Friday, February 12th - Late Edition
By Bonnie Black
Since I last updated you, more has changed. Yamilette Flores will not make it in this evening as her plane was grounded in Atlanta due to freezing rain. Sister Debbie told me that Houston now has snow and it is being reported that there is now snow on the ground in all 50 states! One of the hardest parts about Yamilette not making it tonight is that she is carrying down the wedding ring that Jeremy Eppler is to use in his civil ceremony tomorrow in Leon. As many of you remember, Jeremy has been a part of the Mission since the beginning and continued his connection while he was in the Peace Corps here in Nicaragua. I spoke with him later in the afternoon and he said that there are only 15 people total at the civil ceremony which is truly for the purpose to assure that neither has been married before – a formal preface to the church wedding later this spring.
This afternoon, Mauricio and I began to make possible arrangements for transportation from the airport, but it seems there is not another 15-passenger van available in addition to the one we now have. The reservation company is promising to call me if one becomes available tomorrow or Sunday. I told him we wouldn’t need it until 9pm, when we are picking up 22 people, so he will see what he can do. Who knows?!?
We made sure that all medical locations are now prepared for the changes we have made to yesterday’s plan as well as the school in Nejapa for the heights and weights of the smallest students there.
He also informed me that the babies and toddlers at Juan Pablo II orphanage have been moved up to the Angels of Hope Orphanage in El Crucero. They are saying they have some needs for the children, so we will see what we can do once Yamilette arrives on Saturday or Sunday.
Bev continued to work with the menus and needs to now feed the full complement of travelers arriving over a series of days. She will be going into Managua to shop with Mauricio in the morning.
Marty Mannix, Joy Cayea and Diane Crosier were our first Home Building Crew of Mission #35 constructing the house donated by Joy and her husband, Ray Petrashune. We will be adjusting the number of houses to be built based on the (lack of) construction knowledge of the local people receiving the casitas. We will do a second house tomorrow – one donated by Daisy Baker.
Mauricio arranged for a visit to the Disability Center’s farm in Masaya for Wednesday afternoon. It most likely will be a small group of Leadership and ECO which will assess the situation and report back to the full Team at our next meeting.
Our evening meeting began with a prayer by Diane (Joy had done an interesting one this morning based on the 23rd Psalm). “A small prayer will move heaven” was her prayer that she had seen – a Japanese saying that she had been quite impressed. “That’s why the entire team is joining us,” said Joy. Bev responded that the Mission has seen evidence of that in how we responded to Alexa’s health issue in the past and here she is, ready to join us! Rachel and Samantha told us of how prayer had been such a positive experience at that time, too, for them as well as Alexa.
Marty shared his experience at the building site for our first house. It could have been a negative experience with what occurred before they began. Once it all began, the experience was satisfying including the mother’s 13-year-old son who attends school at Nino Jesus de Praga who was proving his position in the family by driving nails into the roof. He could see the other families in the neighborhood enjoying the experience. Diane and Joy thought at first there would only be the 2 women who were to receive homes would show up but there were many family members who pitched in.
Alysia was impressed by the empowerment of the First Responders at the meeting this afternoon. The pride that was exhibited on the outreach later was impressive to her. And it’s all thanks to Bill who conceived the idea originally. She and Roger, Bill, Samantha and Rachel went out and it also included rice and beans delivery to the families they saw. Bill said he got a lot of hugs!
Bill thought how interesting today was as the morning ‘fell apart’ but resulted in a great meeting with Dr. Gonzalez and the medical students. He also was so excited at the potential growth of our clinic with the medical students’ participation in the future. Roger thanked Alysia for her translating ability, even though they brought their own translator. Initially, it began with the followup to the parasite program that the Mission provides, but now will expand to assisting in the diabetic education and lead testing during this mission. All will be a part of published research in the near future. Roger feels the potential is great – and there was a reason for the scheduled Heights and Weights not happening. Dr. Gonzalez will be providing us with the ‘wish list’ for the university parasite research.
Rachel told us about an older man with one cane who came toward them this afternoon and then had his daughter get his second cane and really began to move! We have a walker that we can provide to him which will occur at some time during this mission through the First Responders.
Roger shared that Sister Ligia wanted 150 people tested beginning at 7am on Friday, but it unfolded that the medical students from the university wanted to help along with our Medical Team, so we can do it! Marty said that Sister Ligia was thrilled after filling a truck and sent 2 trucks back this afternoon. Dr. Gonzalez also offered a basic metabolic screening at the same time as the lead testing on Friday at San Jose Hospital.
Roger told us the background on how we connected with Dr. Gonzalez and the University a few years ago at a meeting at American-Nicaraguan Foundation which was to see if the various NGOs and schools working in La Chureca could coordinate their efforts. From there, he put her in touch with Sister Rosa at Nino to coordinate parasite education with the Pre-Schoolers and their families along with parasite testing of those students. The results from that experience were given to Judy Charland who coordinates our ECO Team and it is those families who eventually received the Filtron filters last January. We will be testing the new Pre-Schoolers this time and a followup on those who tested positive last year. It is a great evolving program!
And we resumed the Phase 10 friendly competition of Wednesday night……before curfew at 9:30pm