Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Altagracia Wednesday

Today our group visited Altagracia, delivered the Heartstream portable defibrilator to the medical clinic, stopped in at the BOSIA office and paid a visit a la familia Obregón, my homestay family from last year. Milagro was on the front porch and when she saw me she smiled and went running in the house, and then ten of the family Obregón appear with great hugs, finally Luz Marina appeared with tears in her eyes and we had a really good hug. I love this family, Danny, Karla, Francis, Aron, Erenia and the rest of the clan, and of course Don Juan José Obregón y Doña Luz Marina.

We spoke with the director of the clinic at Altagracia, showed her the defibrillator and demonstrated how it works – basically a rerun of what Chuck Little, who generously facilitated the donation of the machine, showed us when he presented it to us. The director felt that the best location for the machine was at the hospital in Rivas – Ometepe is part of the Rivas District. The clinic in Altagracia does not have ventilators whereas the Rivas hospital is equipped to handle post resuscitation. The director asked us if she could deliver the Heartstream device to the hospital and of course we told that would be most appropriate. So, we thank Heartstream-Philips along with thanks from the staff at the Altagracia clinic and Rivas Hospital. A side note, the Altagracia clinic is new and was a joint project between the Nicaraguan and Japanese governments.

Photo of the delivery of the Heartstream-Philips defribilator to the new clinic in Altagracia - ¡Muchas Gracias Heartstream! As I think I mentioned earlier the defibrilator will go to the hospital in Rivas where it can serve the community best.

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Sí a la Vida Pulseras de Amistad

El groupo visited the Casa José María campus a short walk from Altagracia and purchased many of these incredibly complex and beautiful designed wristbands (pulseras).

From Sí a la Vida web site:

We urgently need outlets to sell the hand-woven Friendship Bracelets (Pulseras de Amistad) that the boys create. All revenues from the Pulseras go to the boys themselves. They are paid a small amount for each bracelet when they deliver it. This is their only source of pocket money and their first experience at earning spending money instead of begging or stealing.

The Pulseras collected are then sold by friends of Sí a la Vida outside of Nicaragua. We sell the pulseras for the boys through church youth groups, school classes, craft stores - everywhere we can. All of the income from these sales goes into a fund for the boys, who periodically decide by vote on spending these funds for some special need or project of their own.

The pulseras are a continuous activity for the kids, and a visitor to the Sí Vida Centers in Managua and Ometepe will see them with the strands of thread draped around their necks and their fingers flying as a new pulsera takes shape. The boys are incredibly imaginative and skilled at devising new designs and color combinations. The sizes and shapes differ as well. No two pulseras are alike. They are all beautiful.

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