Quang Ngai, Vietnam—Michael Demian, Interplast associate director of foundation and corporate relations.
The team finally arrived at our little hotel in Quang Ngai, Vietnam, on Sunday, January 4th at 8 p.m., after more than 30 hours of traveling (more for those coming from the east coast!). Our first flight had to make an unexpected stop in Taipei to refuel, which got us into Hong Kong at the exact time we were supposed to depart on our next flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Luckily, the airline in Hong Kong held our flight for us…unluckily, none of our bags, or the boxes, made it.
Even before the surgeries began, the professionalism and efficiency of the Quang Ngai team under the leadership of Dr. Mark Singleton quickly surfaced at the Ho Chi Minh City airport, where the two translators – Kim Satterlee and Thuyle Dinh - volunteered to stay the night to battle it out with the airlines and to ensure that the rest of the team would receive their luggage and medical supplies by the next day. In the meantime, the remaining volunteers traveled on another flight to Danang, then took a three-hour bumpy bus ride to the city of Quang Ngai.