Typhoon Yolanda Heli-Clinics Video Update

Typhoon Yolanda Heli-Clinics Video Update

I spent my 31st wedding anniversary apart from my lovely wife, Debbie. In fact, we were 6,642 miles apart. I was in Tacloban in the Philippines and she was at home in Bremerton, WA. It's actually more confusing than that since I started celebrating it a day before her due to the time zone shift. So, in reality, I missed her a ton on our anniversary which lasted more than a day and a half.

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Typhoon Yolanda: A Nail-Biting Escape!

Typhoon Yolanda: A Nail-Biting Escape!

First thing this morning, Kelly (the IMC Logistics Specialist) and I headed over to the EVMRC (Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center) so I could introduce him to the Department of Health logistics folks. They were so well organized that despite working without any lights, they had inventoried all of their supplies and put it in an Excel spreadsheet. That may seem like to big deal but the supplies were in individual bottles overflowing from cardboard boxes stacked all around the dark rooms. The counts had to be done by flashlight even during the daytime. Kelly was able to copy it on a thumb drive. It was impressive! In the midst of all of this, the people that had lost so much were still striving for excellence and giving their all. It is so powerful and life changing to see people who realize that, despite their tremendous loss, they have the power to make a difference and the passion to put other people first.

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Typhoon Yolanda: More Team Members Arrive

Typhoon Yolanda: More Team Members Arrive

First thing this morning I was able to take a shower. My freshly washed clothes were sort of dry. However, even after bathing and putting on "fresh" clothes, I still smell like a wet goat.

The team from Stanford and our two new team mates, Michelle La Vina and Sharron Tissel arrived today. The Stanford folks headed down south to the house that was our original site. It was great to add Michelle and Sharron to our team! They even brought more protein bars and snacks! Ah, the simple things in life.

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Typhoon Yolanda: The Move to Tacloban

Typhoon Yolanda: The Move to Tacloban

Yesterday, I did laundry by hand and hung it up. Today it is still wet. We were packing up today to go to Tacloban. By the way, if you are travelling, the best way to pack is to roll your clothes and put them in baggies. You never know when you might be crossing a river or if your laundry won't dry.

While we waited for the truck to come back and transport us, we played "bocce" with marbles in the parking area. I really enjoy the guys that I'm deployed with. I couldn't ask for a better team. They are eager to serve and they put others first. I felt a little bad beating them in marble bocce, but not much.

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Typhoon Yolanda: Emotions

Typhoon Yolanda: Emotions

Today was a day filled with emotion. We loaded the mini-truck with supplies for both teams and then we all piled into the other truck which is covered and has two barely padded benches that face each other. The first part of the trip was fairly easy. We drove to the municipality of Pastrana. We then met the Municipal Health Officer and he dispatched his nurse Vilma, RN. Their ambulance went in front of us and blared announcements that we were having clinic. We had police on motorcycles with assault rifles escorting us in front and behind. The streets rapidly deteriorated to mud roads marked by huge puddles (perhaps small lakes?). We splashed our way along at about 10-20 MPH. As we went, people were waving and, at times, cheering. I guess it was our own mini-parade. I've never had that kind of welcome on my way to work in the USA.

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