The following is a journal kept by Dr. Lun Hangfu, as he recorded the rollercoaster experiences from his recent mission to Paraguay and Brazil in July 2010.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
As I stand in front of my house waiting for a ride to the airport with 20 suitcases of equipment, and medical and dental supplies, I wonder how 21 volunteers and doctors will fly out from Vancouver, Montreal, London, Lion Head, Cleveland and Toronto to Sao Paulo, Brazil for a two-week long Amazon mission. I hope we will all get there safely and on time because the boat will not wait if anyone is late.
It has been a long journey as we prepared for this year’s Amazon mission trips to Paraguay and Brazil. Health Mission Outreach (HMO) changed its mission protocol and now all missions must be approved by the host country. It took several months before Paraguay finally approved this mission. The Brazil embassy gave their verbal promise but eventually gave only tourist visas at last minute.
I am not superstitious but this was where the warnings started. Our reliable contact from Air Canada failed to make the proper arrangements for our extra luggage and we had to pay an extra fee of $860. Our flight was delayed two hours due to mechanical problems. Furthermore, one of our volunteer’s flight was cancelled in Houston and she was unable to get to Sao Paulo on time. I had to make last minute arrangements to accommodate her without knowing if she would be able to get on a new flight.