I would like to start by thanking everybody who bought necklaces through the office to help sponsor the clinic in Dili. It was a resounding success!
I was lucky enough to have had two work experience people assisting me in the clinic this time around. They were both extremely competent and hands on. They surprised me by fitting conformer shells in eye sockets on their first day and helping in all other areas.
The results were outstanding. The hours were long but with their help we made fourteen eyes in one week. That’s a record number for me.
I am hosting the trainees, Judite and Mario, who will come over to Perth in March for four months. After some intensive training, I will go back with them to help set up their own clinic in Dili.
To fund them coming over, Rotary in East Timor are arranging airfares and visas to Darwin. From there I hope to arrange further funding through Rotary in Western Australia, to get them here.
Hopefully the East Timorese community in Perth will billet them while they are here – so many things yet to be arranged!
My husband Mike came with me again. I think he felt like he didn’t do a lot but he was a fantastic help. He did all the running around for the team gathering equipment and hunting us great lunches.
The Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS) have made me feel a great part of the team in Timor. They arranged airport transfers, dinners, use of computers, phones, car and partly funded my accommodation.
They are also willing to help financially with the set up of the clinic next year. I am so grateful for their generosity and support.
Our dream of a permanent artificial eye clinic for Timor is well within our reach now and that is pretty exciting.