December 12, 2013

by Cathy Liu in New York, NY

About 9 months ago, on March 8th, to my dear diary, I wrote “I’m determined to go to South America… It will happen because I’m determined to to so” Since then, I never had a day with any doubts. Like any intensive teamwork, there were times for disagreements, arguments, and even disappointments, but there was never been any hesitation for me. 9 months is a long time, in the amount of time a baby could have been delivered, we accomplished many milestones as a team, and personally, I have learned many important lessons in dealing with people.

In February, we started with a roomful of people talking about what would be a good journey. People had wild suggestions ranging from the silk road to the southernmost tip of South America. The next step was to define a charitable mission and then decide on a type of vehicle. In short, we pulled off many fundraising events, generated media coverage, searched for sponsors, applied for grants, built three iterations of a website, and purchased and painted our beloved ambulance.

10 days from launching, our coworkers generously threw a sendoff lunch for us.


With 10 days to go, I already set a resignation date with my current workplace, my apartment has been sublet out, and I packed half of my stuff.

With 10 days to go, team last responders still has open issues

  • Ambulance repair is still in progress
  • No final decision on a support vehicle - In addition to the ambulance, a supporting vehicle is needed for this group of 7, we looked at some sedans and SUVs, but we haven’t decided which vehicle to purchase. We need to purchase, register, and perform necessary repairs on the supporting vehicle.
  • Visa not obtained - Everyone needs a Bolivian visa, applications are not submitted yet.
  • Website is still in progress

Now is there any doubt in mind? Absolutely not. We have achieved so much as a team, there is no doubt that we’ll overcome whatever hurdles on our extraordinarily expedition.