It was indeed a momentous day for Pueblo Nuevo. The level of hope and dreams has indeed skyrocketed to a level I could have never imagined. Yesterday, their school director once again locked them out of their own school where they have been having after school enrichment programs for the children and adult education. Our education team this week had great plans for evaluating the young children in order to learn best how to help them.
When the community realized that this had happened again, they decided to make a formal community protest. All the villagers gathered around the lock and Jose took a lock cutter and in a grand manner broke the lock. Massive applause from the crowd!! They had not been able to get to the Human Rights Commission yet because of the holiday and now because of an even more exciting event in their community which I'll describe below. So I took movies of the whole event. Jose gave a powerful speech and the children cheered. So then Orfe called the big newspaper here, the Prensa Libra and they were very interested. They sent a team out, interviewed the leaders and Orfe and took our videos. It should be in the newspaper tomorrow! They will also be going to the Human Rights Commission tomorrow.
Even more momentous was that one of the men from the community who died in the Civil War in 1982 had his body exumed today by an organization fighting to return these bodies to their rightful graves. It was incredibly professional and beautifully done. They sent 2 archaologists, 2 forensic scientists, a psychologist (to help the family get through this) and 8 police to keep the crowd under control. There were canopy tents and food for all! Deena and I were invited into the area of the actual burial site with the closest of the family members whom we know well. It felt like we were entering a sacred sight. We interviewed the wife of the man and his son and hope to use this short film to describe to anyone who will listen what it was like to suffer through 28 years of torture for something that no one even understood. Their stories were indeed shocking.
All this in the midst of our usual clinic and now an outstanding growth in our child education program. The clinic was filled with the usual stories that would break your heart but it was a joy to hear the children laughing outside as LeighAnn and Sara came up with the coolest ways to measure their abilities while just having fun with them. In the most intriguing ways, LeighAnn was somehow able to quickly get these children involved and excited about all kinds of concepts - even the parents were showing extreme interest! Leigh Ann has so many great ideas for the future.
Laura jumped right in with interviewing patients and getting very complete histories. She was even starting to do OB ultrasounds by the end of the day. Then she snuck off and had the great fun of teaching the children ballet. There was great enthusiasm!! Jessi has branched out to glucose and hematocrit testing as well as blood pressure screening. He is outstanding and we are all vying to have him live with us!!
Deena is making connections everywhere as always. She is always the one who gets us in the door and makes the greatest collaborations. She's arranged for a woman who will be teaching the women how to loom so they can make the typical woven gifts that we often buy.
We also had the idea today of extending the distribution of the KAH food today to the young preschoolers and the pregnant and breastfeeding moms. We're working through the leaders in the communities
Well, I wish I had the fortitude to make this "blog" worthy of what actually went on today but that will have to come later. For now, off to bed....have to leave at 6:30 in the morn - large group of women coming on a chicken bus in the morning!!