If you want to skip the words and just look at the pictures---click HERE
We began Sunday with a visit to the Constanza Branch. Here we have a project to provide a surgery lamp, among other things for the community hospital. The head nurse for the hospital (Vilma Ramirez) is a member of the Church and has been trying to get a project there for a couple of years now. The old surgery lamp that is hanging above the operating table operates with a 100 watt light bulb because when the original bulb burnt out they had no funds to replace it.
This was one of the first hospitals that we visited when we first arrived in April. Since then we have been trying to submit this project, but because of communication problems—no answer from emails and the inability to get information over the phone, the project is still pending to be submitted.Unfortunately, in the meantime Sister Rivera’s husband was in a motorcycle accident and broke his leg. The bone broke all the way through. The general common policy is to amputate the leg. Due to intervention by some good missionaries and some fast offering funds, Brother Cruz Rivera, was able to have a rod put in his leg to save it. It is amazing to us how the doctor was able to even do this surgery with only a 100 watt light bulb! Brother Rivera will have about a two year recovery, but he is doing amazingly well.
On Thursday this past week we visited a hospital that specializes in diabetics care, Instituto Nacional De Diabetes Endocrinologia y Nutricion (INDEN). Their ophthalmology Department is busy with patients who experience retinal problems. Currently they can only perform one surgery a day. Our project is to provide a Constellation vitrectomy system, which combines advancements in high speed cutting, intraocular pressure control, illumination, laser and other features to allow for more surgeon control during retinal surgery. We are also providing retinal surgery equipment. Along with the equipment a Dr. from the USA will come to do some training. The equipment has arrived and the Dr. will be coming the second week of September. We visited with our contact, Dra. Rosa Fernandez, to sign an agreement so we can be ready by September.
On Friday, Dra. Evelyn Diaz met us on the Temple Grounds to receive the last piece of equipment that we had promised her hospital, Los Americanos in Alcarrizos. We have mentioned this hospital before, but they provide low vision services for the very poor of the country. Dra. Diaz told us about a new project she is organizing for the very poor in the Bateys near San Pedro de Macoris. The Bateys is where the field workers live. There used to be work for them on the sugar cane plantations, but when the owner sold his property, the new owner did not employ the workers that are living in the Bateys. These people are so poor that they wake up in the morning no knowing where they will find food that day. Many old people are abandoned by the younger generation as they go to find work elsewhere. The only hospital is an old abandon trailer with little or no equipment. The government employs a doctor, but does not provide equipment. Dra. Diaz says that every time she has visited there is a sign on the door that says “Out to Breakfast” or “Out to Lunch”. We have agreed with Dra. Diaz to go with her on this coming Tuesday to see these people first hand and see if there is something we can do to help with a project.
This week was a little more relaxing and we were able to do some catch-up work in our home office. We submitted two new projects that we have been developing (yea!) and we received word that the San Jaoquin School project was approved. We are very excited about this one, because the community and the Ward are coming together to paint the school and build a fence.
Other than that, Wallace had time to practice his Ukulele and learn some more songs from “Ukulele Mike”, who has about 185 lessons on UTube. Edith had time to do a little Family History Research!