Dear Dr. Banis
(The following is a letter sent to one of the volunteers by a thankful Guatemalan patient: Translated from Spanish by JB)
Dear Dr. Banis
I hope that you and the other doctors are well and I hope that you remember me; I am the patient who you operated on to remove a cyst from behind my ear. Excuse me for writing to you, dear Doctor, but I admire you and your collegues for what you have done here in Guatemala.
When I left the hospital I didnít get the opportunity to thank you in my own words so I wanted to write. You changed my life by curing me of this disease I have had for so many years. I do feel very fortunate to have been taken care of by such caring hands, hands which so tenderly give to the sick children of my country. Every night when I go to bed I pray to God
that he takes care of you and the other doctors. You are the most wonderful group of doctors I have ever met.
In this letter I wanted to tell you that ever since I was a little girl I always wanted to help people like you and the other doctors do. Now after seeing and experiencing what you do, I have decided that I would like to become a doctor. Not a doctor like so many I have known who seem to practice medicine for the money they make. I would like to become a doctor like
you who does medicine for the love of people. When I saw how you and the other doctors cared for the children it suddenly occurred to me that here is the real payment doctors receive, the satisfaction that they have helped better someones life. This has inspired me to become a doctor when I grow up. I promise you I will work hard to become a good doctor like you. I think that if there
were more people like you in this world it would be a much better place.
I know you are busy but if you have the time please write to me. In January or February when you return to Guatemala I would like to come visit you and thank you personally. At that time I would like to take a Photograph of you so I will remember you, even though you have already left me with something that I will remember for the rest of my life, the
cyst behind my ear I had for so many years is gone.
At night before I go to sleep I will continue to ask God that he protect you and the other doctors so that you can keep helping the children of Guatemala. Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Telma Susana Flores Mollinedo