Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Distinquished Guests Visit, Volunteer Work in Dominican Republic Continues

Distinguished Guests and Project HOPE Staff in Dominican Republic Visit with Volunteers onboard the USNS Comfort

Tuesday, April 28 We had more distinguished visitors aboard the Comfort today, including the Ambassador of Ecuador, Jose Villacañas, representatives of the Order of the Knights of Malta – who have supported Project HOPE’s land-based operations in the Dominican Republic since 1996, and many staff and volunteers from the HOPE office in Santo Domingo.

Commodore Lineberry greeted the delegation in the CASREC. Dr. Knaster answered the Ambassador’s questions. The visitors were able to see the entire hospital and capped off their visit with a group photo on the flight deck.

Meanwhile, the Hopies continued their great work treating patients at several sights on the beach as well as on board.

As of April 27, Project HOPE volunteers and their Navy Counterparts have
· Treated 4,658 patients
· Total educational interactions 1,369
in the Dominican Republic


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Project HOPE's CEO and Other U.S. Business Leaders Visit Volunteers

Last weekend, we had a special visit from Project HOPE’s CEO Dr. John Howe, who was joined by business and professional leaders from the U.S. who wanted to see how the mission is conducted on the front lines. They were able to see the clinic at the Otto Martinez School, where two HOPE volunteers were working.

Here is Dr. Ellen Marmur, the Chief of Dermatological and Cosmetic Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, observing HOPE volunteer Elie Malloy take information from a patient at the admissions desk.

And here is Candace Strother, President of Daybreak Wellness Solutions, with Emily of Helicopter Fame and patients in a waiting area.

The group spent a night on the Comfort, and after dinner, they met for more than an hour with the HOPE volunteers.

Here, Douglas Baker, CEO of Ecolab (seated between Dr. Howe and Dave Eddy) listens to Michele Okamoto share her experiences.

Later, the group toured the USNS Comfort, meeting HOPE volunteer Linda Brant who explained how the Intensive Care Unit operates on the ship. The Commodore and Captain Ware also gave the business leaders a briefing and discussed issues of vital interest to future missions.

Group photo provided by COL Bill Costello (U.S Southern Command)

(From left to right) John M. B. O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Tactronics; Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, J.E. Robert Companies; Dr. Ellen Marmur, Chief of Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center; Dr Douglas Baker, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ecolab; John P. Howe, III, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer of Project HOPE; Mel Immergut, Chairman of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP; Col. William Costello, U.S. Army, Director Public Affairs, U.S. Southern Command; Lisa Samson, Deputy Director, Public-Private Cooperation, U.S. Southern Command; David A. Siegel, President and Chairman of the Board, Westgate Resorts/Central Florida Investments; Candace L. Strother, President of Daybreak Wellness Solutions;François M. de Visscher, President of de Visscher & Co.

We really appreciate their interest in what we’re doing out here and their support!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Daily Commute and Another Donation

Project HOPE Volunteers continue work in the Dominican Republic

Hello everyone!

I’m on board Comfort all day today (Monday), catching up on the blog after a whirlwind of events the last few days.

I have to say it’s great tagging around with the Commodore. He’s a great guy, and getting to and from sites with him is awesome – 3 helo rides the last 3 days. I think Emily’s flown more – nope, she just told me we’re tied. She’s not the only one who has fun commuting.

Here’s Susan mustering (gathering for inspection, review, or roll call and then waiting for transport) in CASREC with the Seabees before going up to the boat deck.

BTW, the Seabees have the longest days of anyone going ashore – they go out on the first boat in the morning and come back on the last one of the day. When they get back to the ship they usually go straight from to the mess deck for chow, just in time for the 1900 confirmation brief, where the rest of us are already showered and fed – and eating ice cream, which is available every night, courtesy of the Commodore.

Anyway, back to our daily commutes. The boat-to-boat transfers, from lifeboat #6 to the tender boat can be like a theme park ride when the swells are large. We’re in good hands with the mariners from the MSC (Maritime Support Command formerly known as the Merchant Marine), who make sure we don’t fall in. There are a total of 62 mariners aboard, although we rarely see most of them because they’re working in the engine rooms or below decks somewhere. That reminds me to try to get a tour down there. It’s interesting talking to them – my great-grandfather was in the Russian merchant marine at the turn of the 20th century – and I know we civilians entertain them. They’re a bunch of salty sea dogs, especially Boatswain Butch, who operates the “Last Chance Café” in the shade of the lifeboat #4. IMAGE 559. But seriously, they all do a great job keeping us safe.

