La Paz de Susan

Link here to La Paz de Susan, Sister Susan Dewitt's blog about working with PazSalud and living in El Salvador from 2009 through 2013.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lions' eye mission to Estanzuelas

Many more people in Estanzuelas are seeing well this week because of last week’s the Lions Club eye mission.  Lions from three different clubs – Bellingham, WA; Seattle, WA; and Armstrong, B.C. – were joined by Dr. Kelly Cochrane and his family from Kahlotus, WA to offer three days of vision testing and eyeglass fitting.  The group was led by Dr. Ken Henderson, a long-time friend and energizer for PazSalud.

They were joined by other good friends of PazSalud – Marvin Hernandez, our local organizer; interpreters Delmy, Lea, Yesenia and José; and six community volunteers from a local youth development organization, la Voz del Pueblo.  And of course Kathy Garcia and Darren Streff were there – as well as our beloved bus driver Hernan – to make sure that all went smoothly.

They saw a little over 300 patients – all of those we had not been able to see in the eye clinics last February plus a few more – and offered a bit of fun with one of the Lions teaching the children to make self-portraits.  Photos of all this great activity will come later!

La Casa Mia, a hotel/restaurant in Berlin, provided the housing and meals for our team, and they were wonderful.  This hotel, filled with historic photos and antiques, was a great find, and their meals and rooms got rave notices.

After the three days of clinics, the Lions went to San Salvador, where they gave donations of hearing aids and aids for the visually impaired to the San Salvador Club de Leones.  They visited the School for the Blind and the School for the Deaf, visited Panchimalco, shopped for Salvadoran crafts, and went to historic sites including the Hospital Divina Providencia where Monseñor Romero lived and was assassinated.  At the Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad they ate pizza and ice cream and quizzed Director Leslie Schuld about Salvadoran life.    

It was a busy and splendid week of work and learning.  This was Darren’s first time to make all the arrangements on his own, and he did a great job.  Thanks go to all involved in this successful mission.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

New glasses for Fatima

We heard recently from the mother of a young girl we'd seen in our 2012 mission to San José Villanueva.  Fátima has very limited vision, but her mother Luz learned that new glasses would make it possible for her to go to a regular school instead of School for the Blind.  Darren writes:

I drove out to San José Villanueva this morning to meet Luz de Los Angeles (Fatima's mother) and Fatima to give them the donation.  Wow, what a cutie Fatima is!  As it turns out, Luz was able to get donations from two other groups towards her total of $100 and needed only $60 from us so that is what I provided to her.  I like the initiative on her part and felt great about giving her the money.  And check out the glasses, those things are serious.  

After, I offered to take them home since I knew they traveled a long distance to meet me in SJV this morning and although they told me it was 20 min. one way, because of the road condition it took us 45 min. to get there.  But I got a few good pics of their house so it was worth it.  Plus we had fun in the car.

That wasn't Darren's only glasses-related errand that day, as he notes -

Finished with that I went to Santa Tecla to drop Kelly's glasses off with Sonia.  She lost the nose pads so I took them in and spent $5 to get them fixed.  Now I'm going to walk over to Galerias to meet Cristobal and give him the remaining $26 he needs for his glasses.

For anyone who wonders what we do when mission teams aren't in El Salvador, this letter is a good example of the on-going work of follow-up, assistance, and connection with the places where we've ministered.  The photo shows Fátima with her grandmother and her new glasses in the family home.