Coming back to Hillside is like coming to your second home. After living and working in the Toledo District, you become part of a family. The staff always welcome volunteers back and make it feel like no time has passed. Carley was the rehab director from 2016-to 2017, and Nadine was from 2019-to 2020. Carley had the opportunity to visit the clinic in December 2019, months before Nadine was forced to pack her things in 12 hours and leave the country due to COVID. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to the staff or patients, facing the reality that patients would no longer be able to get the help they needed and deserved.
Almost two years later, we were reunited with the Hillside family and had the opportunity to welcome back the first set of students since March of 2020. Being at Hillside again and seeing the clinic run almost typically gives us a feeling of hope. The rehab department is solid and present again along with the clinic. The sight of students in Abby’s house and the enthusiasm they bring to the campus is palpable.
During our time in Belize, we had the opportunity to return to some of our favorite tourist spots and spend time in PG. Visiting with the staff and seeing former home patients, supporting plans of the rehab department, and assisting with the virtual orientation of the new rehabilitation director were highlights of the trip. We now welcome our new rehab director Julia, a fellow Austrian physiotherapist, to continue the positive momentum of the department.