Rotaplast volunteers arrived at Cebu Airport early today to be greeted by Cebu Port City Rotarians and their wives. Some of the volunteers were greeted as old friends, many were new to the Cebu mission, and for some, it was their first Rotaplast trip. Most of us were a little tired after the long flight, but we were keen to get to work to begin another Cebu Rotaplast mission, where we would see the lives of little ones changed forever.


Quartermaster, Troy Alexander (above), is jubiliant that all boxes arrived – on time, and intact!

This year's Cebu team consists of Medical Director, Dr. Angelo Capozzi of Tiburon California, surgeons Dr. Jann Johnson of Sausalito California, Dr. John Manis of Larkspur California, Dr. Janet Salomonson of Santa Monica California, Anesthesologists, Dr. Alan Andacht of Paradise Valley, AZ, Dr. Judith Forbes of Christchurch NZ, Dr. Michael Messina of Henderson Nevada, CRNA Sharyn Babbitt of Sacramento California, Pediatrician Dr. Greg Melnick of Miami Beach, Florida, Head Nurse Deborah Dean of Lodi, California, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Nan Madden of San Francisco, OR Nurses Lois Borie of Ocala CA, Maureen Cox of Napa, CA, Vickii Pierce Werner of Boulder CO, PACU Nurses Sandra Stabile of Fremont CA and Emma Hill of Boulder CO, Dentist Grace Sang of Cebu City, and Orthodontist Rosario Mayro of Jenkintown, PA. The Mission Director is Evelyn Abad of San Francisco, the Quartermaster is Troy Alexander of Victoria British Columbia, the Patient Transfer Coordinator is Suresh Pahwa of Austin Texas, the Photojournalist is Tricia Timmermans of Victoria BC, the Sterilizer is Bent Harder of Comox, BC, the Recreation Therapist is Brigitte Pahwa of Austin, the Medical Records Keeper is Jean Roberts of Olympia WA, the PACU assistant is Marnee Obendorf of Olympia WA, and the Patient Ward Coordinator is Karen Johnson of Olympia WA. All the non-medical team members are Rotarians from Washington, California, Vancouver Island, and Texas. Donor, Mr Joseph Hoffman of  Sausalito, California, is also in Cebu City as part of the team.

Canadian District 5020 Rotarian, Bent Harder, has completed several Rotaplast missions. Here he is greeted by one of the hard-working Cebu Port City Rotarian wives – Joy – in Cebu.

Medical Director, and Rotaplast co-founder Dr. Angelo Capozzi and surgeon, Dr. John Manis, at Cebu Airport after the long flight from San Francisco.

After checking in, we regrouped at the Midtown Hotel for introductions. Dr. Capozzi introduced and thanked the Cebu Port City Rotarians who had "smoothed the path" for so many of these missions. He also congratulated Troy Alexander on his first day as Quartermaster. Mission Director, Evelyn Abad, who has the distinction of Honorary Membership in the All-Man Rotary club, thanked the Rotarians' wives for the great work they do. Others to be thanked included Joe Hoffman, the District 5020 Rotarians, and others who have donated to this mission. Dr. Rosario Mayro, the team Orthodontist, thanked Dr. Grace Sang, a Cebu dentist, who has organized local dentists to do screening and extractions, thus cutting down on dental procedures needed to be done in the Operating Room.

The afternoon was spent inspecting the Vincente Sotto Medical Center and the Sian Tian Temple Medical Clinic in preparation for tomorrow's Pre-Clinic session. The feeling is strong that with this team of such experienced volunteers, it will be an excellent mission. New Mission participant, Jean Roberts, feels honored to be a part of a project that will bring about such life-changing results.