We enjoyed blue skies over the city, as the team went to work in Siyang March 20, 2009. We arrived here late Thursday night. A five hour bus ride following a full day in the hospital completing seven surgeries, left everyone a little tired and ready for rest.
Siyang is small in comparison to Nanjing. At the welcome ceremony today we were told the city is about one million people. The weather was cool in the morning, on the short walk to the hospital. By lunchtime the sun was shining and the temperature was very nice.
The screening clinic followed a brief welcome ceremony. We were greeted cordially by our hosts. From administrators, doctors, nurses, and patient's families, we have found the Chinese people to be extremely nice, gentle, and happy we are visiting.
The doctors and nurses screened 39 patients today.
Screening clinics are often very scary and noisy places. The unknown frightens the little children. A hemoglobin check also involves a "poke" by nurse Rene or nurse Sarah. But the love of the Rotaplast team members has a way of cutting through the language barriers, calming hearts and nerves, and even making those little hurts feel better quickly.
Surgeries in Siyang will start on Saturday, March 21. Perhaps it is significant that the first day of springtime will also signify a change in the lives of these patients. It is the skills of the Rotaplast doctors and nurses, the dedication of the Rotarian volunteers, and the support of thousands of other Rotarians and donors, who make missions like this trip to Nanjing and Siyang a reality.