In Timor-Leste, Project HOPE volunteers:
- Worked at seven different medical sites
- Helped treat 10,938 people-including 3,660 children
Matt Peterson, Senior Manager, Volunteer Operations for Project HOPE, was able to visit the volunteers while they were working in Timor-Leste.
"Like all rotations, I think the volunteers are doing an excellent job providing needed care and health education,” says Peterson. "It is a good group of volunteers. This is one of the largest volunteer mission rotations we have had working on the gray-haul ships, and we are really pleased."
"It was a great experience and the people we worked with were excellent,” echoes volunteer Lance Sateren, a Pharmacist from Bismarck, North Dakota. “Working with the patients and seeing how grateful they were to receive the medicines they needed was very memorable.”
Sateren, a first-time Project HOPE volunteer but a career pharmacist, also played a helping role in the education and mentoring of the two Project HOPE pharmacy students onboard.
"The students that were with us, really connected with the people of Timor-Leste and made sure they knew how to take their medications," he says.
Anina Terry, a Registered Nurse from San Francisco, California, enjoyed the experience of working in a field hospital with limited supplies. "I learned a lot and had a great time with my patients. The busy days went by fast,” says Terry.
Terry also enjoyed working with the local translators. “Most were learning English at the local university,” she says.
Dr. Lynn Bemiller, an experienced HOPE volunteer, was pleased with how well the medical sites ran. “I also enjoyed learning about the people and their culture. It was very uplifting to see how concerned the Timorese people were about their health and the steps they have taken to become self-reliant and support themselves,” she says.
As the USS Cleveland makes its way to the Federated States of Micronesia, the last stop of Pacific Partnership 2011, the volunteers leave Timor-Leste with a cheerful smile, and a warm feeling, knowing that they have brought a possible brighter tomorrow to the patients that they have helped.
Photos in this story provided Mass Communication 1st Class Eli Medellin, Mass Communication 3rd Class Christopher Farrington and HOPE’s Kris Radder.
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