USNS Comfort Returns to Haiti after Hurricane Irene
The Continuing Promise 2011 (CP11) mission team, embarked in USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), will return to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, August 24, to resume medical, dental, veterinary, and engineering operations.
Comfort was directed by Commander, United States Naval Forces Southern Command to depart the area and seek safe haven until the storm had passed. The ship weighed anchor and got underway the evening of August 21 in anticipation of the approaching Tropical Storm Irene. Comfort waited as the storm passed north of Haiti and then made her way back towards Haiti August 23.
Haiti is the ninth and final stop of the CP11 deployment, a five-month humanitarian assistance mission providing medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support to the Caribbean Basin and Central and South America.
Comfort initially arrived in Port-au-Prince August 18 and, over two days of operations, treated approximately 1,450 patients and performed 15 surgeries.
Why am I talking about this giant boat? Because Ben and I are going there on Saturday! Quisqueya was asked to provide interpreters, and our high schoolers are going all this week. Ben and I will chaperone on Saturday. Now mind you, we have been forewarned that the great majority of medical work and translating is done on the shore at a large triage center. Only the most serious cases are sent to the ship, with interpreters along for the ride ON A HELICOPTER from shore to the boat.
I'm sorry, did you say helicopter? Did you know one of my three life dreams is to ride in one? (Or, incidentally, that the other two are to visit Africa and be present when a baby is born?!).
At Baylor every incoming freshman takes an amazing test called Strengthsfinder, a personal strengths inventory created by the Gallop Poll people. Out of 50 strengths, my number three result was strategizing (or, as Ben calls it in honor of our dear sweet '43, strategery). This skill is already rearing its ugly head as I am already figuring out ways to get myself on one of those helicopters. I'm going on the boat. It's going to happen, people. Saturday. Get ready.
Wishing, hoping, strategerizing,