12 June 2012

Introducing. The Team.

Red eye flights are never my favorite. But this one in particular, drug out with mechanical failures and awaited parts, took middle of the night flying to a new level. I've never experienced such moody flight attendants. And at one point, with the auxiliary power out, I thought the fumes were going to asphyxiate us all. Exiting that plane on a beautiful sunny Guyanese morning was beautiful. Finding teammates and checked bags and then our friendly driver made it even better. I took a deep breath and readied myself for the grand adventure to come.

Guyana is a country of dense jungle and rivers. Georgetown, the capital, is actually built below sea level and spends much of its time flooded, pumping excess water back into the ocean. From the Cessna windows I could see nothing more than a carpet of green, divided only here and there by snaking water. Transportation to just about anywhere must be done either by boat or airplane.

And so we would. Travel by boat and plane, that is.

Here's our boat.

And here's our plane.
It's flown by mission pilots who are part of an organization called Wings for Humanity. This organization's main purpose is to perform emergency medical evacuations from remote areas of Guyana, carrying them to hospital care in Georgetown. Jud Wickwire, our pilot and host, spends a lot of time in the air. This week, however, once he got us to Mabaruma, he would be our boat driver.

He can do that too.

He can also cook up amazing food away from home.
And make sure our boat doesn't get stuck in the mud while we're at work in a village.
{The rivers are affected by ocean tides.}
Jud is an all-around great guy. Well organized, efficient, personable. He and his family took very good care of us.
It was a pleasure to get to know them all.
Want to meet the members of our US/CANADA based team?
Andrey -- grad student, first-time trip-taker and dentist
Luisa -- volunteer world traveler, and instrument-sterilizer and right-hand-woman
Jonathan -- trip leader, songwriter and dentist
Debra -- Jonathan's wife, super-organizer and dentist
Laura -- coconut water lover, explorer and photographer

All coming to Guyana with an organization called New Reality International
specializing in bringing medical and dental relief to those who need it most.

It was a fabulous team.
New Reality International [NRI] and Wings for Humanity made for a strong partnership.
Working together for a satisfying result.

Check out this awesome video to learn more about NRI and their work in Haiti and South America.
And then come back later this week to hear stories about dental work in Guyana. We pulled a LOT of teeth.