PRE-TRIP

Can’t believe it’s only 12 hours before embarking onto a one of a kind adventure. This afternoon we received in the office another package from Oticon with twenty-some reconditioned hearing aids and some other items for donation to the Viva-o-Som Clinic in Parintins, sponsored by Oticon, where I will be spending 10 days. Suddenly it’s becoming real that I am actually leaving for the tropical forest tomorrow! I am excited to meet Cindy for the first time at Miami Airport, she is the student chosen by the Project Amazon to go along with me on this endeavor.

Since I have no idea of what to expect, what is needed, and what is available in the clinic that was founded only two years ago, I am packing two suitcases of stuff, actually very little personal stuff, but what we might need to work with, such as large bottles of Hand Sanitizer, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, box of tissue paper, clean towels, sani-wipes, cotton swabs, otoscope, tips, loupes, ear cleaning instruments, scissors, ear mold tubings, stock ear molds that I’ve not used for years that I might need, and even screw drivers for trim pot hearing aids! (Young audiologists might not have any idea what those little openings on the hearing aids are for)! Personal stuff such as sheets, a light blanket, pillow, towel, mosquito net, 4 types of mosquito repellents!!!, flash lights and batteries.

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I feel like reliving the early years, adventuring in the wilderness again, but just older and wiser! No, not really, I have no desire to relive the young, careless and carefree time. I am very happy with my family, friends and career, in this order, and am very grateful for all that I have that I don’t deserve, and know I need to step out of my safe and comfort zone, to give back to the people in need, the underprivileged community with special needs. I am grateful for this life-changing opportunity, and hope to make a little impact for the ones in need. And I need to say a huge THANK YOU for my staff in the office to make this possible, to hold down the fort while I am gone, I know you’ll be just fine without me. And to my husband Homero: Thank you for taking care of Dora, so I can go worry free onto this adventure. I love you both!

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