“All Roads Lead to…” is a proverb, referring to the fact that many routes can lead to a given result.  That was in the air this morning when the Rotaplast 2017 mission to Tanzania started bright and early on June 4 at the San Francisco International Airport.  As the team met, there were first-timers and veterans alike.  Mothers, fathers, Doctors, Nurses, Engineers, Rotarians, and many more diverse backgrounds all coming together for one thing in common- a desire to help as many children as possible during a two-week stay in Africa.

First on the to do list is to unload 33 boxes of medical gear that will be used to perform the many surgeries that lie ahead.

Quartermaster Steve Brozowsky unloads the boxes with help from Alirameen Akram (Medical Records) and Neal Fleming (Lead Anesthesiologist) [Pictured below].

Making a surprise visit, Rotaplast Co-Founder Dr. Angelo Capozzi stops by to wish the team well and a safe, productive mission. [L->R: Ellen Adams (PACU Nurse), Dr. Angelo Capozzi, Alirameen Akram (Medical Records), Marguerite Fleming (PACU Assistant), and Neal Fleming (Lead Anesthesiologist).

Waiting for our delayed flight to arrive in the terminal we keep ourselves busy with a team meeting on the strategy and tips for Arusha.  Ward Coordinator Ellen Boesner, who had suitcases full of gifts and toys for the kids, hangs out with one of her puppet friends getting ready to put little nervous minds at ease before surgery.

After a delayed flight into Amsterdam, the subsequent flight kindly held our connecting plane for us so we could all make it to Tanzania tonight…with the exception of, turns out, all of our luggage.

Pamela Dundas (Head Nurse), Lianna Hopper (OR Nurse), and Dennis Dundas (Medical Director) posing together while the team fills out their lost luggage reports.

As we exit the airport we are greeted by local Arushan Rotarian Rosemary Davidson and our drivers who will take us the 1 hr nighttime journey to our hotel. [L->R: Tanzania driver, Bryan Stamm (Pediatrician), Jean Petro (Lead PACU Nurse), Rosemary Davidson, Lianna Hooper (OR Nurse), and another Tanzania driver.

Nevertheless, everyone is in good spirits and gets checked into the Naura Springs Hotel who graciously welcomed us with fresh juice, big smiles, and had stocked our rooms with some essentials that were in our checked baggage we hope to see tomorrow.