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01:07 pm: Reality sets in

Well, the rubber is hitting the road already on this trip. We’ve got more donations than we can take directly. Apparently for international flights, you’re allowed two pieces of checked luggage. Nobody on the Jetblue support lines could do anything to alter or modify that. Further, when going to the Dominican Republic – each of those checked bags can be no more than 50lbs. They have an option to allow overweight bags – sometimes – but since we’ll be taking a taxi to the airport at 5am – I have no interest in having my stuff turned away and having to leave it at the curb. “No guarantee” means “no.”

Plus, with two 50lb bags apiece – plus a stuffed carry on – redmed and I will already be the sort of vulnerable – unable to run with our own stuff – losers that I make fun of. So no – no more bags – even if I could.

capital_l came over last night and we had a little packing party. We made 3 duffel bags that each weigh about 50lbs. One is solid drugs. The next two are a mix of medical supplies. I spent this morning un-boxing and bundling our pre-cooked Indian lunches and dinners (foil packs that you heat up in boiling water, or eat cold) – and with just our food for a week, our sleeping bags, and a couple of other essentials (water bottles, camp stove, etc) that last duffel bag is full full full. I still need to look at the clothing situation. I’m thinking underwear, socks, undershirts, and two pairs of cargo pants. I can fit a week’s worth of that – plus a laptop, plus a satellite uplink (heh) in my carry on (AKA gym bag).

Therefore, I’ll be shipping a couple of decent sized boxes to RDU, and donating a couple more decent sized boxes to Partners in Health. Rest assured, it’s all going down there – just not in my checked luggage. Triage order goes something like (a) serious drugs (b) medical equipment (c) my food (d) … well … um … ‘d’ is getting shipped.

With another couple of days of warning, I could have done better. Pisses me off that I *had* those days and didn’t start moving faster – although I had no idea that we would have so much stuff – and it all arrived yesterday. Fedex and UPS both ship to Santo Domingo. Right now, I could drop a 50lb box and have it at the hotel by the time we arrive there tomorrow. Price for that privilege? $450. If I had a spare week, it drops below $100.

No, it’s not worth the money. This is the hard calculus. Throwing money in the wrong direction is just as much of a mistake as not giving at all. If you feel tempted to spend that kind of money, please pause and consider what $450 might be able to do in a month or so – once the real reconstruction begins. We’ve got all the hardcore stuff. What we’re slow-boating is nearly 10,000 over the counter pain pills. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, etc. … plus stuff that will still be valuable once the amputations are done and the infections have run their course.

This is the part where I look at what I’m doing and say “people will suffer, and possibly die, who did not need to – because of my lack of omniscient knowledge of the future.” If I had played this one *perfectly*, there were better moves – and that would have meant less suffering in the world.

Live and learn. Self flagellation done. Back in motion.

Oh yeah, and looking out my window, I see snow. What’s *that* about?

Originally published at chris.dwan.org. You can comment here or there.



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