That time of year again...
Our medical mission team arrives tomorrow, and at the last possible minute today (4:50 pm, to be exact) I got our franquicia (permission to import our medications and supplies without paying customs duties). The franquicia is always a nail-biter, the essential part of our process that's pretty much out of our control once the papers have been handed over. And I have to say that, like the good gringa I am, I really hate having to depend on something that's out of my control. Illuminating, that. As if my life or anyone else's was in my control! But I do love the illusion.
And now, at last, the franquicia is in my hands, I've ironed the necessary shirts and slacks, I've checked my way through the long to-do list, I'm ready to meet the team at the airport tomorrow, and to introduce them to San José Villanueva on Sunday.
Meanwhile I'm enjoying the company of Margaret Gaffney, an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, who's going to be part of the mission team. Margie's been brushing up her medical Spanish in Guatemala for a few weeks, in preparation for helping with interpretation and came here on Thursday to help with the packing. I've heard from Pat Clausen, who'll join us tomorrow at our retreat house lodgings and from Silvia Pleitez, who'll meet us at the airport, and from Hernan, our beloved motorist, who will be driving his new beige microbus to the airport tomorrow.