COURT HOUSE - Dona Re Shute, of Court House, participated on a medical mission trip to Brazil June 22-29 with International Medical Relief.
According to a release, the organization provides medical and dental care to communities that have limited to no access to healthcare.
Participating in the trip were 11 volunteers from around the United States.
These included a physician, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, a respiratory therapist, and two non-medical volunteers.
They lived and traveled throughout the week on a boat on the Amazon and provided medical care and support to 650 villagers living along the river.
During the week, clinics were set up in schools, churches, or in areas with floodwaters, on the boat.
Volunteers brought with them balloons, toothbrushes, jump ropes, Frisbees, crayons, coloring books, and more to distribute to children.
Interpreters were key to the success of the mission as the villagers spoke only Portuguese. The interpreters were native Brazilians who are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of their countrymen.
Shute stated of her trip, "This experience was incredible. To be able to actually render help and care to areas that do not see any medical services for months on end was so rewarding. The people were friendly, warm and so very grateful.
"To connect with the villagers and our interpreters on a very close and personal level was beyond describing. It makes one realize that no matter what the circumstances or where we live, we are all basically desiring the same things, seeking to make life better for ourselves and others. And, in being the volunteer realizing that in the giving, we receive so much more in return."