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thank you

June 16, 2011

several people have asked if there is a way to help the health clinic here in la concha in the way of supplies. thank you for asking!!! i have investigated a little, talking with the director of la mariposa, paulette, and the director of the clinic, mercedes. as i suspected, although the lack of some of the supplies i mentioned is an irritation to the clinic staff, mercedes named what she thought were more critical needs. these mostly come in the form of transportation. it sounds like they don’t have their own truck/ambulance to transport patients who come with emergencies that can’t be treated at the clinic (i.e. pregnancies, broken bones, urgent problems etc. etc.), they have to send one from the hospital, in another town, several kilometers away, and she says that’s a problem for patients. likewise, they have a motorcycle they use to transport supplies like vaccines from the clinic to a smaller satellite clinic in the next town that doesn’t have its own stock, and it’s broken. this, she says, is also a problem, causing staff to rely on public transportation and thereby costing unnecessary time and money for the clinic. so support in the way of money to meet these needs, merecedes says, is at the top of their wish list.
paulette told me that any donations from the u.s. could be sent directly to la mariposa’s paypal account (on the mariposa’s website on the “projects” bar under “how you can help”: donations can be earmarked specifically for one project–just enter “health clinic” or something like that. although i have to say, all of the projects i’ve seen here seem well worth supporting if you’ve got the itch! in my judgment so far, i have total trust in both the integrity of la mariposa as an organization as well as their integration the community, and therefore the relevance of their projects to local needs. the pastor from texas who set up the paypal account is actually staying here right now, and in addition to trusting him i think he seems like a really cool, righteous sort of man of god 🙂 i’m serious. and finally, i want to point out that dollars here go really far! i haven’t been buying a lot, but here’s a little illustrative example: if you go out to a restaurant here, a bottle of beer is equivalent to one dollar, tops. and because unfortunately people’s labor is also “cheap” here, likewise a modest amount of dollars could go much further toward auto repair than they would in the united states.
ok, well thanks again for asking, and reading, and of course let me know if you have any questions about any of this.
otherwise, things are going well. they left me alone in the emergency room most of the morning! which sounds much more important than it really is, but it was kind of fun. i helped clean up the stitches of a man who got stabbed in the stomach. oh my god. other than that, just little things. i am only there a few hours but when i leave sometimes i feel like i’ve been there all day! like today. but really, i have spanish classes in the afternoon, so i’m not quite done. for my “conversation” class my instructor and i walked down to this ice cream place i discovered in town and got ice cream cones. such hard work! ok i guess that’s all for now.


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