Hi, this is Mission Coordinator Trainee Elaine.
How did I begin with ORC? My colleague at Langley hospital, Fannie Scholtens went on a few missions with ORC and recommend that I should try it. I joined in 2012 and started driving in from my home in Abbotsford to attend the meetings at BC Children’s. It’s 130 km both ways but I really look forward to seeing my ORC teammates each time. They are a tremendous group of people and I can’t say enough good things about them.
I started my mission life with Cambodia 2013, then Cambodia 2014 and then joining another mission with the Canadian Ukraine Foundation in 2014 for a mission to treat wounded soldiers in the Ukraine. Over the years, I have made some fast friendships. Trust me, there’s nothing like bonding with people when you put up your swollen feet in a hot room without air conditioning after a long day in surgery.
After India 2015, I’ll gear up for Cambodia 2016. Since I have a standing application for missions in the foreseeable future, ORC wanted me to take on a greater role as Mission Coordinator. This is my training mission under “Yoda”, aka Doreen, the veteran Mission Coordinator of the last 9 missions. There are a thousand moving parts and decisions that the Mission Coordinator has to keep track of and it looked pretty daunting at first. I’m honoured that Dr. Rai and the Mission Planning Committee have put their full support behind me. Doreen told me that I only have to keep one thing in mind “Take care of the team and everything will be ok.” At work, people know me by my reliability as a quiet leader. I find that with strong personalities in a team, it has worked well for me to allow everyone’s voice to be heard before adding my own. After all, we are all here to fix the kids up in order to help them lead a normal life and we will all achieve this goal together. I hope to retain the same spirit of fun and hard work that Doreen brings to each mission and add a couple of “Elaine touches”.
On the home front, I have a 10 year old Labrador retriever named Cody. Cody has the energy of a 2 year old puppy and keeps me busy with his fun and games. Sorry Cody, you can’t come to India but Brother Kyle will look after you and make sure you’ll have enough walks while I’m gone. When I get back to Vancouver, it’ll be refreshing to be in winter weather so that I can go snowshoeing, skiing, and hiking.