Day 1–the work begins

I’m here! So happy to be in a warm place with an amazing group of people.

I was lucky enough to have a whole middle row to sleep on the first flight and 3 seats together on the second, but I am not good at sleeping on a plane. After we arrived and got settled, I went straight to bed.

Today’s agenda included unpacking supplies, setting up the Operating Rooms, and beginning to examine the patients. I am usually work with the exam team, but this year I helped to set up the supply room. It’s a small room that is lined on all 4 sides with shelves from floor to ceiling. The shelves are packed with supplies left from the prior mission, so in addition to unpacking the 20 suitcases of supplies we brought, we also have to organize so that the oldest supplies are at the front. It felt a bit like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle.

We always have Rwandan medical students and sometimes residents working with us, and I love to see doctors we’ve worked with on prior missions. I kept in touch with one of the residents that we worked with in 2020, named Pasteur. He is from Burundi and he returned there to work after he finished his training. He gave me some beautiful fabric that I’m excited to sew with when I get home.