On Friday we conducted some serious business on shore – the turnover of the donated products. Project HOPE delivered $240,000 worth of medicine to Santo Domingo for use and distribution via HOPE's local country director, Teresa Navarez (in blue HOPE shirt). (Learn more about Project HOPE programs in the Dominican Republic)

Check back for for info on our eventful Saturday and Sunday, when we had a special visit from Project HOPE’s CEO Dr. John Howe, who was joined by business and professional leaders from the U.S. who wanted to see how the mission is conducted on the front lines.


Project Hope Volunteer Suzie Piperno Teaches Newborn Care Class to Dominicans

(U.S. Army photos by Spc. Eric J. Cullen)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Project HOPE Volunteers Begin Work in the Dominican Republic

From April 22, 2009

The first wave of worker bees went ashore today. Because of the heavy swells -- we're anchored outside the harbor -- the mariners had to improvise the transfer method: it's a 2-boat operation -- pax (i.e., passengers) are lowered in a lifeboat, then step over to the Hospitality One or Hospitality Two tender boat. Even the Seabees described this as "interesting." Our Sarah Cryer was all smiles, though, after a day of triaging at the Santa Luisa School. Harry, Emily, Peggy and Judi did primary care and triaging at the Pabellon de Balomano Sports Complex, which was the site of the Pan Am Games a few years ago, while our educators -- Lynn, Susan, Michele and Suzie -- spent the day at the Hospital Amigo de las Ninas y las Madres (Friend of Children and Mothers Hospital). They taught BLS (basic life saving), which, surprisingly, no one there had ever been taught. A small group of surgical patients came aboard yesterday. Their surgeries will take place Saturday. Since they came from the countryside, the command didn't want to send them home, only to have to make the trek back tomorrow. So they get an extra night at the Comfort Inn. BTW, one of my favorite hotels from Marriott days is on the shore, just opposite where we're anchored.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

In A World Filled With HOPE

Project HOPE's David A. Eddy, Operations Officer Now Serving on the USNS Comfort Continuing Promise 2009 Reflects on His Time in Haiti

The morning sun had begun to rise, and the land before my eyes had an ancient, yet somewhat civilized beauty about it from a distance. With the morning haze hanging over much of the land, and the rich salty waves pounding against the side of the ship one could only think of the thoughts that Christopher Columbus must have had when he finally spotted the land he had always envisioned. Columbus found what he was looking for because he had a decided heart. It was that quality that led him to his historical discovery and one that will surely lead our volunteer health care providers to their greatest of rewards.

Eager with anticipation to improve the world as we know it, we prepare ourselves for the vast adventure of traveling by boat with 30-35 people on board to a land who’s people are waiting for us to arrive with the eagerness of a five-year-old child waiting for his parents to hand him his stick of cotton candy. For the people of Haiti know that our arrival means, free, hospitable, and quality medical care to those in need, even if they must stand in line for 8 to 10 hours to be seen. This, my friends is the mission of HOPE, with volunteers from all walks of life that possess a plethora of skills to heal and treat those in need far less fortunate than ourselves. It is this professional and selfless desire that the Project HOPE team, with many others can fulfill a commitment to the people of this region called Continuing Promise.

We as a people must always remember, “A promise is a promise.” It’s a commitment regardless of the conditions. So now we are back once again to fulfill our promise and ensure that our integrity as a nation of nations can never be questioned, and to once again solidify our passion to care for those in need.

This is our journey. A journey that will last for the next 120 days, as we partner with the U.S. Navy leadership, staff, and healthcare professionals on the USNS COMFORT ship to perform this humanitarian assistance mission of vast proportion. But it’s far more than just an American Navy mission that includes the Army, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, but an international mission of hope that includes the Canadians, Dutch, French, Chileans, El Salvadorians and Nicaraguans and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO). Project HOPE is one of several NGOs that choose to join in this endeavor, because we understand the needs and the outcomes of our personal intervention.

