This is the week of the Super Chicken! We finally received approval of our first chicken project and had a meeting to kick off the project with the little branch of the church in Monte Plata. We encouraged them to get formal quotations for everything needed to build the first coop so we can modify the design and quantity list where needed. We have a lot of branches we have been putting off waiting for our first project. Finally we can start!
We didn’t accomplish much else this week because Wallace was taken with la “gripe” (flu). There is a lot of it going around and we came into contact with it at a couple of meetings and Wallace got nailed. Somehow Edith remained well as most moms do (meaning she probably didn’t feel well, but carried on while the rest of us groaned and looked for comfort and care).CRUZ ROJA IN NIZAO
We were invited to a meeting with the Red Cross in Nizao who said they wanted help to get started collecting genealogical information about the community as well as a community history. We visited their facility and listened to their plans. Their plan is an ambitious one with wonderful goals to capture historical information before the older residents pass away and give youth something useful to do during summer. They hope to collect historical and family information and put it into computers including in Family Search. They also told us a little about a very poor section of the community where a health concern exists because there are no latrines.
We were excited about the description of their project and overall plan, but the putting it into effect is where the cow kicks the bucket.They would like new computers. Everyone thinks we can solve their problems by throwing money at it. Computers would be a great thing for the community, not just to accomplish their project, but they would double as a virtual library and a place for students to do research. On the surface, it seems like a great thing.
Edith inspected their 10 computers. Only 2 will turn on or communicate with the monitor and one that turns on is loaded with viruses and will turn itself off in just a few minutes after starting.The electrical outlets are not protected, there are no surge protectors, the cords that fit into the back of the computers are so rusted you cannot insert them into the computer, the walls and ceiling show water damage and the humidity in the room is pretty heavy. They want to use the internet, but they have no funds to purchase virus protection, no-one smart enough to set-up or maintain the computers and in a short while the “new” computers would be in no better condition than the existing ones. Buying computers would not solve anything and be a waste of donated money.
We counseled together and concluded there may be a great opportunity to teach some correct principals. We ask them to set up a meeting with the community leaders so we can meet with them. We hope to inspire them to do their project, but using tools they already have (paper, pencils, notebooks, cameras, etc). People have collected and preserve historical records and artifacts for centuries without computers. If they are successful, we can probably find others who already have computers to enter data for them in useful computer programs. We would also take the opportunity to discuss with them the latrine problems and help them see ways they can solve that problem by themselves as well. It remains to be seen if they are willing to meet.
ORTHOPEDICSThey Church has contributed to the purchase of artificial limbs for people here in the DR for a long time. This week we met with them and a former missionary to the DR to review recent building modifications and to discuss how to proceed forward with future orthopedic projects. We hope to get the local priesthood members more involved in the project by giving member service to the organization and to the people receiving the artificial limbs.
James DeWees, former FTM in DR