HOG team members left with 16 medical suitcases weighing close to 50 pounds each.  Each suitcase was numbered, and large signs attached with the names of the doctor, designated hospital and the city, specifying:  Humanitarian Aid.


Unfortunately, despite numerous attempts, we were unable to secure a Humanitarian Aid discount from the airline for baggage fees. The baggage left San Francisco airport with baggage fees costing HOG $3500.


After 26 hours of travel, the team and suitcases landed in Krakow, Poland.  After a thorough inspection of the baggage, we were thrilled that everything was in good condition.  We passed through customs without any incident.


We spent a day of rest in Krakow and then continued our journey to Lviv, Ukraine. The border crossing went smoothly; we breathed a sigh of relief. During our first night we awoke to a 4-hour air raid siren.  The next day our driver told us his 9 year old daughter had the Ukraine Alert App on her cell phone and she informed the family that there wasn’t imminent danger to their region.  This woke us up to the mental health implications of children carrying missile alert apps on their phones.


The drive from Lviv to Chernivitsi is about six hours on a two-lane road with numerous potholes.  Many of the villages and towns we drove through had a community square with a ‘Wall of Heroes’.  The Wall has pictures of soldiers from their community who have died in the war.  We stopped often and slowly walked the ‘Wall of Heroes’, using our translator app to tell us the stories about these fallen soliders.  We were reminded by the dates on the Memorial Wall that this country has been at war since 2014 – when Russia took Crimea.   We were told that men between the ages of 25 – 60 must register for the army and those 18 – 25 can volunteer.


As we anticipate our first delivery of 1500 CATs (Combat Application Tourniquets) and 1500 Israeli bandages, we remember with gratitude all the donations, big and small, that were made to HOG.

Thank you.

Signing off from Ukraine