On Our Way to Vietnam in Just One Week!

A week from now, we'll be reading, sleeping, attempting to sleep, calculating how long until we land, shifting in our seats, considering whether now is the right time to extricate ourselves from our seats to visit the lavatory, and all of those things that come with a very long flight.

 We'll have a short layover in Taipei before continuing to Ho Chi Min City. The first challenge upon landing is our passport check, then identifying our luggage from amidst the masses of boxes and such coming down the conveyers.

Here's what I learned last time: More people arrive in Vietnam with large boxes and containers sealed with duct tape than what you'd consider traditional luggage. This time, we'll try to distinguish ours with purple duct tape to speed things along.

Once through customs, we'll have our first real experience of the heat and humidity of South Vietnam. The airport is mostly air conditioned, so stepping outside for the first time is a lesson in "how quickly does the human body perspire?"

We'll load our gear onto a bus, which will be our chariot for the next 100 miles south to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta. We'll stop for lunch midway, where the newer people on the team will get a sense of the weeks to come. When we get to Can Tho, we'll settle in at the hotel, get some food, and wander around to remind ourselves of how our legs work.

We begin work at Can Tho General Hospital right away. On Monday and Tuesday, part of the team will do patient screenings, while a smaller group will organize the supplies and set up the operating rooms. On our last mission in 2013, the medical team evaluated about 40 patients on each of the screening days. Surgeries start Wednesday.

Here's what the schedule will look like for most of the team. (Updated 3/17/2015)

Week #1
  • Sunday - Arrive HCMC, travel to Can Tho via bus
  • Monday - Welcome meeting, patient screening, and operating room setup at Can Tho General
  • Tuesday - Patient screening and setup at Can Tho General
  • Wednesday - Surgery at Can Tho General
  • Thursday - Surgery at Can Tho General
  • Friday - Surgery at Can Tho General
Week #2
  • Monday - Surgery at Can Tho General
  • Tuesday - Surgery at Can Tho General
  • Wednesday - Surgery at Can Tho General
  • Thursday - Surgery and exit meetings at Can Tho General
  • Friday - Travel to HCMC by bus
  • Saturday - Depart HCMC for home

 Amy and Stacy, our amazing speech, physical, and developmental therapists are always making the most of their time in Vietnam and visit multiple facilities while there. They participate in the initial screenings, then move on to other sites where they can provide assessments, treatment plans, and coaching for kids who need various therapy

Wish us luck and follow us here, on Facebook, or Twitter!



  1. Kim: Once again another great job of informing the public about all your team accomplishes. Hope the weather has been cooperative. Good luck for the remainder of your time.


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