Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Wednesday March 15-Travel DayTravel day

Arrived in FLL without problems on Air Dailey.   

Our good friend Dailey was most generous in flying me from Naples to FLL aboard his fabulous Cirrus.  He frequently will call me to fly around with him whenever I am off and available, doing missed approaches and enjoying the view from a few thousand feet.  This was a first for me with Dailey, flying with a purpose.  More exciting was being interposed with the rest of the commercial traffic at the end of this 35 minute hop from Naples.  It saved me some valuable time and the burden and cost of driving and parking.   We managed the complexity of the taxiways and found the private air terminal.  An attendant was nice enough to drive me around to my departure gate and I was checked in with time to spare.

Unfortunately, the rest of the outbound journey was not so smooth.  Our 200 pm flight to Montego Bay on Spirit would get us to Jamaica in the late afternoon with plenty of time to shop, drive over an hour to our mountain destination and work out the kinks in the clinic.  Air travel the day after a major storm tends to unravel the system and we experienced the downstream events with delay due to crew issues and mechanicals that put us in flight somewhere after 5 pm. 

My first experience on Spirit did not generate enthusiasm for future travel.  The planes are new Airbus 321 series but they spared every expense on the inside.  Seating is early IKEA.  Hard plastic with a foreskin like leatherette covering took its toll on my just recently quieted sciatic distress.  The seats do not recline and they use bungee cords to holster the barf bag and emergency instructions.  The tray table was a diminutive 6” shelf about the size of a Hershey bar. 

Beverage service has now gone full pay as you go making my $3 water in the terminal seem like a bargain. 

The flight itself was a quick 75 minutes and the conditions were clear and I enjoyed the flyover of the Bahamas and Cuba. 

Unfortunately, the rest of the team arriving on Wednesday in Montego Bay were left standing and waiting for us to arrive and we had not yet experienced the worst part of the air travel segment of this adventure.  The immigration line made the wait for Space Mountain at spring break look like an express lane.  I would estimate there were at least 1000 people in the serpentine which created NO sense of urgency on the part of the security staff who went about their business with great Jamaican aplomb. 

As we snaked back and forth I heard a voice ask if I was “Dr. Phil” and got to meet one of the members of the dental team, Paulette.  She was a returnee to this mission and described the setting and accommodations positively.  Perfect timing because I was beginning to get a bit grumpy.  By now I had given up keeping track of the time waiting but I do not think we got past the immigration checkpoint until nearly 8 pm. 

Everyone that checked luggage found theirs thankfully and we proceeded through customs which was a mere 5 minutes.

Once outside the terminal we were immediately greeted by a huge smile and welcoming bear hug from Fr. Luke and Sr. Jhona.  They came in two vehicles, a station wagon and a mini-pickup.  The team is almost entirely female so we tested the suspension of the pickup with an impressive load of Pullman suitcases covered with a tarp. 

By now I have lost all track of the hour of the day and Jamaica does not obey DST so there is an hour time difference for those from the east.   We still had to stop to shop at Mega Mart which is basically a Sam’s Club and the ladies scattered like bugs when the lights are turned on and Fr. Luke and I had a simultaneous revelation  that the night was still far from over.  I took a brief run through the place, located the Red Stripe (local lager) and brought a case to the checkout finding Fr. Luke already in line but no sign of the ladies.   In reality it really only took 30 minutes and as is typical in my own household, very little buying took place, just shopping.

Now we have an hour drive out of Montego Bay on the north/south main drag in western Jamaica and then a westward leg to our destination.  Driving is on the left in Jamaica which takes some getting used to and I continued to embark via the wrong front door.   

Compared to Kingston, the road conditions for the southbound leg of the trip were superb by Jamaican standards, but is still somewhat terrifying as we wound our way up the mountain.  Once we headed west then the roads were similar to the norm in Kingston with lots of potholes and some canyons that required 90 degree deviations into oncoming traffic. 

We have still not had dinner yet and Fr. Luke called Jennifer, our cook Jenny, to advise of our very late arrival.  Hearing only his side of the conversation was sufficient to enlighten that she was rightly a bit put out.  

At 10 pm local time (11 in my brain) we sat down to a traditional jerk chicken and rice and the extra time cooking did no harm to this delicious chicken.  We topped off the meal with homemade pineapple upside down cake and everyone got a short lived second wind. 

