On Jan 17, Renee and I drove to the VOSH Illinois warehouse to pick up glasses to supplement the types and prescriptions that were so generously donated by Visionary patients. Now we have to get the bags packed.
We try to get each bag we take for the mission as close to the limit of 50 pounds as possible. Renee, Randall and I will be taking “The Mission Bag.” It is the bag with the eye charts and optical tools etc that we need for each mission. We will have a bag of my examination equipment. We will have a bag of the medications that were donated. We will probably have two bags of glasses. That is five 50 pound bags to carry and check between the three of us. Wish us luck. Any space (weight) left over in the bags will be filled with beanie babies and stickers etc. for the kids.
Jan 18, I went to Meijer and purchased an additional duffle bag, various kinds of tape (you cannot believe how invaluable tape can be when you are working under less than ideal circumstances), spray bottles, staples, sharpies and pens. I spent about $125. Your generous donations help us purchase supplies like these as well as help us defray the cost of checking all that luggage. We also purchase ready made glasses, any medications we need that were not donated and supplies. Thanks again!
Still left to do: make sure all of our documents are in order. In addition to the passport, we each have to have copies of the letter of invitation from the ministry of health. Bolivia has some strict policies on visas; $160 in cash, extra passport photos, documentation of yellow fever vaccination etc. And we have to make sure that the lovely Natalie Venezia who is organizing this trip, has an up-to-date copy of all of the medications including lot numbers, quantities and expiration dates and a list of all the equipment we are taking including serial numbers and model numbers.