Some things have changed within Project HOPE since its founding father Dr. Walsh received a ship from the Navy called the USS Consolation and converted it into America’s first humanitarian hospital ship, called the SS HOPE. Eleven voyages took place on that vessel providing medical care to what was then called Third World countries. The ship and its crew of volunteers not only provided state of the art medical care to the sick and injured, but health education training to the host nation’s medical staff to ensure that unnecessary suffering would stop by the hand of their own clinical personnel. This, after WWII started a process of showing the world, through actions not words that America would always be ready to help those in their moment of need.

The only thing different today is that we choose to join the Navy on their ships, for the same cause first imagined in 1958 in the minds of a few, honest, passionate and caring leaders, to make this world a better place. While the SS HOPE is no longer in operation, the vision of HOPE still rings true.

After more than 50 years you might ask us, are we up for the challenge? You bet!

Volunteerism in our country is still at an all time high, even during this time of our county’s economic struggles. The volunteers that come from all over are not only America’s heroes, but an exceptionally rare breed of professionals that are as selfless a servant as our men and women serving our Nation in uniform. To say that I’m enamored every day with the commitment and talent of the 20 volunteers that surround me would be an understatement. From our HOPE Medical Director, Dr. Harry Knaster to yet another physician, to the young and older nursing professionals that gave up a minimum of four weeks of their time to support the cause it’s often difficult to fully comprehend.

While all the above may sound incredibly entertaining and fascinating, it’s not without its costs. You see, life on these missions is not for the weak minded or physically unfit. It takes tremendous stamina at all levels to endure the daily grinds of these long, long days that just seem to blend into one another. The immense heat, traveling by boat from the ship to land on choppy waters, to traveling by bus to the different sites is taxing enough for most individuals. Regardless of how many hours you put in, there is always that one child standing in tears. That one mother that can’t stand erect and looks in her 60’s but is only 29 years old. And that one man left standing in line that can barely see his hand in front of his face.

It takes extraordinary people to deal with these conditions, and we are fortunate enough to have a bench that’s deep and competent.

Ship life is not much easier. The USNS COMFORT is so large that everyday you literally climb 225 to 350 steps to just move about from one location to another. If you aren’t fit when you arrive, you will be when you leave.

We tell all our volunteers up front when they arrive, that this mission will test their skills, physical stamina, and mental strength in the most austere conditions. In essence, it will test your commitment to humanity.

While we’ve been living the dream and know we are up for task, question is, are you ready for the HOPE challenge?
Support Project HOPE Volunteer Missions

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Project HOPE Volunteers Good Shipmates on USNS Comfort Sail to Domincan Republic

Monday April 20
The Hopies had an opportunity to be good shipmates by serving the meals today. I worked the breakfast line, scooping eggs and pouring syrup. Got the hang of it pretty quick and didn't make too much of a mess. I could tell the crew appreciated we were giving some people the day off, and if I accidentally gave out more than the allotted portion they really appreciated it. The ship dropped anchor after breakfast. We're less than a mile off shore. The current is really strong, which will make boat transfers a thrill ride. The crew got most of the equipment ashore and there was an opening ceremony (I wasn't able to go to that). After dinner, all the NGO folks had a private dinner with Commodore Lineberry and a speech. The skyline of Santo Domingo, especially in the dark, stands in stark contrast to Port-au-Prince. No mountains covered with humble homes. Lots of high rises, many lit up with bright neon.


Project HOPE Volunteers Leave Haiti, Head for the Domincan Republic

Project HOPE medical volunteers, working alongside their U.S. Navy counterparts and other NGO medical professionals completed their work in Haiti...
  • Treating 6731 patients
  • Conducting 161 surgeries
  • Training 4,222 students

Tauna Ainslee, a first-time Project HOPE volunteer nurse from Hawaii, escorts the last Haitian patient off the USNS Comfort. Volunteers are now working in the Dominican Republic. (DoD photo by Air Force Capt. Natasha Waggoner.)