Weary travelers enjoying late dinner at Community Center

Fr. Luke, Sr. Ata, Paul and Boxer 

Chef Jenny and Sr. Jhorna 
We decided to take a quick survey of the clinic.  The optimism that we are going to do medical, dental and optometry in a space that I estimate is under 1000 square feet is impressive .  Paul and Boxer set up the eye exam lane yesterday and it is nicely equipped.  The wrinkle in the floor plan is that all the dental/hygene patient traffic will be walking through the eye lane.  Should be fun.  Mission trips are nothing if not a great opportunity for creativity.

Next, we set about distribution of the luggage.  Those of the female persuasion are sharing a quite lovely home AKA the Doctors House.  Next, we headed to the community center for some rest.  This building will also serve as the sleeping accommodation for Paul, Boxer, Gavin and myself.   Fr. Luke built beds from framing lumber and they were topped with absolutely fantastic mattresses. 

I commandeered the coffee maker and set up the first of the morning brew, plugged in my earbuds turned on a white noise app on the iPhone and committed myself to trying to rest after a quick shower at about midnight local time. 

Thursday March 16, 2017-Clinic Day One

Those who know me appreciate that sleep is not one of my attributes and I took my first peak at my watch around 3 am EDT coincident with the first rooster call.  I fought the urge to get up and subject Gavin to my morning adventure with the new coffee maker.  I did manage to steal a few more spells of sleep.  At 6 I fired up the coffee maker and started to recapture the previous day’s activities in writing before it started to blur completely.

We plan to be in clinic by 7:30 this AM which I guarantee is NOT going to happen as it is 6:30 right now and I am just starting to see some signs of life here.   The plan was to go to the Doctor’s House for breakfast as that is where all the food was kept.   I opted for a banana and one of the thirty protein bars I packed in my carry on.   I am a breakfast person but I want to meet the guy who was hungry after the meal we ate late last night.

The weather is quite different from my two trips to Kingston.   We are at about 600 feet of elevation and the place looks like the Smokies with banana, bamboo and palms as primary vegetation.  Sleeping without air was quite tolerable and the outside temperature is around 70;  humidity is probably 170!

Goat in front of Doctors House 

Fr Luke offering a ride to clinic
Gavin, Shannon, Lindsay, Raysa, Sheli, Dr. Beth, Paulette all smiles before we head to clinic for first day
Doctors House remodeled by Fr. Luke
Note rainwater collection and solar water heater on roof

Seaford Town Sacred Heart Health Clinic 

Gavin checking in patient-Sheli getting ready to do prelim workup

Waiting Room
Gavin and Sr. Jhorna at check in 
Shannon doing physical exam 
St. Ata at pharmacy window
Waiting room

Sr. Ata and Dr. Raysa 

The first morning of the new eye clinic went smoothly once I got into the rhythm and remembered that the Jamaican way is not my way.  Asking a question does not necessarily result in an answer related to the question.  The auto-refractor is remarkably accurate for many of the patients so I do a quick subjective and move on to checking pressure and doing an internal exam. 
Eye Exam Lane

Who needs a Kleenex?

Helen running the auto refractor

Optical Service

Paul fitting Sr. Jhorna with some new specs 

The population in the mountains is significantly different from those in Kingston.  I swear every other patient I saw in the past two trips to Kingston were hopeless train wrecks hauled in by family hoping for some sort of miracle.  For the most part I am seeing patients with some needs I can meet, and doing some meaningful work here in the rural mountains. 

It is 4:30 on clinic day one and I am finished and working on my next career in dental equipment repair.  The dentist.  (Beth) and her hygienist (Lindsay) are using these really cool portable units for scaling, polishing, suction, drilling.  The equipment is rather new but is not getting regular maintenance/lubrication.  Sadly, the dental clinic spent a lot of the afternoon recovering from equipment problems.    Paul and Boxer spent a great deal of time on their knees breathing life back into these units.   At one point there was a catastrophic leak/explosion that resulted in a unit and floor covered in the slop that was collected by the suction part of the apparatus.  Yikes!

Lindsay -Dental Hygenist
Dr. Beth and Paulette doing some extraction work
Paul and Dr. Beth trying to salvage portable dental unit
Once the clinic cleared out we headed back down to the community center for some dinner which was excellent and topped off with a homemade dessert bread apparently provided by one of our patients.

