Christina Grass, a Project HOPE volunteer nurse from Big Pine Key, Florida had an adventurous day as she flew in by helicopter to a remote medical site in Ainaro, a small town south of the capital city of Timor-Leste, Dili.
“As the Helicopters landed in a small field, about a quarter mile from the medical site, the cheers of children gathering around to watch the craft land filled our hearts,” Grass says. “It was really awesome I enjoyed my time there."
Weather actually forced the Pacific Partnership 2011 medical team to spend the night in the remote town. The local people welcomed the team. The local priest offered the church as a place for the team to sleep, and the local restaurants opened there doors for a warm meal.
“It was an awesome experience, to really get an opportunity to understand the people and the culture better. It also really made me appreciate my profession as a nurse even more,” Grass says.
The medical team worked hard as a single unit and faced the challenges with welcoming smiles. "We treated a lot of people, and I felt that we brought a high level of care to the people of Ainaro," she adds.
Grass also spent time getting to know the local children. “We really established a connection at the clinic. They would wave and smile with their big beautiful smiles when they were in the clinic with their parents. Once they learned my name, they would cheer and shout it out whenever they saw me.”
Patients treated by the volunteers and Pacific Partnership medical team today, at both the Ainaro site and the primary mission site totaled 1,351. To use Grass’s words, that is AWESOME.
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