Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cambodia: the Start

Day 1:

We all make it to Phnom Phen, meeting at the airport, and finding Kelly (boy) and Mark Larson, 2 of the missionarys that we will be working with. Luggage makes it, everyone is tired, and it begins to rain. The end of monsoon coincides with our visit.

We check in to the Sunway Hotel which is right across the street from the American Embassy. A short period of rest and a shower, and we regroup for a team meeting with dinner at our favorite restaraunt, the Rendevous. The week ahead of us is full. After looking at the places we'll be going to, we may be seeing over 2000 paitents. The four of us who are medical look at each other and wonder how we're going to manage that. It is clear that the members who came to do some construciton may be working with the medcial team alot more than expected. Here's what is planned:

Sunday: Chruch in the am and clinic for church members in the afternoon: 125-150 patients
Monday: Dambok Kpus village - about 40 minutes by car, isolated, no electricity, bamboo huts: 400 patients
Tuesday and Wednesday morning: Prey Dach school and village: 700 patients
Wednesday afternoon: Salaa Hope school: 160 patients
Thursday: Ang school: 600-700 patients
Friday morning: Battambang AOG school: 50 students
Friday afternoon: flight back to Phnom Pehn

Saturday, Day 2:

The weather is overcast, with a hard rain during the night. I get on the internet and check the aviation weather for our area, and the airprots we'll be flying out of and to. The weather is marginal, but doable. I call Emil our MAF pilot and he has already flown to a pat of Cambodia in the morning and says that our flights today are doable. Becasue of weight limitations on the airplane, 2 members have to drive to BB: Mike and Tim. The rest are going to fly: 5 on each flight. I fly the first flight with a new MAF pilot from Australia, Paul, and we leave a little late. He is kind enough to let me do the flying, and off we go. The ceilings are at 2000 feet so I "scud run" the whole flight: flying just below the clouds. I flew at 1500 feet which gave us a great view of the country side. I skirted severeal heavy rain cells, and climbed once to get over a mountain ridge, but overall, it went well. The second half of the team came later in the afternoon.

We arrive at the clinic at Salaa Hope school to find members of the school and villages bagging meds. The next 5 hours is chaotic organization, with counting pills, labeling, bagggies, putting pills in baggies, sorting, and packaging. We ended up with over 26 suitcases, and rolling cargo cases of meds. By 3 in the afternoon, over 30 people were working on getting the meds ready for our first clinic in less than 16 hours.

A late dinner, and rest at the Golden Gate Hotel, our safe haven for the week: hot water, A/C. a bed, very slow internet, but internet all the same and thankful for it. All for $12 a night. You gotta love Cambodia.

In all things, give thanks,