Medical Mission # 14
Our Medical Mission to Orani District Hospital is done…
With over 1,200 new photos to remember our trip. Click on the album of choice and enjoy…………. Medorg.
Medical Mission Number Fourteen
What does a number mean? Why is one number more important than another? Why not just start at one hundred, or maybe fifty, or even number Twenty Seven?
Thirteen Medical Missions are behind us, why do a number 14?
The answer lies directly within the number. We have now completed Medical Mission number Fourteen, and as such it is a number in our important history book of Medical Missions to the Philippines.
Starting back on another number during the end of December 2005, it was decided that we would go to the home town of some of our Medical Mission participants, and so Orani District Hospital, in the Province of Bataan, the peninsular where so much world war 2 history abounds, where so much suffering was felt at that time, where the very existence from one day to the next was so painful for so many, this is where we were to go to help relieve the pain, anxiety, and suffering, while providing for so many patients that we will never see, by equipping a hospital with supplies and items that can be used for many years to come. And so Number Fourteen began.
Following the many days of hauling, storing, sorting, packing and hauling again our Container was loaded and shipped to Manila. Where it arrived on another number: 18 January 2007. I also arrived on this day, at least my body did, my mind was still floating somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Such is the effect of the numbers associated with time zone changes. Our very good Rotarian friend, and past GFE member, Eusebio (JoJo) De Castro was already working as a volunteer to help the paperwork through the myriad channels of the Philippine Customs system. With some encouragement, and lots of coffee the container eventually left the port at 10pm 25 January, on its way to Orani, where it landed at 2am on the 26th. Following midnight phone calls from the worried members of the Rotary Club of Orani, and we assured them that it would be OK to unload in the daylight of the 26th, we went back to sleep. The Orani Rotarians unloaded the container by using lots of muscle and some small trucks to transfer the contents from the container that was parked in a neighboring street, as it was too big to get close to the hospital storage area, they moved all 641 boxes, and 123 pieces of equipment into safe keeping.
After traveling from our Intercontinental hotel in Makati, out to the airport, I was witness to some very bedraggled persons wobbling down the arrival ramp, wondering if the late arrival of their flight would mean they would be lost with no one to meat them. After having had flown across the world, to a strange land, just to help with this Number 14 Medical Mission. Check in at the hotel at 2 am was accomplished and with almost no sleep, the alarm was beeping at 6:30am. Breakfast was waiting.
Get outside, get some sunlight, Adrenalin keeping every one going, and force yourself to become used to the time zone change. So passed Saturday, Our bus ride of 3 hours on Sunday then brought us to the City of Balanga , where we were scheduled to sleep for the next week. Sunday after noon we were up to the Hospital for a check up where things were, find important things, like where is the toilet … then back to a fine dinner and much needed sleep.
Monday the 5th of February 2007. 6:00 am Breakfast, why? Because we were all awake anyway, but our Bus arrived a little earlier than the 7:30am schedule, so all aboard and off we went for our 40 minute ride to Orani. Like always setup on the first day of a Medical Mission is “Hectic” that is a polite word to use ! But all teams set themselves into gear and so patients began to flow throughout our system. Clinic patients began to stack up in the waiting area, but with gentle control by our new Rotarian friends and our support volunteers they found where everyone should go to be treated for their medical needs. So begins our Medical Mission number Fourteen.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday all went along the same schedule with the variation of which team finished the patient load first, and which surgery lasted longer. We all waited, sometimes patience was very thin, but eventually we all made it back to the hotel. Because of late booking of our hotel we were unable to get all participants to stay at the same hotel for the full 8 days, so with a lot of &%$$ some folks “Volunteered” to transfer to another hotel for a couple of nights. But eventually came back to the main group for breakfast and the bus ride up to Orani
Thursday Night is the normal meeting night for the Orani Club, so this night was a wiz-bang affair. A big band deafening everyone, so many food choices that when asked “What is this’ and being told, “You don’t want to know” as the answer, we eventually walked back to our hotel with weary feet and bodies to match.
Saturday was a real treat; our donated bus took us on a full day trip around the many interesting places that abound on this part of the Philippines. Showing the Kilometer marker number Zero, (also know as mile marker number zero) where the infamous Death March started. Visiting some native children, a beautiful beach resort for lunch, and an area where some very old houses have been transported from various parts of the Philippines then restored to show the newer generations a little of the history of this land. So we landed back at our hotel with a couple of hours left to pack in preparation for our trip back to Manila on the 11th of February 2007.
With folks going every way north, south, east and west, some even going straight up, as their flight back to the USA was on Sunday. Tuesday was my departure day, and after 20 hours we arrived back in the USA on the same day, quick trip to a hotel, back into bed, I have not a clue as to what time it was! Woke up and it was already Valentines Day. Our Mission would not succeed without the help of thousands of people. Yes thousands, those that donate their hard earned cash to the Foundation for our Matching grant, Those that are directly involved in the host country, without them our missions would not run, Those that help in the preparation of supplies and equipment, Those that stay behind to keep the home fires burning, (This part really needed as I just heard the temp at home is -5) With all working towards a better world of peace and understanding. Many times I don’t understand, but find in the long run, it may not be important for me to understand the why, as I am just a small part of the big piece, so I try to “just do it”.
Now – if it is Wednesday? We must be home in the USA , and so will end another number:
Medical Mission Number Fourteen.
Orani Medical Mission USA Teams
Open Clinic, also called: Out Patient Department or OPD.
Equipment and Supplies
Out Patient Surgery
Then From our AFP Medical Center Group:
Possible teams: General Surgery and Opthalmology.