Support Project HOPE Volunteer Missions

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Project HOPE Volunteers Complete Work In Haiti

Saturday and Sunday (Arpil 18-19, 2009)

I had a fantastic weekend. Went ashore to the Killick MEDCAP (medical civic action program a.k.a. clinic) on Saturday. It’s located on the grounds of the Haitian Coast Guard station, near the center of Port-au-Prince, with a busy street just outside the gate. People were waiting 10-deep before we got there to open for the day. Twenty-five were allowed to come in at a time. From there, it was a very orderly process. They checked in at an admissions table, told a nurse their primary complaint (if they had more than one, they had to choose), and got a color-coded wristband. Then they went to the waiting room, and sat on folding chairs under large canopies on the lawn. There was a little bit of a breeze, and everyone looked comfortable. I visited the various sections – medical, dental, optometry – and checked out the lab and radiology. Today, two Hopies – Dr. Lynn Bemiller and Certified Nurse Midwife Practitioner Joan Cockerill – were assigned to the medical section, a large open room on the second floor of a training center. Lots of happy campers. The Haitian people have the best smiles!

On Sunday, most of us had an easy day on the ship while Navy personnel finished the retrograde – getting everything back on board in time to weigh anchor at 1630. The anchor pulled up a ton of concrete-like muck, so one of the RHIBs (rigged hull inflatable boat) had to be launched to go out and clean it off. We got underway before dinner. In the evening there was an ice cream social – hand-scooped! – and a “cinema at sea” on the flight deck – TAKEN was shown on the side of the helo hangar. It started raining about 20 minutes in. Everyone scrambled. Thirty minutes later it stopped and we all back out on the deck under the stars. They’re absolutely incredible out here!

On Monday, I went out on the bow and watched waves crash against the hull and spotted flying fish. They look like big hummingbirds. Suzie, Sarah and I got a tour of the bridge and each took a turn driving the ship. Later on, there was a strange abandon ship drill. I always thought the idea was to go to your assigned lifeboat for these drills. Instead they had us go to the flight deck. I learned the rationale is to do a headcount at the highest point on the ship while the boats are lowered. On Royal Carib passengers muster at their boat. I’m learning the Navy way….Later I went to a CME (continuing medical education) on infectious diseases. I have to say they’re far more interesting than CLE.

The Hopies are working the chow lines tomorrow. I’m on the morning shift. Have to report for duty at 0515, so I better hit the rack.

Thanks for reading--Tom.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Project HOPE Volunteers Continue Work in Haiti

(4-17-2009) Happy Friday Everyone

I got my first look yesterday at a clinic on the “beach” – at Cite Soleil – along with my first up-close look at a former First Lady. Since this isn’t the Washington Post, I won’t comment on her attire. What I got out of the event was that she, like me and many others, was surprised to learn there is such a diverse group of organizations working together. If you can believe it, I had the impression before embarking in Miami that there would be a small crew of Navy personnel supporting us Hopies. My first walk up the ramp from the pier disabused me of that notion.

On Wednesday, I went to a ceremony at which all the GIK (gifts in kind) were formally transferred to the land-based NGOs for distribution. It was held at the Main Port HLZ (helo landing zone), and four of our nurses – who will remain nameless – somehow hitched a ride. The rest of us got there on the Little Boat That Could. Anyway, the event itself was good for the publicity – here’s a shot of Project HOPE's Dave Eddy and the Commodore speaking with a member of the local press – and it was great to meet the people who do the work on the ground. I spoke with a man from Pittsburgh who, with his wife, moved to Haiti nine months ago and has been running an organization that distributes meals in the mountains two hours away from P-au-P. He said the 1.4 million meals he’s receiving will feed the people he serves for about 6-8 months.

I’ve been getting around to all the wards on the ship. On Tuesday, I hung out in “2 Aft” – the ward that’s the last stop for all patients before they’re discharged. Peggy Holt and Sandy Larson work the day shift on the port side, and Kelly Magee works days on the starboard side. They introduced me to their patients, and had fun taking pictures of them with their families, which I then gave to the Navy public affairs team for printing as souvenir cards. Here’s one of Sandy with Charles and his wife that Ensign Suorez prepared. The Navy took up the laboring oar to make these for all the patients, who really like them! BTW, Ensign Suorez was up until 2 a.m. last night processing images so that no one went home today without their family portrait. So kudos to him! You can see how happy Charles was to have had his surgery and to be going home soon.

