Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Headed to Airport for Haiti

Wow, things have been so busy here and so much has happened in the last week, but everything is working out. After the news got out about my departure from the news desk to the disaster areas of Haiti as a nurse, everything just snowballed. I've done national live interviews with:

The Today Show,Fox News,and even as a live guest on the NBC/CBS station I'm departing from.

In between running erronds, packing, saying goodbye, collecting antibiotics and supplies, I've had the phone glued to my shoulder doing interviews with everyone from the Tampa Tribune to Reader's Digest Magazine! Needless to say, it's been overwhelming, but the business has been distracting. When I get too quiet the reality of everything starts to settle in and fear starts to tug at my kite suspended in faith. That's when I have to real myself back in a bit and get focused.

I'm not sure if I had updated it on the blog yet, but last Sunday I found out that my commercial flight supposed to head out on Thursday was cancelled. I was fretting about it because there was so much riding on that flight. I was supposed to be meeting with my team, everything was so perfectly laid out and now everything was changing. However, an inner peace took over me and I knew I would be provided for. There was already a seat on a plane that belonged to me, I just had to be patient and find out with who and when. After my first national interview, I had calls start coming in. People from all over the country were calling with suggestions and ideas about getting me down there. Then, last night as my very kindered spirit best friend from childhood was over having a goodbye meal with me, the phone rang and I got my seat confirmed! I waivered for a minute at some weight constraints, looked over at my best friend who's finishing a career in the military and fought in Iraq and she said, "you make a decision and you commit to it!" That's what I did and that seat will be mine. I was so blessed to have the opportunity. I'll be taking off on a charter plane with a group of other doctors and nurses at 5am from Melbourne airport in Florida. While I was so excited, it came with a smack of reality. I'm thinking to myself, "okay, you're not just talking about it anymore, your back to being committed!" God also provided and because I'm a pretty small fry at about 115, I am able to add more weight to my gear... ringing in at 72 pounds I'll be toting around. I've got MRE's, Water, a ton of medical supplies including nearly 1,000 doses of Amoxycillin, sutures, IV tubing, bandages, gauze, gloves, surgical prep equipment, my otoscope, stethascope, BP cuff, scrubs, tent, sleeping bag, global phone, pepper spray for safety, and so much more. There's some really neat things I've made room for in my pack as well... they are not essential, but were gifted from some to the children of Haiti including balloons, cards, and more.

After much coordination and contact making, I've got my plans pretty much organized. However, I know that even upon arrival my expectations will have to be at a minimal and I'll have to remain flexible and fluid. Once on the ground, I'll be connecting with the Ruuska Village (which Amazing Grace coffee shop in Duluth is having a fundraiser for mid-month). There, I'll be working in the clinic providing triage for refugees. This is in the city of Bon Repos, a town a few miles outside of PAP that was destroyed at about 60-70%. I'll then be connecting with a group coming out of Turtle Lake, Wisconsin at their location which will be a medical clinic setup outside a school and orphanage. From there, I'll be heading over to the compound for the Kako Foundation in PAP to triage some of the young students... many now orphans. Once some of those immediate goals are reached, I'll be either headed to work out of King's Hospital or CDTI hospital in PAP or head to the Mission of Hope just outside of town and work out of their clinic. There's also a possibility of heading North as originally planned to Cap Haitian and working out of the hospital there. I've got so many people that have poured out their support, phone numbers, contact info, home offers, and team recommendations. Among those... Doc O., if your reading this... your help has been invaluable! You are truly a beautiful spirit and an angel!

We're almost to the hotel where I'll grab about 4 hours of sleep before getting up and driving up to the tarmac to load up the plane. If I had to describe in words how I'm feeling right now, I'd just say actually pretty peaceful. Granted, there is such fear of the future days to come, the comforts I leave behind, the heartache of watching human suffering, the fear of disease and illness myself, the possibility of another earthquake occuring, and the uncertainty of what God has planned for me, but overall... there's a calm presence that surrounds me. That's why I know this is supposed to be.

Lastly, I wanted to update folks on some other great news that unfolded today... the paperwork was finalized for completion of 501c3 status. This means I'm officially the president of a non-profit agency, with a board of directors and everything. Right now, we're just calling it the "Julie Pearce Medical Relief Team", which will probably later be changed, but for now it's great. It means that anyone that donates now will be able to make it tax deductible! This is a big deal and I'm still shocked that it was able to unfold so smoothly. It sets the stage as the cornerstone for much greater work to be done in the future. Perhaps the arrangement of local teams that can respond in disaster, or the roots to the Clinic/Church I want to build in the jungles of Belize. If perhaps, you're still interested in supporting my efforts and the team I'll be joining with in Haiti or future missions, you can send checks to:

Julie Pearce Medical Relief Team
8430 Bay Springs Drive
Orlando, FL 32819

Anyhow, we're getting to the hotel now. I'm gonna wrap this up... turn off the computer, turn off the cell phone, turn off the tv, and any other distractions and start to get in the zone. I'm going to relax and get centered because 6 hours from now, it will be game time!

God bless everyone and just hoping I have access to keep you posted upon my arrival and my first impressions when I get there.


At February 3, 2010 at 8:42 PM , Anonymous Joann V said...

Good Luck and God Bless you Julie. I will be following your blog and praying for you.

At February 4, 2010 at 6:01 AM , Anonymous Kathy King said...

Yes, we hope you can continue to blog what's happening. Best way to know how to pray for you and what is happening around around. God is clearly in control evidenced by what he has done to get you there and the peace he have given you to go there. It will be an honor to pray for you while doing his work.

At February 4, 2010 at 2:03 PM , Blogger Cory said...

Keep safe and let me what I can do. I have endless resources along with the ability to go. Prayers are with you.

At February 5, 2010 at 11:07 AM , Blogger Cory said...

I left my phone and email address for you on FB. Cory

At February 16, 2010 at 7:40 AM , Anonymous Nicole M said...

Wow, I think it is really amazing what is going on there. THis blog really inspires people to do more. Good Luck Julie! It brought tears to my eyes!


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