Day 8

The mission may be over as far as the surgery is concerned but I guess the work is still not done.  Today started out pretty much the same as past days with breakfast at 6:00AM.  Packing is a large part of today’s agenda.   Each team is responsible for inventorying all the equipment and supplies used by their group.  New inventory lists are prepared by each group in preparation for the next mission.  Remaining supplies are packed in hockey bags and totes and sorted between ‘staying in Cuenca’ and ‘going home’.

At 10:00AM grand ward rounds started, and the team gathered on the 3rd floor to visit and say goodbye to the remaining patients still at the hospital, many of whom are being discharged today.  The team was greeted at the start by a young man and young woman.  They were relatives of Nelly, a patient who went home yesterday.  They brought a little going away gift and thank you for each team member.  Nelly gave us each little miniature Ecuadorian hats decorated with memento’s of Ecuador.  They are the perfect size of a Christmas tree ornament, and I will be hanging mine on the tree when I set it up for the Christmas Holidays.  She must have spent many hours on the gifts and her relatives were most thankful that we had helped her.  She recorded a short thank you video to the team that I hope makes it to a website post.

The tour through the ward was a very emotional time for many of us.  Each patient we saw had very big smiles on their faces, and their relatives were smiling even bigger.  The efforts of this team changed their lives.  We were profusely thanked and blessed and most patients wanted to take home photos of the team.  It is really tough to squeeze 50+ members around a hospital bed for a photo.  We were not very successful but not from lack of trying.  We did our best but the rooms just could not accommodate that many people.

At 1:00pm there was a thank you lunch for the Santa Ines hospital staff put on by True North Missions Society.  Many thanks to the Rotary members of Cuenca who served the meal. We had vegetables, salad, empanadas and cake that were provided to the hospital staff who helped and supported us through the week.  Dr. Powell thanked Bruno the hospital director, the staff and the many members of the Rotary.  A plaque and True North Missions Society team shirt was presented to Bruno.  It is only a small token of our gratitude and thanks, but it is heartfelt.  We could not help the poor in Ecuador without the major contributions and partnership we have with the Santa Ines hospital and the Rotary members of Cuenca.  Thank you all!!!!!

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