Thursday, February 04, 2010

Last minute packing...

Tuesday. The beginning of a journey. First stop USA, then in a few days, Haiti.

1 pm. Immunizations: check. Start Mefloquine: check. Travel documents: check. Bag packed: almost. I was scheduled to leave the house at 5:30 pm. I had plenty of time left, however, I was still waiting for some more supplies that a friend was going to send my way and so was not quite done packing. I had to wait for those supplies to arrive, so, in the meantime, I went to my sister’s house.

4 pm. My friend called again. He had collected a few boxes of supplies and was sending them my way. He was hoping to send them by ambulance, but the ambulances were too busy (of course!) and so the supplies came with a courier service instead. Since I was only taking 1 bag of my own, I was wondering how I would manage to take ‘boxes of supplies’.

4:45 pm. The supplies showed up. 3 boxes and 2 bags. Wow, and my bag was fairly full already. Weight wise I had room for 6 more kilos, but space wise knew I could not take it all. It was time to start sorting and prioritizing. One box was full of operating room gowns & masks so I decided to leave those. After all, I would be working in a clinic, in scrubs for the most part. Another box was full of non-sterile 4x4 gauze; these too would stay behind. Then came a bag with sutures, iv cannulas and iv giving sets. Assuming these would be very useful, I stuffed them into my bag. Next I spotted the flacons of lidocaine 1-2%, another item we were sure to need. Into a Ziploc bag they went, making their way into my full and now very unorganized hiking pack. I continued sorting: drains, catheters, dressings, gloves & other items followed.

5:20 pm. Ten minutes to go before being picked up by my brother-in-law. I called and asked if he could come 15 minutes later; I still had some packing to do! I continued looking through the supplies. I decided to take some instruments for suturing and filled up a Ziploc bag with them. I then took some random sizes of gloves and sterile gauze and fit them into the small spaces left in my bag. There were other odds and ends I took as well, but to be honest, I can’t even tell you what they are; things were a bit crazy as I was scrambling around trying to get packed and out the door.

5:45 pm. My brother-in-law arrived. I was almost done. I slipped a large blue cover over my hiking pack and realized that I could stuff things into that. I filled up a plastic bag of gloves and pushed the bag into the case and they came to rest alongside my hiking pack. I then did the same with a box of dressings. And that was it. Done. The rest would have to stay behind. I weighed in my bag at 21 kilograms. Perfect. I was good to go.

5:55 pm. With the luggage in the car, my brother-in-law and I drove away. And that is how the journey to Haiti began.

[a night in Brussels, a flight to Dallas via Chicago, a drive to Van, and then on the 8th the actual trip to Haiti]

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~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~