Friday, October 25, 2013

Planning for Nicaragua - Winter 2013/2014

Planning for Nicaragua - Winter 2013/14 

This winter I will help out in Gigante, a small fishing village on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. There are about 400 people in Gigante, which suggests there will be about 125 children. 

Several years ago, I met Bo Fox, the Executive Director for Project Woo in Nicaragua - Bo's Nicaragua home base is Gigante. When he heard that I was providing paediatric outpatient care in Limon, another small community about 30 or 40 minutes away by car, he arranged to bring several truckloads of Gigante children to the clinic. Bo brought the children in a pick-up truck. Most just needed check-ups and well child care but some were sick. 
I was impressed with Bo. He is one dedicated young man. In the last few years he has made a real difference for the people in Gigante. One of his first projects was to purchase a school bus to take the children to school. Before the bus, they needed to walk an hour and half each way to reach school. Not unexpectedly, school attendance has substantially increased. Wow! Simple solution for a big problem. 
Bo Fox, helping with a smile. 
When I learned earlier this year that Bo's next project is a health clinic in Gigante, I wanted to help out. Construction has started and the clinic is scheduled to be operational in January 2014. 

Build it and they will come, must be their motto. Illness and other health care challenges already live there in abundance. Soon the health clinic doors will open. The community hopes to attract doctors, nurses, and other international health care professionals to come and help out. I would like to be one of those people. 

So, I plan to visit in December to bring supplies and meds, establish local contacts, and to check out the new facility. In February I will return for two weeks and in March for another two weeks. With each visit I hope to have a new paediatric project to offer in addition to regular care. Bo is reaching out to the Mothers to determine their highest priorities for health care for their children. I don't want to presume. I would like to meet their paediatric health care needs as a community.