me, but for the people of Haiti. Here’s looking forward to returning with an empty backpack.