I headed to the Doctor’s House to use the internet for an opportunity to let Nace (my beloved) know I was alive and well.   As I was heading back I ran into Sr Ata and Sr. Jhorna and they advised Father Luke was going to say Mass in the chapel in their house.  I dropped off my bag and Gavin and I returned to the chapel.  It is a modest room set up with an altar, tabernacle and a life size painting of Jesus’ Divine Mercy behind the altar with eyes that looked right at you regardless of where you were in the room.  Gavin the Sisters and I waited for a while in peaceful silence for Fr. Luke whose arrival was announced by a few horn blasts as he rounded the corner on two wheels in his pickup truck. 

I have been to Mass in a wide variety of venues but this may go down as the most special of my life.  Gavin read the first reading and then sang the responsorial psalm.   His gift of musical talent is remarkable.  More remarkable is that I saw him just a few weeks ago in Naples at our own church when he and the choir from Kingston visited as they do annually to thank us for supporting their churches in Jamaica.  Gavin also sang a solo devotional at that Mass and it was quite moving.  Now here we share our faith in the same small space miles from our respective homes.  Gavin was an add on to our mission and he travelled by bus across the country to join us and help out in the clinic. 

Fr. Luke’s Mass was a great way to end the first day of clinic.   Mercifully, we were in bed well before midnight and I was asleep within seconds of hitting the pillow.

Friday March 17-Clinic Day Two

I am enjoying my first Jamaican coffee of the day in the dark while my roommates sleep.   I waited until 6:15 to open up the metal door on the side of the dorm and take in the sunrise over the mountains and enjoy a refreshing morning breeze.  The roosters are not as patient and they have been at it since about 4 am.   I also hear a cry that sounds like a child and note a collection of goats grazing in my backyard.

Sacred Heart Church from rear of  Community Center

Goats grazing in front of Community Center/Mens Dorm

Boxer is also up now and we are enjoying our sunrise coffee and he is catching me up on all things Jamaican on the porch of the community center. 

Dr. Beth brought St Patrick's Day garb for everyone

Boxer shows his Irish 

 More of the same today.  The pace yesterday was pretty good as Fr. Luke and the Sisters pre-appointed the patient’s and even triaged them for each of the disciplines.  Each patient is checked in by Gavin and Sr. Jhorna and given a number for any or all of the clinics for which they are scheduled.  If they have a blue number they are taken to the pretest area of the eye clinic for an autorefraction by Helen, a family friend of Paul’s, on her first mission trip.  Helen runs this quick check of estimated spectacle prescription, attaches the printout and puts dilation drops in each patient’s eyes.  I get the patient next and try to sort out what brought them to the eye clinic.  These conversations are usually of limited value.  If they are also in the clinic for general health exam they have undergone a basic health screening which is very helpful for me.  At least I know they are diabetic or have hypertension.  Diabetics get a blood glucose test on site.  Diabetes is prevalent in most of the third world, compounded by a carbohydrate rich diet.   It is also the third most common cause of permanent blindness in the world.

I have given up entirely on “which is better one or two” since the concept of making choices has not been adopted by the Jamaican population.  Spectacle Rx determination is pretty much based on how successfully I can get cooperation to read smaller letters on the chart.  Lots of patients just need some help with reading and Paul Connor has a generous selection of high quality over-the-counter readers that are perfect for those blessed with decent distance vision. 

Another clinic day is now complete.   Back at the dorm for a shower and a rest on the breezy porch with the smell of fried fish filling the air.  Jenny has been very busy keeping twelve of us filled for lunch and dinner.  Lunch today was a vegetarian delight of some poached vegetables with a wedge of watermelon for desert.

Sheli spreading the love 

The clinic was very busy today and I believe I saw at least 30 patients plus a few patients who happen to be in the neighborhood that had not registered.  My patients again were fairly straightforward by Jamaican standard.  Mostly people in need of some vision correction.  

This guy seriously shows up in a jungle clinic for an eye exam with this shirt on and did not even get the irony!

A genetic study here would be fascinating.  I have seen numerous people with the same surname and I do not mean Smith or Jones.  They are all members of an extended family who could not be more dissimilar.  The Germanic settlers in the early 1800’s did not intermix for quite a while until the local population was declining in number and there were a lot of offspring produced by folks who were clearly to closely related for procreation.  Lots of crazy refractive errors and individuals with right and left eyes that did not resemble each other at all.  Mixed in were the usual characters with end stage diseases that continue to seek a cure for their vision loss despite 20 years of advice that it was hopeless.  Highlights of the day were a fair-skinned, morbidly obese lady with a blood pressure that tested the measurement limits of the equipment.  She had vision loss in one eye due to a hypertensive complications and the good eye had a moderately swollen optic nerve which was probably going to succumb assuming she did not keel over with a stroke beforehand.   On our stroll back from lunch I walked with a very nice older gentleman who wound up in my exam chair with significant vision loss but was still driving a passenger van back and forth to Montego Bay.  It will be our luck that he has an accident that blocks the only road out of here on Sunday and we miss our flight!  

