I have been back on the ship for just over two weeks, and ever since arriving, there has been one main focus: reopening the hospital. There are many things that all contribute to the effort. First was the unpacking of everything that was stowed for the sail. Then the sudden influx of new and returning hospital staff that all need to be oriented. There's the setup of the wards back to their normal state, and then there's the events. We had a function on the ship for local dignitaries and such on Friday. Yesterday was a busy day with day volunteer orientation in the afternoon (during which I quite nearly lost my voice explaining to 9 different groups how to make and clean beds). Then in the evening we had an open house in the hospital for all the crew to have a fun view of the hospital, which was an absolute riot that I got the joy of going around and photographing. This morning we had a full evacuation drill which included all hospital patients (random crew volunteered for the roles) being evacuated.
The big event though, the one we have been the most excited for, that requires the most planning and organization? That would be the screening tomorrow. As I type this, a few friends have left already to be a part of the overnight security and pre-pre-screening of those that show up overnight. We have put out posters and radio ads (I think) and all kinds of advertising to spread the word of what we can help with and when to show up to get an appointment for surgery. Inevitably, some will come with problems we can't help. We expect somewhere around 5000 people to show up for screening by our medical staff. There will be areas for those with Facial tumours and clefts etc., for those with VVF (problems post childbirth with leaking urine), those with burn scarring and fused hands/limbs etc., and people with hernias and goiters. Finally, there will be an area for those we can't help. These ones will be lead to a prayer station.
It promises to be a long, hot day. Full of joy and suffering. Unforgettable.
Please pray for those who are there overnight, and for those of us involved in screening in the morning. Pray for safety, health, wisdom, understanding, compassion. Please pray for those who come, that those who are not supposed to come would stay away, and those that can be helped would be there. Pray that they might be safe, healthy, and find hope.
We begin our day before the sun rises. Somewhere around 5am local time. (We are 6 hours ahead of Manitoba time) We hope to be done by around 5pm. I'll let you know how it goes, but for now I need to go to bed.