'It’s 4:00 a.m. on July 21, 2009, and I am sound asleep at home in Vero Beach, Florida.
I am anxiously dreaming of my new soon-to-be reality in Lima, Peru.
Meanwhile, 2,500 miles away, California Rotaplast team members are wide awake amidst nightmarish circumstances.
San Francisco International Airport has just greeted them with flight cancellation.
And although their adventurous voyage from San Francisco to Lima will become even more frustrating as the day progresses, their troubles will become distant memories as they are finally welcomed by the hospitable members of the Rotary Club El Rimac.' -Eric Thompson
Today, the band of volunteers were bussed to the Hospital National Arzobispo Loayza for the first of many trips.
At the hospital press conference, Dr. Zarela Solis Vasquez, Directora General, described the Rotaplast mission to the local media alongside Rotary Club El Rimac President Marcela Ventura, Mission Director Rose Marie Guerena Joyce, Mission Medical Director Dr. Sibrand Schepel, and local surgeon Dr. Margarita Marchino.
During the hospital tour guided by Dr. Marchino, team members learned of the hospital's history and current status caring for the areas poorest patients. Though more than 100 cleft palate-plagued patients are expected when Rotaplast opens the hospital doors tomorrow, four have already begun the line formation a full 24 hours early. Patients are expected to travel up to 11 hours for the opportunity Rotaplast offers. With this in mind and knowing the important tasks that await them in the morning, the team members are making certain to rest well tonight.