During a break we saw a very banged up young man who had walked up to the clinic after taking a bad spill on his motorbike.  Sheli,  our med student volunteer jumped right in and gave the  guy a peroxide bath and patched up his knees, foot and hand.  I have personal experience with this form of road rash and he is going to be a very sore guy for a few days.  

I have been blessed with functional equipment and great teamwork with Helen who is now doing autorefractor, frame selection and measurements and dilating my patients so I can move them through the clinic without delay. 

Unfortunately, the dental team continues to struggle with their equipment and I am in awe of how they continue to push on despite all the technical setbacks. 

Finished for the day I headed back to the dorm for a shower and a Red Stripe and enjoy talking with Sr. Jhorna and Boxer.  Jenny had dinner well underway but at 5:30 there was still no sign of the rest of the team.  I walked back to the clinic and Raysa our primary care provider was still finishing up her last patients and the dental clinic still had four to go.  Two were add on patients that were sent home yesterday because of equipment issues.  I felt bad that we were standing around while they were soldiering on so I asked if I could help and got a quick course in cleaning and preparing dental instruments for the autoclave.  Nearly two hours later we were finally heading back to dinner.  Father had to give us a lecture about respecting time for lunch and dinner to assuage Jenny’s irritation about not being able to serve a proper hot meal.   He is a master at keeping everyone happy and quite right that we needed to suspend clinic operation and eat at the agreed upon time. 

Who knew goats don't like to get wet? 
As we left the clinic on the way to dinner Paulette the dental assistant stopped to spend some time with a little girl who had waited to visit with her for several hours.  They had met on a prior trip and Paulette brought a goodie bag for her little friend and patiently sat with her as she explained everything in the bag.  Paulette was already anticipating this when we were killing time in the immigration line so I had some advance notice this was going to happen.   It was moving to witness the patience and quality time Paulette spent to brighten this little girls day despite total exhaustion. 

We enjoyed another authentic Jamaican meal of pan fried kingfish, sautéed vegetables and some type of dense bread that was great for mopping up gravy.  One of our patients made a delicious chocolate cake for desert.  We coaxed Gavin into some acapella singing which included a Jamaican themed song about the culture of continued mental slavery in Jamaica.  He followed that up with an explanation of the song that was truly enlightening.  We broke up about 9 pm local time.  Boxer, Gavin and I discussed the dilemma of sending goods to Jamaica due to heavy taxes levied by the government.  The same thing with purchases from Amazon, the tax is based on the weight and size of the box.  The solution is to include personal items in a Food for the Poor shipment container with the understanding of a three-month delay.   (Mental note: Boxer-Size 8 shoes) 

Saturday March 18-Last Clinic Day

I have been using a white noise app on my iPhone with my in-ear headphones.  The result is near total cancellation of the local sounds and Paul’s Olympic class snoring.  Unfortunately, I woke up again today with the silicone ear canal piece lodged beyond my reach in my right ear.  I got it free yesterday but today it is so deep I cannot even touch it with my finger.   Hopefully one of the primary care team can extricate it at breakfast. 

It is now 5:30 am and the roosters have been at it for about an hour.  Compounding my slight auricular discomfort, I also woke with a migraine which will make for a very challenging day.  I took a tryptan and hope that will lower the pain and nausea. 

The last day of clinic is usually the most challenging since there will be some additional demand from people who did not initially register for the clinic in advance.  The local policy is that patients are not seen if they were not pre-registered but all of us have been bending the rules.  Who knows when we will be back, so everyone is trying to maximize our impact.

Shannon, our RN on the team brought a hemostat and plucked the earpiece without incident.   Thanks!

As expected we arrived at the clinic with a sizable crowd awaiting our return this morning.  The dental team is still recovering from the first day’s cancellations and were generous in having those patients come back today. 

