My name is Anne Thomas. I am a pediatric anesthesiologist and this is my 2nd trip with Interplast, and my first trip to Vietnam. I am really impressed with the graciousness and the warmth of the people with whom we have worked. During the time that we’ve been here our hosts have gone out of their way to treat us with respect, and have honored us with about as much assistance and access to their facilities and as much wonderful food as we can eat! I have to say that I’m becoming an addict for the rich, creamy white coffee that is to be found here in Vietnam. I admit with some guilt that I had three today.
I’m also pleased with the quality of the team members, and although there is a high level of focus on the work at hand people seem to get along well and truly enjoy each other’s company. We’re mostly managing to stay well, and I wish to assure friends, family and well-wishers that we’ve all gone out of our way to avoid talking to strange birds! Our first day of surgery has gone remarkably smoothly. I think that one of the things I enjoy most is seeing how our efforts immediately bring the prospect of changing the course of someone’s life. The parents of our patients seem to be lovely people who go out of their way, through our translators, to thank us for our efforts. It feels so good to be able to help. Everybody wins here.
One final thought: I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an amazing abundance of exotic and often bizarre fruit. Today I ate a small hairy red fruit which I am told is related to a lychee; it was sublime!