We Are Off!
35 True North Mission Society team members gathered at the Calgary International Airport at 4:15 am. Some had slept a few hours, others stayed up all night but everyone was excited to be there. Many repeat team members looked forward to seeing their patients again and first timers were thrilled to be included.
In addition to each of our personal luggage, there were 49 hockey sized bags and totes full of categorized and listed equipment, tools and supplies to be transported as extra baggage to Quito. From Quito, it had to be driven overnight to Santa Ines Hospital in Cuenca for the OR. It sounds like a logistic nightmare but much thought, work and organization had been orchestrated beforehand by Pam and her helpers to make the execution smooth and painless (except for the lifting part!). AND after 32 hours of transport, not a single bag was lost!
With a customary (according to Dr. Powell) hard landing, we landed in Quito at midnight. The air was warm and balmy and it felt good to be in Ecuador. We got our luggage and then all the 49 hockey bags and totes were hauled onto trucks that arrived one after another for the 12 hour overnight drive to Cuenca. We then arrived in the dark at Hotel Airport well after midnight and immediately found our way to our beds. Early departure tomorrow to Cuenca.