Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bolivia Day Zero

This morning after a good 10 hours of sleep, I feel rested and more ready to focus on coherent conversation.  The flight was long, Kelowna, Calgary, LA, Miami, La Paz, Santa Cruz, and then 2 hours by bus to our hotel.  I had 2 hour gaps between most flights, which was not restful, as I was randomly chosen twice for more screening, full body pat down, check my lap top, had to go out, change terminals, stand in line again, re-check baggage, get new boarding passes printed etc.  I had hoped to use my new Starbucks card my students gave me, but didn't even have time to do that in airport.  I arrived and was waved right through customs and the Americans took 2 more hours to come through because they need to have photos taken, get visas, and all our medical supplies and equipment amazingly passed through customs- about 8 large suitcases including medications.

Our hotel is lovely!!!  AC, wifi from some areas, hot water, they keep feeding us, and fresh squeezed orange juice.  Today we had a team meeting this morning.  I amazed at the dedication already of the on site Bolivia MMI team that sets everything up for our arrival.  They include a nurse with a masters degree, a female doctor, an optometrist, some translators, another physician, bus driver and some logistics team members.  And they all look about 30 years old!  So young and dedicated to helping their people receive medical care.

Our North American team consists of an OR nurse, an ICU nurse, an nurse anaesthetist, 3 general surgeons, 3 general helpers and me.   Dr. Matt is our team lead and is a bit ADD, totally hilarious, and can multi- task like nobody. Should be a great week!

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