Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Underway on the USNS Comfort

The Project HOPE team set sail today for our final stop this year on operation Continuing Promise—Corinto, Nicaragua. On most Navy ships, underway is when things really crank up, but here, away from the port, the patients, and the work sites, the doctors, RN’s, nurses, midwives, sailors, soldiers (and yes, cameramen) get to take a little breather.

Which isn’t to say that it was a complete day off. The HOPE volunteers took over galley duty today, serving lunch and dinner, and cleaning the tables and dishes afterwards. The Culinary Specialists (CS’s) take such great care of us day in and day out, it was the least we could do to take the pressure off of them for a couple meals.

The volunteers also took a tour of the bridge, the brain of the ship. Joe, the Third Mate, had the deck, and graciously answered every question the girls posed to him, from turning radius and radio operation…to marital life and time spent at sea.

And, of course, there was the mandatory abandon ship drill. Each of us donned a blaze orange life jacket and, when the fire bell sounded, rushed for the flight deck. There, chaos somehow became order, and each sailor and volunteer were accounted for…

Tomorrow, we set the anchor again and begin the process of setting up for the final round of surgical screening, patient triage, education, vet assistance, surgery, prescriptions, and all the rest. Sleep well!

Thanks for reading-Jacob

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