A contribution from MS4 Beth Carpenter and MS4 Uday Betarbet: Hi all, though the trip has been going on for many years, today was something we did for the first time!
Typically we need >1800lb of medical supplies when we are down in Haiti to operate, but sometimes it is not feasible for our team to hand-carry them down. Last year we shipped supplies from ATL to Florida to Pignon with the help of family, but with a different situation this year we had to get creative!
After loading 900lb of duffle bags stuffed with medical supplies and shelving units yesterday evening with the help of fellow M4s Corinne and Lindsey, Uday and Beth left ATL at 5am this morning in a 10ft truck to take the supplies down to the Missionary Flight International (MFI) airstrip in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Our friend Brent from MFI came in on his weekend with his granddaughter and wife to accomodate our schedule. In addition to helping us unload our bags, he also took us on a brief tour of the airplane hangar! (I'm calling it now--his granddaughter ran off to "practice flying" and is a future fighter pilot for sure!)
We quickly departed to make our truck return reservation back up "north" in Orlando and catch our Spirit one-way flight back to ATL, same day, for a total of 700 driving miles and 11 driving hours (with traffic).
Things we quickly realized we should consider next year... avoid ALL toll roads and take extra care to evenly distribute the weight of the bags in the bed of the truck. (Especially when in an unwieldy vehicle and driving through construction zones!) Also word to the wise.... not all trains in the Orlando airport are two-way.... (two security checkpoints later...)
Somehow despite all our planning we lost our lunchtime, but made up for it with a Cinco de Mayo celebration in the airport complete with laughs and the tacos we'd been dreaming about the entire way.