Deb, Sarah and I spent our time between patients today organizing the surgical instruments in preparation for the upcoming trip to Uganda. We sorted instruments into two cleft lip and one cleft palate trays, finished putting on the instrument tape, inventoried the trays and identified a few more instruments to procure. I wish these two lovely ladies were going on this trip…maybe next year.
Deb and I traveled to Ecuador together three years ago, and again to Kenya last fall. Sarah has gone on a cleft trip to Kenya each of the last three Octobers. Volunteers like Deb and Sarah are instrumental in organizing and executing these surgical mission trips. So many times we have been asked if we are paid to do this work. People are often shocked when they find out that no, in fact, we give up vacation time with our families to go. But, what a joyful, yet physically and emotionally challenging time it is.
Turns out, the folks in Alaska were also hard at work. While we were busy with instruments, Mishelle Nace and Liz Wood were occupied picking up more suture donations and organizing the master supply list for the Uganda trip. And Mishelle also rescued a cardiac monitor from a dusty shelf and is bringing it back to life–as a donation to the Kyotera Medical Center.
If you feel that you have a skill to share, please reach out. Volunteers are instrumental in the success of our trips, and the trips are instrumental in changing your life–just ask any of us.