This the waiting area for family members, this is where we spent our time.
The ship is hugh, it is a 1,000 bed hospital with 500 critical care beds. There is a CT scanner, 12 operating rooms and the largest blood bank of any hospital in the US. When they respond to disasters, like Haiti, they turn one area into delivery rooms, set up a NICU and turn 2-3 of the OR´s into C-Section rooms. Lots of babies come following a disaster.
We had two mornings and one evening we were able to walk on the beach.
These were in the lobby of our hotel I think the one on the left looks like he has on sunglasses.
We felt a bit guilty, we had come to help the poor and we were staying in an extremely nice hotel.
Nice view of the beach from our hotel.
I was so excited to get real American Food, but the food on the ship was awful. I guess combining Navy Food and Hospital Food makes it twice as bad. I really felt sorry of the Ecuadorians that had to eat it. We did get some american candy bars!
Our first view of the USNS COMFORT, from the air as we were landing.
The little plane we flew in.
May 14-25, 2011
On Saturday the 14th we flew from Quito to Manta to meet the USNS Comfort, a US Navy Hospital ship that will be in Ecuador for two weeks. This is part of the US Navy´s operation called Continuing Promise. The ship will make stops in several South American countries. While in the countries they do surgeries on board the ship, set up MEDCAPS, medical and dental care areas, and also have veterinarians that go out into the countryside and vaccinate animals. All services are free to the people of the country. The church through LDS Charities had 40 volunteers onboard, Doctors and Nurses as well as Social Workers, Dentists, Clean Water Specialist and others who volunteered to help. We provided 15 translators, including 8 missionaries from the Guayaquil North Mission. The church also sent 29 pallets of goods to be donated to hospitals, schools and clinics in the area. Dad and I spent most of our time on the ship assisting families as they waited for loved ones who were having surgery. Dad was able to help translate and we were escorts to the restrooms and up a deck to make phone calls. A total of 136 surgeries were done and an estimated 10,000 people were seen and given some sort of medical service in the outlying clinics. A group of engineers on the ship renovated a school; teaching was done for Doctors, Nurses, EMT´s, Firemen, and Public Health Officials. Lynn Samsel, Humanitarian Director for the Church, and Elder Hooker, our Area Authority Seventy, both came to Manta and spent several days aboard the ship. You will notice that the LDS Charity People all wore blue t-shirts. There was also 10 ROTC cadets from BYU that came to help, many were returned missionaries and served as translators.