Monday, August 12, 2013

Day 0: The Flight to Vietnam

Ready or not, Vietnam, here we come. The moment has finally arrived. After a year of hard work and dedication, 7G mission goers and their families prepared for the two-week medical mission trip. As everyone arrived at the LAX airport by 9:30pm on Tuesday, August 7th, we had to first make all sure everyone and everything was accounted for.

From medical supply boxes to EKG and Ultrasound machines that we had packed from inventory day, these were the necessary tools to carry out our mission trip for the clinics and our other projects. Once 7G goers arrived at our meeting spot, we had to label and check every medical supply box.

Cece and Clara are cutting out the tape in order to label each medical supply box with the address of the local hospital.

As a group, the 7G mission goers line up to check in their luggage, occupying half of the lobby.

Once done, we then checked in as a group at China Airlines. As we occupied half of the check-in lobby with our large team, we each waited patiently in line in anticipation and excitement. Once we were done, we then had to say “see you later” to our families. Without our families’ support, this mission trip would not be possible. This applies to all of life’s events.

Lindy, Clara, Ben, and Nancy show their expression of excitement for the 7G trip.
Jessica and Christina smile in joy, as they are about to board the plane. 
Katy and Natalie smile for the camera, as they are also excited for the trip!
Katy and her family smile for the mission trip, as they wait in line with the 7G team.
Alisha and her father also wait in line with the rest of the 7G team, equally excited!

After we went through security, we finally arrived at our terminal. Before boarding, the free time allowed teams to bond and spend time before going on the plane. In addition, Dr. Timothy Bui held infection control training for our 7G goers. As we would be working in health-related situations that dealt with direct contact with the patient, we had to know the necessary pre-cautions between the patient and us. Protection is key.
Team Ironman shows off their team spirit with matching shirts. Go team Ironman!

Team Hawkeye is ready to go as well with their matching shirts. Go team Hawkeye!

Dr. Timothy Bui meets up with the dental team to explain what the dental program will entail on the trip.

We then boarded the plane, ready and excited to say the very least. The flight consisted of three parts: (1) a thirteen-hour flight from Los Angeles, United States to Taipei, Taiwan, (2) a one-hour overlay, and (3) a three-hour flight from Taipei, Taiwan to Saigon, Vietnam. The flight was arduous, but we knew it was worth the wait.

While on the plane ride to Taipei, Lindy is sleeping, Clara and Amy are watching a movie, and Phoebe is yawning to the long flight.
Team Ironman in Taipei with Ironman himself (from left to right, Phoebe, Jason, Clara, Christina, David, and Ben).
The view outside our window. The future shines bright with the sun over the horizon.
As M.E.M.O. consists of three chapters of UCI, UCLA, and UCSD, we came as one team, united by our common purpose for 7G. All of the work that we have done throughout the school year had come down to this. With all of our fundraisers and trainings, 7G would be the product of our efforts and commitment. A year-long process has now become our two-week journey.

The M.E.M.O. 7G team!!!
Written by Johnson. All photos were taken by David.

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