Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Project HOPE Volunteers Arrive in Guyana

I, along with other Project HOPE volunteers arrived on the USS Kearsarge by helicopter this morning to begin our mission in Guyana. Some of us will be will be based on the USS Kearsarge during our two week mission, while other medical volunteers will be based in Guyana itself.

As we approached the ship from the air, I noticed its size. The ship itself is huge; when we landed there were several other helicopters, all with adequate spacing, also on the flight deck. I was curious about the name of the ship, so I searched the net for Kearsarge. According to Wikipedia, Kearsarge is a mountain in New Hampshire and comes from a word that means “notch-pointed-mountain of pines” in the local Native American language. Somewhat appropriate, as this titan of the sea is covered in radio antenna and other pointy objects that could be taken for a mountain covered in pine trees from a distance.

The transition to Navy life has been a good one. I have yet to lean over the railing to check out the name of the ship. But it seems, just as I’ve established my sea legs, I’ll be headed back to Guyana. The HOPE volunteers on the ship will start surgical and clinical rotations tomorrow, helping diagnose locals and perform treatments not available from local doctors. Many of the surgeries are simple outpatient procedures that we in the United States take for granted, such as hernia surgeries and cataract removal. All seem excited and eager to start work. Some of my

Project HOPE shipmates will be shuttled to remote locations in Guyana for several joint missions with the Navy over the coming weeks.

But before we start our mission we have a celebration to attend. The Marines celebrate their birthday today and we’ve been invited to dine with the Commodore. I’m told this is a quite the honor. I’ll let you know how it goes.

-John Bobosh

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you got there safely! Look forward to future posts!