Before I forget it, Happy Valentine's Day! Unofficially, the Hallmark Card Company in conjunction with the Global Flower Growers Guild and the Union of the Chocolate Makers of the World got together and created Valentine's Day a long time ago... at least that is what I heard....
OK, seriously, we have a lot to cover in this blog. Minor Perez and I have been working hours and hours emailing various people in Costa Rica getting information about the requirements for the medical team that will be working this summer, finding out importation requirements for the medicines, required paper work and documentation for the medical personnel, etc. It has been CRAZY trying to get all of this information and we are learning a thing or two about governmental run a rounds... it reminds me so much of Honduras! We have also been working with Daniel Chaves getting plans ready for the team this summer. Daniel, the king of organization, will not allow me to shoot from the hip at all.... he is already got this trip planned out to the minute... just like last year! The good news is we already have hotel reservations in Buenos Aires, buses rented, the house rented for the cooks and guests, the hotel reserved for La Fortuna and the thermo resort at the Arenal Volcano, and radio and TV air time to promote the gospel meeting, VBS, counseling, and seminar classes. Yep, welcome to my world! And I am trying to work and take classes too!
It looks like Time Hines and I will be taking a group of us to Costa Rica the 3rd week of March to continue setting things up for the trip this summer. The spring break trip is going to focus on meeting various local governmental leaders of Buenos Aires to high ranking government leaders such as the Secretary of Health and hopefully even the president. This is such an important trip this summer with our medical team going into Costa Rica we want to make sure we have done everything correctly and that we make connections in the government so that we will be able to expand our efforts in Costa Rica in the near future. We would like to think we will be able to do in Costa Rica what we have been doing in Honduras. Hopefully the things we have learned in Honduras will go along way to establishing our work in Costa Rica.
March 1st is only 18 days away. March 1st is the deadline for applications and deposits for anyone going on any of the trips this summer. nearly 100 met the early bird deadline and was able to save $50.00 on the cost of the trip. Anyone who did not make the early bird deadline must get applications and deposits to me by March 1st. The 2nd and final payment for the trip is May 1st ($550.00 for the early bird registrations and $600.00 for all others). Additional paper work (rules sheet, Spanish release form for anyone under 18 years of age, and photocopy of your passport) is not due yet and I will be sending out information about when all of that is due later on. Please let me know if you have any questions about the applications or 1st payments. Hopefully by March 1st we will have a fairly accurate roster of who is on each team.
I hope you are shopping for airline tickets. Please send me your flight information as soon as you book your flight. See my previous post about flight information for details. Prices have stayed pretty constant so far so I am not sure if we are going to see much of a change in prices. I personally am holding on and waiting in hopes of getting a good deal. So far I have only received a handful of flight confirmations. We still have plenty of time so don't feel rushed. Again, please let me know if you have any questions.
If you are collecting supplies for the container, it looks like our target date to ship this year will be the 1st week of May. I will give you more details as soon as I have them. I feel pretty sure the container will be shipped out of Florida at this point, just don't know where the loading will take place. It is possible we might piggy back again, especially if I can share a container being shipped out of Nashville from Healing Hands International. I hope to know something soon.
I am still trying to recruit a few more for the medical teams this summer. I am still looking for 1 more doctor and 2 nurses for the Costa Rica trip and 1 doctor and 2 nurses for the 2nd Honduras trip (July 7-16). If you know anyone please let me know or have them get in contact with me. We have teams in place but I am trying to get additional personnel to make each medical team stronger. We are in the process of getting medicines secured for both trips and that should be completed soon. Right now we are really stressing hygiene supplies from all groups. We have additional needs this summer since we are going to have a medical team in Costa Rica and Honduras. We literally need to try to double our collections from last year.
Well, we are already half way through February and spring break is less than a month away. I don't know about you but it just seems like time is flying by faster everyday. I hope you are getting excited about the trips. I met with the Honduras team from Collegside Church of Christ in Cookville, Tennessee (Tim O'Dell's group) this weekend and they are pumped and ready to go! I will be meeting next weekend with Mark Adam's group from the Old Hickory Church of Christ in Nashville and I will be meeting with the team from Western Hills soon after that... my weekends are pretty much booked all the way into May. No wonder time seems to be going by so fast!
Take care my friends and keep in touch. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you as you get ready for the trip. It is going to be an awesome summer and I can't wait to see and work with you all. Dios te bendiga mi amigos! TTYL