The flights went off uneventuflly, and we got in and out of customs in Hong Kong pretty smoothly. We had a 11-hour layover in Hong Kong, and then rushed to the airport to have our flight to Chongqing delayed. By the time we finally caught our last flight, we were pretty beat. I remember taxiing to the runway in Hong Kong, and the next thing I remember we were taxiing in Chongqing.
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.
I am Lynn McDonald, head nurse for this trip. I wanted to go to Chongqing with Interplast because I have heard how much China has grown and changed in the last several years. I was fortunate to have worked in a couple other
cities with another organization in 1992-93, but never in such a
large city. I am particularly enjoying the information we have been sent about
Chinese etiquette by William Chiang, the senior coordinator/translator on our team. It brings back many memories.
Hi. My name is Seth Mazow, communications associate at Interplast. In four days I will leave for the BeiBei district of Chongqing, China to participate on a volunteer surgical team trip. Interplast volunteer medical professionals from the US and Canada will go to Chongqing to provide life-changing reconstructive surgery for impoverished children and adults who have disfiguring birth defects, such as cleft lips and palates. We will also provide advanced training in reconstructive surgery techniques in order to empower the local doctors. The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) have generously agreed to sponsor this trip. Over the past six years, RMHC has granted more than $3 million to sponsor Interplast trips and training for local doctors to provide continuing care to kids in developing countries. These donations have provided surgeries for more than 8,000 children.
Over the two week trip I will be experimenting with video blogging, podcasting, and other cool technologies that will help the team and I give people a better idea of what it is like to be on an Interplast volunteer surgical trip. If anyone has any suggestions of things they would like to see on this blog, please post a comment and I will try to accommodate the requests.