As the 14th approaches,
getting on that plane pretty much the only thing I’m thinking about. I admit, after
the setback we took, I’d grown a little uncertain that all that was needed to
be done would be accomplished without Dr. Cameron and Julia to facilitate. But
these things have a way of working themselves out. Alternate plans were made to
maximize this trip as it relates to figuring out how a 3rd year
CFLer can help a public hospital in Guyana. The itinerary became a little
clearer as meetings were set and various arrangements are made. After the
setback, things were starting to fall into place. In addition, the Ticats
provided a bag of goodies for the kids that I’ll get a chance to visit at
Georgetown Public Hospital Cooperation. The organization has been very
supportive of the whole project that really initially had nothing to do with
them. But they’ve been gladly helpful with connections and Ticats gear for the
kids. So a big thanks to them. So with everything in place there’s not much to
say except wish us luck. After the work is done down there, then the real work
starts up here.
The project took a rather
significant hit last week when we found out that two of the major parties
involved in the project won’t be joining us on the trip to Guyana. For personal
reasons that are unavoidable, Dr. Brian Cameron and Julia Pemberton will not be
joining us. Aside from the personal reasons I wish they could go (they’re both
amazing people that are ALWAYS a pleasure to be around), they hold significant
value to the trip.
Dr. Cameron has been to Guyana on
numerous occasions, the most recent of which he taught an ESS (Essential
Surgical Skills) course to 28 medical interns and was returning to follow up.
In addition, Dr. Cameron and Julia were to host a presentation and discussion
on the topic of Trauma, which would include training, research, trauma registry
and system development. A major part of the discussion would be to understand
what the needs, challenges were and to asses possible solutions and how we fit
into that picture.In addition to this,
there were also several meetings with various officials that both Dr. Cameron
and Julia were to head or be a part of. It’s a huge blow to this particular
March trip. As my supervisor, I’ve known Julia the longest. She’s always been
nothing but understanding and helpful and one can always count on her to get
things done. Disappointing that she and Dr. Cameron wont be able to make it in
March. They will return to Guyana to complete what they’d planned to do, but
they will definitely be missed on this trip.
What will still be taking place
is the development of the Pediatrics Residency program (http://www.guyanapediatrics.com) that
has already commenced by Dr. Nar Singh and Dr. Andrea Hunter in their previous
work in Guyana. The aim of the residency program is to better train
Pediatricians to allow for optimal care for children in Guyana. This should
ensure that the effect had on this sector of health care is long lasting.
Meetings with Hospital officials and pediatric residents will also be held. All
in an effort to better understand the needs. And where do I fit in?
Unfortunately, the only thing I’m qualified to teach is how to back-peddle or
run a Cover 3 defense. But I will be involved in the meetings and, along with
Dr. Singh, speak on behalf of the Guyana Help The Kids (http://www.guyanahelpthekids.com)
and this project. Aside from visiting the places that hold sentimental value,
I’ll get a chance to see the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and current
Pediatric Ward of Guyana Public Hospital Cooperation where I’ll be able to get
a first hand look at where help is needed specifically.
Hard to believe that only 3 months
ago I was hearing about this idea that seemed like this overwhelmingly daunting
task, and in a weeks time we’ll be on a plane for the first major step.
First off I want to give a big thanks to Drew Edwards for
allowing me to invade his blog periodically for the next couple weeks leading
up to and during the trip to Guyana. It’ll undoubtedly be less humorous than a
regular entry from Drew, but that’s mainly because the issue is less of a
humorous nature. Also because Drew told me I can’t be funnier than he is on his
With less than a month to go before we hop on a plane and
much still to do, myself, Dr. Nar Singh (http://www.guyanahelpthekids.com),
Dr. Brian Cameron, Dr. Andrea Hunter and Ms. Julia Pemberton met to work out
some details around the trip. Upon coming to the meeting there had been a lot
discussed, but not much solidification of plans. By the end of the meeting we
had our travel arrangements, planned our ideal media coverage, and had an
itinerary. Part of that itinerary included the possibility of meeting the Prime
Minister of Guyana. I pretty much blacked out for a good 45s after Dr. Singh mentioned
that as a possibility – and I mean that. I really have zero recollection of
what was said during the 45s after it was mentioned. My mind was just going. Not
that I know him or posses a particular affection for politicians, but just the
idea of meeting the leader of a country, much less my country of origin,
especially for a reason that could affect Guyana in a positive way…I imagine it’s
going to be pretty surreal.
By the end of the meeting I realized I was the only one who
hadn’t booked his ticket yet, and apparently tickets were scarce. That night I
booked the last two seats on the plane (thank God) and then it all kinda hit me
“this is really ‘bout to happen.” Not to say that I ever thought the project
was going to fall apart, but just the reality of the situation hit. I’ve talked
about going back to Guyana, since…..since I left, really. But never had the
thought ever become reality – and now, it had. I’m really going to get a chance
to see my old city, my old schools, my old neighborhood, my old house. I’ll be
seeing all that for the first time in almost 18 years. I’ll get a chance to
sharpen all those fuzzy memories of an 8 year old. I’m like the most nostalgic
person I know and maybe that’s why just thinking ‘bout going back carries such
weight. But, I called my dad and told him the tickets were booked. Now my dad’s
not exactly the ‘jump for joy’ type,
but I could almost hear him smiling on the other end of the phone.
The excitement for this trip is building. It’s a blessing
that I’m involved with this project.