| Last fall we were entering our second year of an ambulance project that was supposed to take just a few months. After months of searching, the International Service Committee finally found an available ambulance that would meet the needs of the village in Guatemala, who were the intended recipients.
Through Phil’s connections with the Tualatin Valley Fire Department and additional donations from club members and other Rotarians, we had stocked the ambulance with medical equipment and supplies along with some educational materials. It took a little longer than we had originally anticipated, but the ambulance was fully stocked and ready to be driven to California where it would be put on a container ship and sent to its new home in Guatemala…or so we thought.
Months went by and we had many a swing and a miss in getting confirmation from the recipient club in Guatemala that they were ready to receive the ambulance. It looked like we might have this ambulance with us for quite some time. As the new Rotary year began, we still had not received any assurances from Guatemala, and the board of directors set a deadline for the ambulance to be on its way to Guatemala or they would need to seek other options. The deadline came and went with nary a word, so Phil put the word out to the district that we had a fully stocked ambulance looking for a new home.
It didn’t take long before, through a connection from the Rotary Club of Woodburn, that the International Service Committee was working hard to get the paperwork together to get the ambulance delivered to a Rotary Club in Nogales Sonora Mexico. As the fates often have a way of guiding your hand, it became apparent last week, that this is where the ambulance was meant to be. Below is an email received by Phil. The English is broken and the grammar is poor, but the story is clear.
“hola amigo Felipe, were sending you pictures of the service our paramedics did yesterday…………….we are really proud because our ambulance M5 was the only ambulance in nogales sonora and nogales Arizona also with the equipment needed to take a 4 day infant from our hospital in nogales sonora to the hospital in nogales Arizona….. it is not permited for ambulances from mexico get across to usa, but when the nogales az ambulance didnt have the equipment needed the baby incubator, the border authorities opened the border line for the first time to permit our ambulance M5 deliver the baby to the hospital in the usa…………the baby was going to die if he didnt get the medical attention needed urgently…… it was really critical and the doctors in mexico couldnt find an ambulance to deliver the baby until the red cross contacted us………….we are really gratefull with you and everybody that helped in getting us the ambulance because the babys life was saved because of the transportation with the right equipment…… tell it to the members of your club…………all of you are part of saving this babys life…………thank you and GOD bless all of you…………..”
That, my friends, is what Rotary is all about.