My day was packed and as predicted there were patients with serious eye health issues.  Too many to recount here but the heartbreaker of the day was Shameka, 33 years old with eye pressures in the high 40’s, more than twice the upper limit of normal.  Initially she presented with complaints about headaches which barely raised my eyebrows since this is the ubiquitous complaint for eye doctors.  It turns out that this is a low percentage symptom of actual eye disease so her symptoms did not give me concern.  Once I got a look at her pressures and near total optic atrophy the headaches were more likely eye aches that accompanied pressure spikes.  I started her on a topical medication and asked her to come back after lunch to see if the drug had any significant impact.  That was hopeful since pressures near 50 usually need multiple medications which we did not have.  I also had to let her know that she should get her affairs in order since it was likely she would be blind in a few years, even with heroic treatment that she is unlikely to get.  Later in the day I spoke to Fr. Luke about her and he was notably concerned about this prognosis as she has a child, lives in a shack and has no family support.  Blindness in the third world might as well be a death sentence without a family to support you.  Tameka came back as requested and her pressure was down by 50% but still above an acceptable level.  I spoke with Father Luke at the end of the day and he will try to find a benefactor who might help with the cost of sending her to a glaucoma surgeon in Montego Bay. 

More than a few patients had serious eye health complications of hypertension and diabetes which are the top health concerns in this population.   One gentleman in his 50s was totally blind in one eye from end stage diabetic retinopathy and was well on the way to the same outcome in the good eye.  He had been seeing a specialist in Montego Bay but stopped going when his laser treatment made is vision worse.   Poor communication contributes to this dilemma as it is typical to see a decline in vision right after laser but the end result of completion of the laser treatment which can take 4 or 5 visits is the reversal of blood vessel growth and scarring which leads to catastrophic vision loss.  I gave him stern warning that failure to go back for further treatment would result in certain blindness. 

I had several older patients with end stage glaucoma who had not refilled their prescriptions because they were unable to afford to see the doctor for renewal.  Sr. Athanasie helped me with this by producing an Rx pad and I wrote a new Rx for another year.  Lack of continuity of care will result in this patient losing his sight.

We obeyed Fr. Luke’s request to drop what we were doing and go to lunch on time today.   It was also a rainy day so all the patients were sent outside but could stay dry under a nice canopy that Fr. Luke had set up too keep patients out of the weather.  This has been the social center of town for the past three days. 

Lunch was Jamaican curry chicken and it was fantastic.   I gave Boxer a 20 for a beer run since the case we picked up on the first day was not going to last thru tonight.  We headed back up to the clinic to finish the day.  We say 40 eye clinic patients on Saturday and finished before we had to return for dinner at 6:30. The dental clinic was still catching up but they stopped to come down to eat.  Fr. Luke and Paul gave parting speeches and all but Dr. Love and Paulette hung out for a while and recounted the events of the last three days.

Raysa, Sheli and I hiked up to Fr. Luke’s house to use the internet and print boarding passes and then I walked them back to their cottage before heading back to the men’s dorm for a shower.  The water is heated by the sun hitting a tank on the roof.  It was rainy and overcast all day so the shower was pretty bracing but it did the job.   The fatigue, huge dinner and two beers at dinner pretty much did me in. 
The plan for Sunday is to go to Mass with Fr. Luke at  his other church which is 30 minutes away.  This should be an adventure as his truck holds 5 and there are at least eight of us planning on going.  I am so looking forward to a ride in the back of a pickup on these roads!

He has also arranged for a bus to take us all to the airport and everyone’s flight is scheduled within an hour.  Hopefully we will have no departure delays. 

Sunday March 19-All Over but the Tears

Despite my fatigue I still woke up around 230 local time and could not get back to sleep.  Gavin left at midday yesterday so I was now able to turn on a light and open the big security door without disturbing his sleep.   I brewed a final pot of coffee, read my kindle and waited for sunrise. 

At sunrise this morning we had another meteorologic event with cloud/fog cover so dense I could not even see the red roof of the church a few hundred meters down the valley.  I never did hear Paul and Boxer come in last night so it was not until later in the morning that I found out that Beth and Paulette did not finish in the dental clinic until midnight.  These two ladies really set an unbelievable standard of charity in continuing to work until the last registered dental patient was seen.    Perhaps someday there will be a more permanent and durable dental lane here so that they will not be at the mercy of portable units that are clearly not capable of this volume of patients.   

Packing was easy since I left 75% of the clothes I wore here with Boxer.  My shoes are three sizes too big for him so they go with me and my beloved Keen slides finally began to dissemble.  They will live out their life in Jamaica. 

