Well, we have finished the third inning! Antigua is behind us, Cartagena is ahead of us!
Antigua was a bit of surprise for us. We didn't really know what to expect as we headed there. First of all, the population of the island is only 90,000, compared to over 9 Million in each of our previous two countries. Would there be a demand for our services? Would there be surgical workload? Would we be allowed to perform surgeries? But, when all was said and done, everything worked out very well: We saw over 12,000 patients, we provided over 40,000 total healthcare services, and we did 161 surgeries. All in just 10 days ashore!
And, last week was Nurse Appreciation Week in both the United States and in Antigua Barbuda, and corresponds with the 101st anniversary of the establishment of the United States Navy Nurse Corps. So, of course, we had to have a cake!
This is a picture of our most senior nurse and our most junior nurse cutting the cake.
And Commander Marino set up what seemed like about 200 Nurse Appreciation activities both on the ship and in the local community with the local nursing association.
From the "Blessing of the Hands" of a new batch of local nurses, to a Subject Matter Expert Exchange that for some reason involved nurses running down a beach in a three-legged race! It was a never ending tribute to the pride and professionalism of Nurses everywhere! >
Well, we weighed anchor this morning about 1100 and put Antigua behind us. These pictures were taken on our forecastle (pronounced foc'sul), otherwise known as the "pointy end of the ship!" The big chain you can see in the first picture is our anchor chain. In the second picture, I was standing at the very tip of the bow, looking aft at the bridge of the ship.