FYI #1…Charles is a gregarious father of three beautiful children, referred for surgical services by the World Relief Organization after suffering for several years from osteomyelitis (bone infection) in his right fibula (lower leg), the result of a motor vehicle accident and an infection of the wound after the initial surgery. The Comfort surgical team drained the infection, replaced the infected screws in the bone and implanted antibiotic seeds. He hasn’t been able to work and support his family all this time. Now, he is full of hope to get back on his feet, literally.

FYI #2…Sandy hails from Austin, Texas, where she spent the last 25 years of her full-time career as an R.N. in ICU. She’s been on two short-term medical missions to Panama, and spent a month on the Mercy Ship while it was harbored in Monrovia, Liberia. “Now that I’m ‘kinda, sorta’ retired,” she says, “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to blend my desire to serve using my nursing skills with my love of adventure travel. I’m honored to serve on this ‘Continuing Promise 2009 Mission.’”

And now, back to our tour of the wards. By the time the patients get to “2 Aft” they will have spent at least two nights on the ship. On day 1 they arrive in “CASREC” – casualty receiving – and go through an admission process similar to any U.S. hospital. After leaving CASREC, the patients are taken down one deck and stay with their escort (usually a family member, but sometimes a guardian ad litem) in the “Comfort Inn” until it’s time for their surgery. (Only surgical patients come aboard.) After surgery, they go to the recovery ward, called PACU, and, if necessary, spend some time in ICU before going to 2 Aft and home. And that’s that!

Thanks for reading--Tom.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Project HOPE Volunteers Care for Patients Onboard USNS Comfort and Ashore in Haiti

Volunteer Sarah Cryer with two boys waiting to be seen at the Cite Soleil clinic

Volunteer Sandy Larson with a patient and his wife onboard the USNS Comfort.

Volunteer Peggy Holt with happy patient and his mom.

Volunteer Kelly Magee with a patient and her mother and a local volunteer interpreter.

Project HOPE's Dave Eddy and Project HOPE's Medical Director onboard, Dr. Harry Knaster speak with a local doctor.

USNS Comfort anchored off the coast of Haiti.

Group photo at the April 15 ceremony when gifts-in-kind collected by the NGOs and U.S. government were formally presented to the Haiti Ministry of Health and local NGOs for distribution.

Help Support the Continuation of Medical Volunteer Missions.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Visits Project HOPE Volunteer Work Site in Haiti

Thursday April 16
While on a visit to Haiti, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stopped by Cite Soleil, a work site for Project HOPE medical volunteers, to meet with representatives of the non-government organizations and multi-national forces participating in the mission .

Check back for more info about the visit

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Health Education, Easter Sunday and Secretary of State Clinton

April 16, 2009

Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun, and my job as public affairs officer for Project HOPE let’s me have the most fun of anyone on the ship. I get to go everywhere, see everything, talk to everyone, and put down the camera and jump into the action any time.

I’ve got a couple of “free” hours this morning before getting on the boat to the site where Secretary of State Clinton will be, so I’m hoping to get you caught up on what’s going on. And there’s been some amazing stuff going on. But first let me back way up for a minute and introduce myself. It just occurred to me that people other than my own family and friends might read this….

The intro blog before we sailed mentioned I’m a lawyer with Marriott International, Inc. That’s old news. After almost 23 years with Marriott, I took early retirement in December and decided to do something totally different with my life. Such as, spend 6 weeks with a ship full of doctors and nurses. I tell them I spent a good part of my career defending the actions of health care providers – Marriott used to be in the assisted living business—and then they (mostly) get over the fact I’m a lawyer by trade. Well, after 10 days in my current job, I can’t say I’ve mastered the trade of a PAO but I’m trying! Another great part of my job is it’s giving me an inside look at how great organizations like Project HOPE and the U.S. Navy—as well as many other partners who are on board—can make great things happen. I’m convinced that my intuition for volunteering this way is right on the mark; this is the arena I want to work in for the next 23 years. Okay, it’s all about me, but let’s move on to the good stuff.

Like I said, Secretary Clinton is visiting today. A lot of excitement went around the ship when it was rumored she would come aboard. As it turns out, she’s only going to have time to visit one of the sites on the “beach” (Navy-speak for dry land). I’ll report on how that goes! We’re all hoping she catches the vision (she may already, I don’t know)…and gets the White House and Congress to keep this mission going for years to come. It’s a “continuing promise” after all.

