This is Jim Dirck, our director of medical supply services, discussing the medical supplies that we will be taking on our volunteer surgical trip to Chongqing, China. We're taking 3/4 of a ton of equipment and supplies, and everything has to be packed very precisely. Jim plays a pretty key role at Interplast, even though most volunteers never meet him. He has to be on top of the voltage and customs requirements of each country that we go to, and pack accordingly depending on whether the trip will focus on clefts, burns, hand reconstruction, microtia, etc. Dealing with the varying demands of team members, customs officials, and staff members who pester him by doing video interviews can be a challenge, but he handles it all very well.
The boxes behind Jim are the ones that we will shepherd through various airports and countries to get to Chongqing. The cardboard boxes are the materials that will be expended or donated to our local hosts, while the black plastic cases have expensive equipment that will return with the team. He packed these boxes, and he will drive them to the airport tomorrow night. It's great to have a guy like Jim to rely on to get our equipment there, so once we arrive we can roll up our sleeves and get to work.