As the time was nearing to leave Guyana and set course for Suriname, Project HOPE volunteers alongside the crew and medical staff onboard the USS Iwo Jima continued to treat and provide health education for as many Guyanese as possible.
Some of the medical personal continued work at the onshore medical clinic site while a few others, including HOPE volunteer Dr. Colin Muir, an OB/GYN from Cocoa Beach, Florida, and Brenda Jones, a women’s health nurse practitioner from Valparaiso, Indiana, made a last visit to New Amsterdam Hospital to offer insight and learn about the maternal health practices.
While on site, the volunteers were privileged to witness the birth of a baby. "We were able to be part of a delivery by the midwife," says Dr. Muir. "The woman in labor was a young single mother, a very gracious lady. She wanted to pray before she went into labor so we held hands, she said a prayer and went on with the labor."
In the labor room, Dr. Muir joked with the young women before she had given birth to the possibly of name the boy Colin, but the women had the name Jeramyia picked out.
Onboard the ship, the Prime Minister of Guyana, Samuel Hinds, received a tour of the USS Iwo Jima and also went ashore to one of the engineering sites where the Continuing Promise 2010 team helped rebuild a school. The team installed a working pump system, electricity throughout the school, rebuilt a fence and fixed a broken basketball hoop. The effort and the effects on the community will have a big impact for the children of Guyana for a long-time to come so it was most appropriate that the site was chosen as the location for the closing ceremonies.
As the Air Force band played their last note and the helicopters packed up, many of the volunteers looked back on Guyana with some good memories and the knowledge of really helping out some small communities.
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