(Contact your own Congress person and ask them to support the continuation of these humanitarian missions that express the good will of the American people though the U.S. Navy and other military services.)

The top Navy brass definitely has the vision. Admiral Kernan was here for 2+ days last week. This is a busy man. He’s responsible for the entire Fourth Fleet. And yet he took time out to do construction work at the Port-au-Prince General Hospital with the Seabees and visit the doctors and nurses on shore and on the ship. When he spoke to the whole crew one night, he said he’ll be testifying before Congress soon, letting them know what we’re doing and why we need to keep doing it. The leadership on the ship has the vision, too. Commodore Lineberry, who runs the overall operation on board and is on a deployment like this for the first time, told us he’s been called a lot of things in his career, but was really proud to be called a humanitarian the other day. Captain Ware, who is the commander of the MTF (medical treatment facility, i.e., hospital), has a mantra—we are providing health care and providing hope. Another major theme that’s coming through is that this is a partnership. It’s not the Navy telling the NGOs like Project HOPE what to do. It’s highly collaborative. Okay, enough about the brass and big picture. Let’s get back to the trenches.

Where it all happens is in the operating rooms—which are fully booked for the remainder of our stay in Haiti—and in the wards and at the sites on the beach. I’m excited to go to one of the treatment sites today for the first time. (I’ve been off the ship twice—to work at the General Hospital with our health educators on Monday and to go to a ceremony yesterday. More about both of those in a minute.) The site I’m going to today is in Citi Soleil. This is a section of Port-au-Prince that is probably the most dangerous place in the city, maybe the hemisphere. It’s also a place where people have almost zero opportunities to see a doctor or nurse. I don’t have the numbers, but hundreds have been seen there each day since we arrived. For most of these patients, it’s probably the first, but hopefully not last, time they’ll get quality medical care.

There are several other sites around the city. The largest is at the Haitian Coast Guard station. That one’s pretty safe! I’m going there tomorrow. On Easter Sunday, great work was underway but the receiving area was chaotic. Enter Sarah Cryer, a first-time Hopie who is a triage nurse. She whipped the area into shape, and that night at the confirmation brief (all-hands meeting) Captain Ware recognized her and afterwards presented her with a Commander’s Coin. This is a great honor. Way to go Sarah!

Easter Sunday had some other highlights on board – an inspirational sunrise service on the flight deck and a meeting with another NGO. A big part of the mission is to encourage NGOs to communicate and cooperate with one another. It happens in meetings like this one, and it happens by rolling up your sleeves together. I’m working up a whole story on the latter that will blow you away. Teaser, sorry. But back to the meeting on Sunday. The other NGO is called Partners in Health. I can’t do justice to their story and mission here. Please check them out at and read the book “Mountains Beyond Mountains” to get a Pulitzer-quality look at what has been done by this group for more than 25 years in Haiti. The point here is that you are looking at a picture of what is, I believe, the first-ever meeting between representatives of HOPE and PIH. They were very excited to learn about HOPE and vice versa. Next time the Comfort is in Haiti I’m sure PIH will be able to get some of their patients from the central plateau to the ship for surgery. Opportunities like this abound.

On Monday, I went to the General Hospital. The Seabees had been there for a couple of days already to do renovation on the pharmacy building. I tagged along with three of our nurses—Susan Mortensen, Michele Okamoto and Suzanne Piperno—who were doing health education for three days in a building near the pharmacy. IMAGES 196, 205, 207. There were about 35 doctors and nurses at the morning session on CPR. I wasn’t aware of the changes in how CPR is done, and none of the attendees had been trained in it. I got certified and had fun. Suzie said I broke the dummy’s ribs, but that’s okay, I saved him/her/it. I also learned that the rhythm of the compressions is to the tune of “Staying Alive” from Saturday Night Fever. Kinda catchy! In the afternoon, I went over to the health fair we did at the National School of Nursing, which is on the hospital campus. The school was actually closed this week, so the students who came were missing their vacation to hear from our educators. I was amazed to learn that not one of the 494 students (from 6 schools, including the National School) had never seen a condom.

Well, on that note, I’m going to sign off so I don’t miss the boat. I’ll catch you up on Tuesday and Wednesday when I get back from the Big Photo Op!

Thanks for reading!!