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2009 prosthetics mission #1: Tigaon, Philippines « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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2009 prosthetics mission #1: Tigaon, Philippines

hello! it’s day 2 here in Tigaon (Camarines Sur province, Bicol region–see the map!). I’m here on my first medical mission of the year, which is sponsored by Physicians for Peace, the local government here, and interestingly enough Globe, one of the local cell phone providers (and the one I chose to buy a SIM card from coincidentally). Got here yesterday (Wednesday morning) and will be flying back to Manila on Saturday morning. It’s sort of rural here with no wifi signals, so I thought I’d try to go without internet for four days…ha!! Found myself an internet cafe during today’s break and it’s only 10 pesos for an hour (yeah….like 20 cents!!)

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The hardest part of being a pro triathlete who does social projects is doing both at the same time. yesterday I got a chance to jump in the ocean for a short swim when they took us on a tour of the local beach. The water was amazingly clear! I went on a run today at 5:30am, just up and down the road, which was very well-lit with very little traffic. I’ve been waking up at 5am every morning automatically as my internal clock adjusts so that was painless, and the weather here is surprisingly cool. Next week I’ll be going to Zamboanga, which is on the southern islands, from Tuesday until Friday. In between the trips, when in Manila, I’m trying to do a lot of biking on the turbo trainer and run laps around the San Juan neighborhood. I’ll try to get hooked up with a group ride and hit the pool with local triathlete Ani.

So I won’t be showing up in Subic for rookie camp, season 2, until around Sunday the 15th. Coach also made the executive decision that there’s no way this situation will allow me to get ready for IM Malaysia at the end of the month, so that’s now off the race schedule. I felt a little pouty at first but now that I’m here, I couldn’t agree more! It is hard enough trying to fit in just one or two hours training and that’s just not adequate. gotta choose your battles. Right now the priority is to help make some prosthetic legs and somehow maintain my fitness level during whatever spare time we have.

Anyway, I’m here with 3 of the prosthetic technicians from the Manila hospital (PGH). We took casts and measurements of 4 patients today but the bulk of them are coming tomorrow. This is a pretty big medical mission with a contingent of dentists from the USA doing tooth extractions and other procedures, a few optometrists taking care of the eyes, and some surgeons doing I’m-not-sure-what (surgery of some sort). We actually recruited a guy from the beach yesterday who was walking around on a really old wooden leg! Random!!

I’ll post up pics from the mission when I’m back in Manila in 2 days. and more details on the mission of course. Just thought you’d like a short update while I’m here!

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