No fine-tuned system is able to function without the proper fuel, and this includes a large surgical team. Each morning the kitchen staff starts out before the sun rises. There are fruits to prepare, eggs to boil, and condiments to set out. Before the surgical staff gets to perform their miracles, Page and Jay are already up and moving in the kitchen performing theirs.
Once everyone has been fueled and prepped for the day, the cleaning begins. All of the utensils, plates, bowls, kitchenware – well just about anything that will be used in food preparation or consumption - has to be properly cleaned and sanitized. Once the kitchen is ready to go for the day, Page then reviews finances and prepares a shopping list for the evening meal. In an attempt to control costs and support the local economy, all the food stuff is procured from local vendors. But it cannot be just any vendor, each of the vendors that supply food stuff for Faith In Practice have had a long-term relationship with Faith In Practice that has allowed for a greater level of trust. It was wonderful to travel with Page to the market and watch him be greeted as if he was family.
Probably the most moving experience many of the staff had early in the week was traveling to the market Sunday afternoon and evening to assist with the large number of items that would need to be carried back to La Quinta de las Flores. Numerous members commented on the fact that families they had seen earlier in the day at the hospital came up to them in the market and thanked them for their service. Many times the family would come up and embrace one of the staff members with great big smiles on their faces. Definitely one of my favorite moments was being fist bumped by one of the pediatric patients as he rode by in a Tuk Tuk (Auto rickshaw) with his family.
Even though the dinner meal doesn’t start until 6:30 pm local time, dinner prep starts early in the afternoon. Each of the fruits and vegetables that is going to be used in the evening meal needs to be washed and prepped. The protein source (typically chicken or beef) is often marinated or seasoned in a manner requiring time. In addition to be fantastically tasty, Page puts in extra effort to make sure that the presentation is just right.
After the dinner the surgical members of the team assist with clearing tables and cleaning the plates. Everyone takes their turn in cleaning the kitchen. No one escapes KP (Kitchen Police) duty.
It takes many small details coming together to produce the many miracles that occur throughout the day at Las Obras. For each successful outcome, many hours of prep work occurs. In addition to all the planning and coordination that goes into each and every procedure (and there is a great deal of thought and discussion that goes into each surgery before the patient even enters the OR), there are hundreds of tasks that occur in the background. Through small things, great things occur.
And the coffee pot is always ready.