A longer bus ride on this morning, everyone seemed to be in great spirits.
|We have arrived...|
|Off the bus, let the waiting begin. Cheri headed in to see about logistics. We waited, and waited...|
|Passing the time.|
|Even got the doc up on the bus :-)|
|One happy family!|
|No shortage of distractions. These were, well, I don't remember. Some sort of small fruit, or was it a nut?|
|Who's gonna climb up there and get me a coconut?|
|How about an orange! Yum!|
|But I still want me one of those coconuts!|
|All terrain wheel chair, complete with custom seat. Not a problem to park my bike in here is it?|
|The hospital is mostly open air style. The hallways typically open directly to the outside, and the hospital is ventilated by openings between the walls and ceilings (where there are walls and ceilings)|
|Very different from the states. Free to wander the hospital, nobody stops or confirms you aren't where you shouldn't be.|
|And while I saw no chickens or pigs on this day, there are still dogs roaming the halls.|
|The front entrance...|
|A great shot of the open air style "hallways"|
|This hospital was built years ago, intended to support the city of Rivas. It has grown to become the regional health center, and as such is simply overwhelmed.|
|Ready for lunch?|
|The Pharma girls found their spot :-)|
Given this, Cheri loves (as does the hospital) to have a Christmas party for the kids and moms that are staying over Christmas...
|Heading into the cafeteria, where we'd host the party.|
|As an ice breaker, we handed out some of the 150 or so Beanie Babies that my mother-in-law donated|
|So many young mothers...|
|So many of the kids had these casts on their arms. Wasn't sure what that was about???|
|I think this was the favorite picture of any I took. So much captures what Cheri is all about.|
|Craft time! Lots of crayons and coloring books and stickers and such were also provided. Just trying to bring a smile. Adrianna is so at home with this :-)|
|Since many of the kids are babies or too sick to play games, the medical team each plays on behalf of a child. Musical chairs is the first game...|
|The "rules" were that the players were supposed to dance their way around...|
|Thanks to a wicked hip-check, Dan was the musical chairs champion!|
|I think this speaks for itself...|
|Sleeping tight in the MOG bed...|
|Another MOG provided piece of equipment...|
|Seeing this, last year, is what provided the motivation to get the donations of some quality baby beds done.|
From there, it was off to the Ultra Sound area. Women came from the entire region and waiting for I'm not sure how long...
|Cheri, Allie, Martita talking Ultra Sounds|
|Dr. Sagtz, Sam, Dr. Pam into the mix...|
|Yes, multiple patients to a (very small) room, and no, they do not change the bedding between patients. Perhaps by shift, or by day?|
|The realities of a hospital in a 3rd world country...|
|Cheri doing her thing :-)|
Meanwhile, in the Emergency Room...
|Not exactly orderly. Or clean.|
|While the Med Students were given strict instructions to not touch anything (observe only), I heard that they welcomed Dr. Sagz and all that he had to offer while there.|
When Cheri asked if I would take a team and head over to the Special Needs care center, she had no idea what a nerve she struck. There are only a few things that terrify me, and this would be one of them. Alas, I tried not to show my fear, but instead rallied the troops (which thankfully included John-Mark and Abraham) and we jumped on the bus and took the short drive over.
The team was amazing.They just jumped right in and worked to make their day.
The kids were awesome. So full of love.
Granted, these were not severely handicapped kids, which helped, but I did find it easy to relax and enjoy my time here.
Special needs kids are not integrated into society in Nicaragua. So the opportunity to have some interaction and love is just so critical...
|Coloring, crafts, play-doh - all opportunities to engage and work on cognitive skills...|
|The care center makes and sells pinatas as a revenue stream. John-Mark and Abraham had the idea to buy one for the kids. A quick run to a local market for some candy, some rope from the bus, and we were ready to go!|
|A bit out of order, but crafting with the kids...|
|One of the staff busy creating...|
|Some of these kids were amazing with their coloring skill!|
|It was time to leave, but not before a group shot.|
|The outside of the Special Needs Care Center|
|Taking inventory of the Pinata bounty|
|This boy loved to give and get hugs :-)|
|How is that gonna fit on the plane?|
|Lunch time at the hospital. A little booth that had everything. They were boiling Plantains in the back, and had (their version) of bbq chicken or pork as well. It was actually quite tasty.|
Meet Luke. He was Adri's special Beanie Baby, and as long as we knew where Luke was, all was well with the world. If Luke came up missing, however, well, it wasn't pretty...
Time to head for home (well, home base, that is), but not before a stop in Tola. Thanks Dr. Sagz for the ice cream!
Some shots of the countryside from the drive home...
And then long after I would have been asleep...
The day done. Enlightening. Challenging. Inspiring and saddening. We said good-bye to Tim and Allie on this day, as they both had other commitments.
Wow, what a day. But Chuck, what were you doing there? Perhaps I will finally answer that, while I sit on the beach on the final day in Nicaragua, reflecting on the days that had passed. Stay tuned :-)
Bill's Cards. Day 7:
Isaiah 40:29-31 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
In a race, it is good to begin well, but it is best to finish well. To finish well is to have every step count. "Blessed are the poor in spirit" - those that have stretched themselves beyond their limits to find the limitless strength of the Lord then ask "where is the next race?"
Press on friends,