True A 3.5-hour time lapse of Operation Walk volunteers outside the operation rooms at Hospittalia in Amatitlán, Guatemala. Alex Farris
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2013.03.05
Yesterday, I started a month-long stint as a photographer for the Lafayette Journal & Courier. I'm filling in while one of the photographers is on leave, and I found an empty room in a house of graduate students to stay in, meaning I'll be under long-term exposure to "the enemy" (of course, Purdue has never been my enemy).

Before that really gets going, though, I want to put up something from Guatemala. Last week, I translated Spanish and English for the Mooresville branch of Operation Walk, an organization that goes to developing countries and does orthopedic surgery for those who need it but can't afford it. The humanitarian trip alternates every year between Guatemala and Nicaragua, and this year we were stationed at Hospittalia Amatitlán, a hospital about an hour south of Guatemala City. Simply put, this is the best thing I've done and been a part of in a long time. To say that I was part of a trip that resolved 99 joint cases in 69 patients in four days is nothing short of an honor. The head of the trip (who is also my research-job boss) invited everyone back next year, and I can't wait to do it again.

I didn't have a lot of free time, but when I did I took some photos. Many of them I took on my iPhone because I was too busy to run around with my big DSLR as I gave patients instructions on physical therapy and their medications. Regardless, I hope this gives you a taste of all the good things we did in Guatemala. If you'd like, you can go to the trip website and go through the photos of the extremely talented Jim Brown, former journalism professor and associate dean at IUPUI.

A 3.5-hour time lapse of Operation Walk volunteers outside the operation rooms at Hospittalia in Amatitlán, Guatemala. Alex Farris
Dr. Merrill Ritter, an orthopedic surgeon at the Center for Hip and Knee Surgery in Mooresville, Ind., and head of Operation Walk Mooresville, reviews potential patients with other surgeons and staff at Hospittalia in Amatitlán, Guatemala, on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Operation Walk brings orthopedic surgeons to underserved parts of the world to perform surgery and teach local doctors. Dr. Merrill Ritter, an orthopedic surgeon at the Center for Hip and Knee Surgery in Mooresville, Ind., and head of Operation Walk Mooresville, reviews potential patients with other surgeons and staff at Hospittalia in Amatitlán, Guatemala, on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Operation Walk brings orthopedic surgeons to underserved parts of the world to perform surgery and teach local doctors. Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Dr. Merrill Ritter talks with Rosa Leal de Pérez, Guatemala\'s first lady, after the changing of the rose ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, at the National Palace. The ceremony, held every month, has its origins in the acts that ended the country\'s 36-year civil war in 1996. Those selected to participate, like Dr. Ritter, are designated Ambassadors for Peace in honor of the good they do for the people of Guatemala. Dr. Merrill Ritter talks with Rosa Leal de Pérez, Guatemala's first lady, after the changing of the rose ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, at the National Palace. The ceremony, held every month, has its origins in the acts that ended the country's 36-year civil war in 1996. Those selected to participate, like Dr. Ritter, are designated Ambassadors for Peace in honor of the good they do for the people of Guatemala. Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Alex Farris
This was one of my favorite patients. She was almost considered unfit for surgery, but she was cleared, and she cried tears of joy when she could walk on crutches after her surgery. She gave me a big hug, and the next day she called me her son. This was one of my favorite patients. She was almost considered unfit for surgery, but she was cleared, and she cried tears of joy when she could walk on crutches after her surgery. She gave me a big hug, and the next day she called me her son. Alex Farris
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