The Press Republican

Mission of Hope

Main | Wednesday, February 21, 2007: Early Edition »

Tuesday, 2/20/07

By Bonnie Black

Even before arriving at Nicasa, Yamilette Flores and Sister Debbie were off to MINSA to meet with the new Director General of the country, Roberto Zapata Sobalvarro, while the other North Country travelers boarded buses with their boxes of supplies to be unloaded for the week’s upcoming projects. This afternoon’s meeting was an extraordinary one: Mission of Hope received official recognition by MINSA and is now designated as an “international medical brigade” allowing us to provide medical care anywhere in Nicaragua. Working with our long-time MINSA connections Mariellos – who in charge of all international medical groups – and Javier – who is the director of customs – MOH now has this official recognition under the new Minister of Health, Maritza Cuan Mochado.

Senor Zapata requested that we journal, through photographs, each of our medical ventures, especially the outreach home visits and outreach clinics. He hopes, and expects, that medical students in Nicaragua will team up with our medical professionals in subsequent missions so the students can learn about this aspect of medical care not addressed in their formal studies.

Kendra Smith, Florence Reynaud, Dorothee Racette, Louis Racette, Ilona Flores (partially hidden), Karen O’Brien and others queue up to check in the boxes coming off of the bus. Meanwhile, the rest of the travelers – including our four sojourners from Florida who had arrived earlier this afternoon – unloaded the buses and began their quick orientation to the Colegio grounds. Splitting up into predesignated groups, everyone had an orientation of five locations, giving each a quick overview of the physical layout of the space we will call home for the next week.

Dinner, prepared by Nora, was greeted with smiles. Especially since they had not had any sustenance since breakfast on the plane (around 9am), everyone was quite pleased with the meal.

Tonight the evening meeting was waived so all could unwind and hit the sack early – most everyone turned in before 9pm!

Much is to come with a full day planned for tomorrow thanks to the A Team’s organization. Marty Mannix, Joy Cayea, Marilyn Knutson, Andrew Garami, Matt Jennings and Bill Calmbacher had spent three days arranging for our tasks to begin on Wednesday. And we are ready to go!


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Thank you - and especially Suzanne - for the detailed coverage of the Mission of Hope. It's the first thing I look for when I open the paper every day.

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