March 2016 Trip Report
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
March Clinic, Part 1
March brought another success at both Laguna San Ignacio (LSI) and Lopez Mateos; a well-rounded group of providers, great weather, and overall just an excellent trip. As an added attraction, there was opportunity at both LSI and Lopez Mateos for whale watching and I heard that both were highly successful.
LSI was a pediatrics and women’s clinic this month and no dental. Part of the reason for no dental was to accommodate work that was being performed. A crew went down early Friday to do some much needed maintenance and install an air conditioner in the dental room. There were some ventilation issues in that area and it is interesting that mini split AC units have become cheap enough that they were a good and cost effective solution.
Again, thanks to the support of the Aeromedicos, we were well covered at Lopez Mateos. Even though our clinic weekend fell on the beginning of the Easter celebration in Mexico, patient turnout was good. When you visit Alicia’s blog http://samaritansmovil.blogspot.com/ to get patient counts and other clinic information, you’ll see that our Aeromedico friends provided an additional service to the community. Some of their members flew down early and provided CPR and other training to the locals. As you will see on the blog, it was a great success.
We did have an incident with an airplane on Saturday morning’s departure from Mulege. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the passengers were a bit shaken, but no one was hurt.
Next month’s clinic will be April 15-17 and there is a plan to add a day of dental area clean up and equipment assessment/repair at Lopez Mateos on Friday. The jury is still out on an LSI clinic for April, but if we can support it with dental, we will likely have clinic there also. See you soon!
March Clinic, Part 2
Here’s the second installment of the March clinic report. This was Toni Bryan’s first trip to LSI and she shares her experience below .
These two paragraphs about my March visit to our clinic in Laguna San Ignacio come courtesy of a request by our president, Dennis Gerlach. So here I go: I was introduced to the Flying Samaritans by our medical coordinator, Gail Brown, otherwise known as my big sister. My first trip was back in the late 1990’s and I have tried to volunteer at least a few times a year since then.
This was my first time going to Laguna San Ignacio. The trip started with a Friday flight over to the village. The guys were going to install air conditioning in the dental clinic , a really big deal as it has been discussed at our monthly meetings for quite awhile and the logistics of getting equipment plus knowledgeable people to be able to do the install to a small village in Baja is quite an ordeal. The rest of us in the group were headed out to the lagoon to do some whale watching. What an experience! We touched the whales, we played with the whales, we watched the moms breach. According to our guide, the males and the singles females had already left on their journey north. 107 moms and babies remained in the laguna and would stay there until the babies were big enough to make the trip north. I think we got to see each and every one of those remaining whales!
Afterwards we were served a tasty lunch of fish tacos. We bagged up enough for the hard working guys installing the air conditioner and headed over to the clinic to share the food and start some heavy duty cleaning in preparation for Saturday’s clinic. After a
long day in LSI, we flew to Hotel Serenidad, exhausted, dirty, but pleased with how much work had been done. It was early to bed with dreams of counting the splashing whales.
Saturday started with a breakfast buffet and a quick switch of planes to get everybody to the right locations. Off we flew to head back to the clinic at LSI. The flight was surreal; beautiful music and scenic views all the way. Patients were seen, medicines were
handed out, the dental clinic was inventoried, and the air conditioner was fine tuned. Then it was back to Mulege and Hotel Serenidad, where a celebration dinner was had, not only for two successful clinics, but also to celebrate the birthday of our medical
coordinator (AKA my big sister) Gail Brown. Sunday found us to be making our way back home with some great tail winds. What an amazing weekend and what a blessing to be a part of the Flying Samaritans! Thank you to Gail, all the pilots, and all the
volunteers who make these clinics possible.