In Gear | Rotary in Southern New Zealand In Gear - Issue 3 - Page 30

Salamat Rotary A YOUNG MEDICAL MISSIONARY SAYS THANK YOU By Courteney Botting In 2012, aged 16, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the first mission’s trip to the Philippines, organised through Impact Youth, of Weston Church. Due to the generosity of Rotary, and their donation to the mission, on the first trip I was able to participate in my very first medical outreach. It was during this experience that I discovered my passion for caring and serving others within a medical capacity, and it was this involvement that made me realise I was going to become a registered nurse when I finished high school. Going to the Philippines for the third time was an absolute blessing, but this time was different from the rest. The first time we went was what put the dream of becoming a nurse in my heart. The second time we went I was one year into my Bachelor of Nursing through the Otago Polytechnic, and this really reinforced that I had made the right choice in becoming a nurse. This time I went as a qualified, registered nurse. It was such an amazing opportunity being able to volunteer alongside other medical professionals in a foreign country to better the lives of those in the communities we worked in through the generous donations from Rotary, which has made these outreaches possible. It changes our patients’ lives, and it has changed mine. It was amazing to know that I was a part of a positive change in someone’s life. Nurse Courteney Botting at work during the mission. A big thank you to the Rotary clubs of Oamaru and Waimate, which have changed the lives of so many. I would like to also thank you for changing my life.” Courteney Botting, Medical missionary While in the Philippines, we ran four medical mission days with both medical and dental treatment available at two of these days. People were all so grateful for the care they received and this was what was most humbling about the whole experience – the huge amount of gratitude shown for even the simplest things. Returning to New Zealand was bittersweet for me. I was so sad to be leaving the Philippines, as it is the kind of place that begins to feel like home, but, at the same time, I was so incredibly excited to return home to New Zealand to begin my career as a registered nurse at the Oamaru Hospital, where I can serve and care for those within our community. A big thank you to the Rotary clubs of Oamaru and Waimate, which have changed the lives of so many. I would like to also thank you for changing my life. It was amazing to be a part of putting the donations to good use and seeing people’s lives bettered because of it. Salamat (thank you) Rotary. Page 30 | In Gear - Rotary in southern New Zealand - District 9980 | www.rotarydistrict9980.org