Saturday, February 13, 2010


The FTC Canada medical-dental team arrived at Pearson Airport around 7:00 am this morning. For the veterans, it was a time to reconnect with friends they hadn't seen since the last trip. The first timers nervously fidgeted, wondering what they'd gotten themselves into as the reality of what we were all about to do truly began to sink in.

Over the course of the next week, we'll conduct five 1-day medical clinics in the impoverished communities in and around San Salvador. We'll provide on-the-ground medical and dental care to thousands of El Salvadorans, many of whom have never seen a doctor. We'll set-up the clinic in the morning and tear it down again at dark. And then, we'll do it all over again the next day in a different village, for different people facing the same life challenges.

This is a group of incredibly committed doctors, dentists, dental assistants, paramedics, nurses and pharmacists, ably supported by several "non-medical" volunteers who will toil behind the scenes. Our team of 30 was met today at the San Salvador airport by local FTC staff who have been hard at work for months planning, hauling equipment and supplies and engaging the communities we'll visit. They will also be our translators as we interact with hundreds of Spanish-speaking patients every day. All in all, we'll number nearly 50 as we start the week.

Our trip is particularly timely as many of the areas we'll visit were devastated by heavy rains, floods and landslides in November. Entire villages, homes, bridges and lives were washed away leaving little behind but mud and debris. We'll provide care for families who have lost everything.

Tomorrow, we'll visit Remar, an orphanage near the coast and the site of a memorable clinic during the last trip. Strong bonds were forged there and our returning team members are especially excited to see the children they met last April. Vitamins, toothbrushes and toothpaste, antiparasitic medications, clothes and toys will be distributed at this location.

The real work begins the following day as we travel an hour outside the city to conduct our first clinic. The team is energized, excited and ready for an exhausting, an emotional and, if all goes well, a profoundly rewarding experience. We will do our best to share it all with you through daily posts here.

But right now, there are 60,000 vitamins stored in the bathtub of a hotel room downstairs just waiting to be counted into bags of 30! And so it begins....

Tim Fallis

Tim Fallis is a "first timer" as noted and was invited to join the team by FTC Canada President Ken Dick. Tim is part of the support team and will also be updating the FTC Canada blog from El Salvador including posting his own photos. Tim is the President of Black Rock Marketing Group in Toronto.

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