Honduras Mission Trip – September 2018 – Departure for Honduras

Our supplies for Honduras arrive just in time, one day before departure date for San Pedro Sula. We pack them quickly and neatly into four large suitcases. We are carrying enough supplies for 75 cases.

We have eye drops and sterile gloves, sutures, surgical blades, lenses, and of course surgical instruments trays. It is quite a job trying to fit all that into four suitcases as that is the limit we can bring on to the airplanes. We carry the minimum for our clothing and personal needs, mostly just surgical scrubs and a couple of t-shirts to wear at night.

Our flight from Tampa International airport leaves at 6:10 AM so we wake up at 3 AM and get ready to get to the airport since we have a lot of baggage to check in.  Here we are, leaving our hometown in the dark of the night.

Connecting through Miami for San Pedro Sula.

Our flight path is pretty straightforward.

The temperature in San Pedro Sula is ninety degrees. It is pretty hot. And rain is predicted for the entire week. The only thing I am a little bit worried about is all the hurricanes forming right at this moment in the Atlantic Ocean. They probably will not hit Honduras, but if they land on the east coast of Florida and if Miami International Airport closes by the time we leave Honduras then that can be a problem for us.

We arrive on time. A very pleasant flight to San Pedro Sula. We do have a time change of 2 hours.

The long line of people going through passport check moves at a snail pace. Our bags wait for us at the at the bags counter. All four bags, what a relief. We are very worried that bags get lost, and we will be missing supplies to do the surgeries. The customs officers check through our bags thoroughly. I have to show them our letter of invitation and pray that they will not give us any trouble. Luckily, the officers are very nice. We tell them about our surgeries we are going to do for free and they smile and tell us to close up the bags and let us through.Outside we are picked up by Francis and Herman. We ride in their white truck that is rigged with a PA system. This is the truck they use to go into the rural area and tell the people with vision problem to come to the clinic to get their eyes examined.

Once we arrive at the clinic, we quickly put the medicine that needs to be refrigerated into the refrigerator as it is very hot here in Honduras.

We have a quick tour of the operating room so we can have an idea of what to expect for the next day’s surgeries.

And here is our room. It is quite simple but it has everything we need. A bed and a bathroom with hot running water!

We have been traveling for seventeen hours now. The bed looks like what we need for a little rest before we have dinner with the director of the clinic tonight at 7 PM Honduras time, which is 9 PM Florida time! Yikes, that is really late for us but we need to adjust to local time.

We decide to lay down and take a rest. As we close our eyes, we say a little prayer for a smooth surgery week ahead and that all the patients we will be operating on will have a good and clear vision after surgery, God bless them all.

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