On Saturday, May 25th, after many delays and unexpected changes, we were able to load our first container of the year, and our first container from our new location! Our partner in this venture was the Westside Community Church in Morden, who raised the funds to send the container. They were working alongside the International Mennonite Health Association who will direct the supplies to several small community hospitals and clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Along with the usual assortment of beds, exam tables, wheelchairs and walkers and almost 600 boxes of medical supplies, today’s container also included baby warmers, a birthing bed, an incubator, baby crib and bassinets as well as an anaesthesia machine, x-ray viewers and a microscope. As an added bonus, our partners brought some heart monitors and computers to be included in the shipment.
As if loading our first container in a year wasn’t exciting enough, we had a little extra excitement when our packing experts from Putt’s Transfer weren’t available to join us. So we went old school and our wonderful Load Master Barry was able to wrangle our male IHC volunteers and the many eager volunteers from Morden into such an effective packing force that the loading was completed by lunchtime! Our Morden partners provided a delicious lunch and generously left treats behind for all to share!
We would like to thank everyone for their help and encouragement throughout this process: getting boxes unpacked and sorted, filling boxes ready for loading, repairing beds and other items, and for documenting all the equipment and supplies for the shipping documents. A big thanks to Wayne for bringing his truck so that we could move the container when were finished loading it.
(with thanks to the IHC Congo Container Liaisons, Muriel & Val, for their report which served as the basis for this blog entry)