We arrived at the cramped airport to face a frenzied mob of travelers all clambering for their bags. Once all our team members found each other, we gathered for the quick ride to Villa Francesca. There were still a few signs of the heavy rains that had come through in the days prior, drainage ditches full of water and tall grass. The familiar smell of diesel and fine dust hit our nostrils as we stepped outside.
This time, we were an experienced group, most of us having traveled in the region a few times in the past. Yet many questions left us distracted on the drive out of the airport. The group before us had left big shoes for us to fill in their wake. Their classes on resuscitation and teamwork had received glowing feedback from the hospital staff, something which we aimed to match.
After a stop at the nearby grocery store, we headed to the hospital to get our bearings. It was there, at St Luke’s, that all of our questions and doubts disappeared. We were greeted by the familiar faces of Dr. Augustine and Dr. Jean-Francois, who welcomed us with open arms. We thanked them for their hospitality and reviewed the plans for the week ahead. We added to the ever-growing list of courses, topics, and projects for the METI team.
A quick walk through the hospital was punctuated by the familiar smiles and faces of nurses and techs. We returned to the villa to plan out our stay over a good meal. Having found our bearings, we slept soundly under the torrential rains that cooled the night.