|This is not the actual Protocol signing but imagine a very similar situation with our founder Don Stephens (left) and an official from the country.|
About 6 months before the ship is scheduled to arrive in a new country (we call it “Country Next”), the real groundwork starts. A group of crew members from the ship go to that country to make preparations. We call them the Advance Team (or the A Team, because why not?!). This team is responsible for a bazillion things, all aiming for the final goal of having as much prepared as possible so that when the ship arrives in country, surgeries and training can start quickly. Their tasks cover a wide range of things from setting up registration for ~40 Mercy Ships vehicles, to ensuring the dock space is fit for our needs, to setting up local partners for medical training courses and hiring over 200 Day Crew (translators). Definitely no small task and this team are heroes for what they accomplish in just a few months’ time!