Today was a very long day for us or anybody for that matter – 12.5 hours for me, 13 for many of our group. The first day of any clinic is always difficult. But overall we had a successful day. The mothers and children who came to our clinic were from Sicuani and Puno – 5 hours and 7 hours respectively by bus. So they got up way earlier than we did, and faced a much longer return trip. How fortunate we are.
There were 11 children today – and lots of really heart-grabbing moments. One of the kids was Carlos – a young boy who had never had a wheelchair before. It was amazing to watch him use all his might to make the wheelchair go where he wanted to go. He won Sammie’s heart by kissing her hand in a very gentlemanly way, and by reaching out and touching her gray hair. Gray hair is very uncommon here.
The photo is of a beautiful Quechua woman who is carrying her three year old son on her back in the traditional way. Her older daughter, Lillianne, had multiple problems, but loved her wheelchair. When we put the tray on it, her eyes lit up, because she is learning to use a mouth stick to turn the pages of books, and saw an opportunity to make it that much easier. Of course, Sammie, her therapist, made a cardboard model of an easel which would hold her books. Her father will make a wooden version of it for her use. We also found out that Lillianne sleeps on a sheep skin on the ground in her house. She went home with an inflatable air mattress overlay to support her new night-time sleeping position for postural care. The health worker who brought her took two more to store away as spares for when she needs them.
Please send positive thoughts our way as several members of our team have had travellers’ diarrhoea.
All for now. We will send more tomorrow.