GiveYourGap presents its first organization to be featured from our travels- the Philippine Medical Society of Northern California and their Medical/Surgical Mission to Occidental Mindoro in January 2012. We really got to volunteer as a part of the mission and it was an incredible experience. Check out the video we produced for them to get a glimpse of the work we were doing.
The GiveYourGap Travel Team has finally hit the road! Kim, Shane, and I (along with Becky for a few weeks) have arrived here in the Philippines. On our first leg we will be volunteering with the Philippine Medical Society of Northern California (PMSNC) here in San Jose. This team of about 150 medical professionals is here to provide some much needed care for the people of Occidental Mindoro. Over 40,000 people are expected to come in for surgery or for outpatient care. But more on them to come!
In the meantime, we are excited to finally be together and getting started. Unfortunately, Shane’s bags got lost on her connection in Beijing, which was a major downer, but the good news is that it should be here by Tuesday. Our hosts here are so helpful and generous! The provincial government has been working with PMSNC for over a year coordinating all of these logistics and they are taking good care of us. I’m writing this sitting at a table on the beach at our hotel… eating the first of what will probably be 5 meals today… not exactly roughing it
We have met some really cool people so far, from the cosmetic surgeons who fix cleft palates on missions on the side to the team of Berkeley undergrads getting some hands-on experience. We bonded with them in particular as we slaved away splitting up meds for the pharmacy for about 8 hours straight yesterday! We were excited to actually be able to work hard and contribute. It’s not exactly like we’re all qualified to scrub in to a surgery. We’ve got a busy week ahead of us volunteering, trying to get some good footage, put together some videos for you, and oh yeah- get to sight-see a bit.