Posted on 15 September, 2013

Rachel 1 Rachel 2

Imagine flying across the Pacific, to a country you have never been to, to work as part of a cardiothoracic team for two weeks.

While your mind is wandering through those points, add in equipement challenges, and an environment and colleagues you have never worked with.

For most, that probably sounds scary. And for me, I certainly had a few nervous thoughts as I left Adelaide last weekend. I can tell you though that it’s not scary, it’s simply amazing!

Here in Tonga, I’m lucky to be part of a team that, in spite of all these perceived challenges, works like a well oiled machine, and do it for one reason…to permanently change the lives of these gorgeous people!

Teamwork is a given in this environment, and ego’s are left at the airport, leaving room for compassion, comraderie and kindness.

This is my first volunteer experience with Open Heart International. I’ve worked long hours in the ICU, but loved every minute. I’ve lived and breathed with my fellow nursing colleagues in the same hotel. We’ve laughed so hard some nights, I’ve been in tears. I’ve witnessed overwhelming generosity and thankfulness from the Tongan people.

If you are reading this and thinking that you should be involved, now is the time to do something about it and register to volunteer. I promise you will be a part of something special, that will stay with you forever, not only in the lives of the patients you care for, but in your own life also.

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