Sunday, May 21, 2006


This morning we set up the hospital, which is really pretty amazing. We walk into this cement building, and then with the medical equipment we all carried in one of our checked bags, and the equipment trucked in on the MMI van, in just three hours we have a functioning operating room.

After setting up, I work in the triage area, intervewing patients. Since it is Sunday and a day of rest around here, not too many come in. We target five for surgery to begin tomorrow morning. We expect a bigger line to be out the door.

I am having some trouble with my Spanish as many of the older Dommincans mumble and their dialect takes a little getting used to.

We got off ealy and I spent a couple hours at the swimup bar, drinking cervezas. Ah, the missionary life.

The food here is great. It doesn't look that good -- lots of potato, rice, chicken and pork dishes, but it is excellent. I had oxtails for lunch that were terrific. The cheese is also fantastic and I am not a cheese eater. It is just so fresh nd quite unlike what I have had before.

Tonight we meet as a group on the beach under the stars to go over the day ahead. I am assigned to triage to start the day, and then post-op in the afternoon. I am always anxious about what I will get to do, particuarly this time when there are so few surgeons (just a surgeon and a resident) and they have added a number of helpers and two college student translators who were not origionally on the list)and while my preference would be to be in pre-op where I can talk Spanish and start all the patient's IVs, in triage I will get to speak lots of Spanish (hopefully better than today), meet the patients for the first time, and then later in post-op, take care of them when they come out of surgery. I don't feel this trip that they are unaware of what I can do. I feel like I am being treated on par with the nurses, which
is all I ask.