After two very long plane rides and one rickety bus ride we finally arrived at our destination. Our journey began two days earlier at the SFO airport. One by one our team eagerly arrived full of expectations and a little uncertainty. The experience of the volunteers on this mission varies greatly, for some (like myself) it is our first time and for others it is their twentieth mission; yet regardless of the experience our purpose on this mission is all the same – we want to help! So we packed up our 36 boxes, grabbed our luggage and boarded the plane. We arrived in India at three in the morning after spending over 20 hours on the planes. We were all exhausted but you couldn’t tell, everyone had nothing but smiles on their faces. After spending about an hour trying to get our medical boxes out of customs we were finally in India. The local Rotary group, who welcomed each of us with a jasmine lei, graciously greeted us airport.
The Australian volunteers joined us there and our team was finally complete. We boarded the bus and headed towards the hospital in Nagamangala. The streets in India were full of life even at four in the morning: fires were burning in the huts, tiny curbside stores were slowly opening, and the aroma of breakfast floated through the air. We arrived at our “hotel”, which were actually dorm rooms in the medical school next to the hospital, and had one hour to rest before we began our first day.