AMAZON BOAT TRIP - March 21 – April 2 - By Jennifer Bass
Good morning from Manaus! We arrived at the boat around 3:30 this morning and got a few hours of rest. Looks like we might be seeing patients at an "Indian" village near the city before we head on down river. We'll see what the day brings!
So, I haven't really shared this in detail but our trip began in a quite unusual way. Jimmy, Jim and I were supposed to meet up with a team from Indiana in Panama and share the final flight into Manaus. This included Teddy who is Earl and Ruth Anne's son and the only English/Portuguese speaking person in our group. We had never met these people and kept watching for them at the gate. We even heard their names called... but nothing. We boarded the plane and they never came through the doors. We were on our way to Manaus, just the three of us. No idea where the rest of the team was. We didn't know that they had missed their flight (no real fault of theirs!) and the boat crew had gotten the word that "the Americans had missed their flight." Not realizing that three of us HAD made the flight. We arrived at the basically empty Manaus Airport in the wee hours of the morning. I knew if we could just make it to the boat we would be fine. The wonders of Facebook messenger (which automatically translates) allowed us to contact Sanderley the boat captain and he was there in flash to get us. We arrived at the boat where Alcilete and the crew greeted us with grilled cheese sandwiches. Unfortunately the flight wasn't an every night flight so it was two days before the rest of the team joined us. Two days with the boat crew and three Americanos who speak very little Portuguese. And they made it a great two days. We even treated an indigenous village with glasses and basic meds. I am so thankful for the friendships we have made through the years that allowed an unfortunate and potentially scary situation to be absolutely enjoyable. The hospitality and expertise of this crew is unmatched. We were truly blessed!
We did many things in addition to the medical work. Here are a few highlights.