For the trip to church, Father Luke and Sr. Jhorna divided us into their vehicles, allowing room to pick up some parishioners along the way.  I was able to sit inside the truck which was a blessing since it was pretty cool this morning.  We stopped to pick up an elderly lady but she was not feeling well due to medication confusion so we left her to recover at home.  Fr. Luke has to cover two churches and the early AM Mass was at his remote church which was about 30 minutes away.  The ride was marked by the usual pothole avoidance and also some pretty spectacular mountain valley views. 

Mass in Jamaica is full participation.  The parishioners sing all verses of every song, with some tambourine and percussion accompaniment.   Before Mass Father asked Raysa and I to do the readings which was a real thrill for me as a lector.  Raysa did a great job with Romans and Paulette was recruited to do the Prayers of the Faithful which she delivered with expected devotion.   Everyone in the church had been in our clinic this past week so we got a VIP welcome and the kiss of peace took 10 minutes.  What a great and humbling experience to share our faith with these great people who have so little worldly goods and live lives of great faith and devotion.

Fr. Luke giving Paulette a blessing 

Shannon and St. Ata after Mass
Paulette and Lindsay photobombing 
Back to our little enclave in Seaford Town for our bus ride to Montego Bay.  This is where it gets hard even after a decent night of sleep and reflection not to break down.   Saying goodbye to Sr Athanasie, Sr. Jhorna and Father Luke was a shared and special moment that none of us will forget.  They were so gracious in their hospitality and concern for our well-being for these past five days.  The could not do enough to feed and comfort us physically and spiritually.   We will all be in their prayers and they will be in ours. 

This is anticipated terror of the ride ahead

The suitcases were loaded, albeit a bit lighter with lots of things left behind and we were off for a 90-minute bus ride to the airport.  Larry, our driver, maneuvered us through the mountains and north to the airport without incident.  Raysa and I took the front row with Larry and the rest of the team were in the back with their view forward completely blocked by a mountain of luggage.  For the most part the ride was not terrifying. 

Arrival at the airport was the usual Jamaican pandemonium.  Apparently, all departing flights leave Montego Bay at the same time of day and the airport was packed.  We said goodbye to Boxer who was headed to the bus station for a two or three-hour ride across the country back home to Kingston.   

I was not successful in printing a boarding pass last night and Spirit  does not have a phone app so I found a kiosk, went through the process and the machine locked up.  One of the attendants came by and said “oh yes that has been going on all day”.  Thanks for the out of order sign.  My second attempt on another kiosk produced a boarding pass. 

At this point, everyone had scattered to check bags and begin the security process.  Thankfully the security set up is a bit more efficient than the customs/immigration and despite the mass of humanity I cleared security with ease after being randomly selected for a full search of my carryon and a pat down.  Once on the good side of security I parked myself at the top of the stairway to wait for the rest of the air travelers on our team. 

Reunited, we had lunch together and then went our separate ways to await our departing flights.  Four of us were returning to Ft. Lauderdale on Sprint aka Spirit or as I will now refer to it S#!T airlines.   Yet another delay in departure, big surprise.  Paulette and I talked about travel to Italy and passed the time looking at my Tuscany web album.  Thankfully the plane did arrive and we were finally boarding 50 minutes late.  Once again, the “IKEA” seating took its toll and my sciatic nerve was in full alert by the time we landed in Fort Lauderdale. 

Just before departure on Wednesday I downloaded an immigration app – MobilePass, which negates the need for the form on the plane and works much like a boarding pass app.  It only works in the US and it does streamline the process and you get to bypass the standard lines. 

Now safely returned to my home country I was a text away from reunion with my precious spouse of almost 39 years, a quick bite to eat and easy drive across Alligator Alley.

This is my third and best mission trip to Jamaica.  The camaraderie with this fantastic group of dedicated professionals and the selflessness of the volunteers and our Seaford Town hosts will make it hard to decline and invitation for another Jamaican bush mission. 

My sincere thanks, and admiration to all of you who I was honored to serve with.

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  1. Phil, great documentary of what sounds like a great and successful trip! Glad all went well and you back in Naples. Sounds like all of you did some great work for the folks there.
    Congrats. Loved all the pictures, would have expected nothing less!!

  2. I enjoyed reading this... I was captivated! I am Glad you enjoyed the people and a place I am a part of. Thank you for your time and dedication I am sure it meant alot to them! I was intrigued by your description of some of your patient's eyes, how one could differ from the other and if I am interpreting correctly it has to do with their genetic make up.