Day 9: Looking Ahead

We arrived at the hospital fairly early this morning.  Ben and I had a brief meeting with Dr Khoi.  The hospital will have a dinner party for us on Sunday. We will have a chance to say our goodbyes and exchange gifts with. Today Annamarie will finally visit the operating room; she just couldn’t watch the surgery. I found it fascinating. Almost no blood. We watched some surgery then left for a visit to the new hospital under construction here in Can Tho.

Dr. Khoi took Annamarie, Ben, and me to the site of the new hospital. It's a very large project located on more than an acre of land. The eight-story structure will contain 750 beds and have ten operating rooms on the second floor. The hospital won’t be ready for our 2003 trip, but should be ready for us in 2004. It will be a real pleasure to have a modern facility for the doctors.

There wasn't enough nitrogen left for tomorrow’s surgeries, Ben and I went to get more this afternoon. All went pretty smooth getting the gas, save the flat tire we had on the return trip. Our driver changed the flat in minutes and we were on our way back to the hospital.

After lunch we visited the Red Cross one more time. We put together all of the school supplies we had left along with a large tote full of children’s shoes. The Red Cross will distribute the goodies to the poor here in Can Tho.

All in all, it was a fairly quiet day for us.

The doctors have been working very hard. They did five surgeries today. I am very proud of our doctors: They are working very hard to help as many people as they can in the short time we are here. They will really need the few days of rest we have planned in Saigon before we return to America.

Tomorrow we are invited to the wedding of one of the Vietnamese doctors.