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By Jean Bedell
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Our trip has ended. After waiting for 1-1/2 hours at the airport in Tampico for the fog to lift we had a safe, smooth flight Tampico-Houston-Denver. Oh, yes, there was one challenge. How does one convince an employee that one suitcase 3 lbs over 50 averages with one suitcase 3 lbs under 50 and there should be no extra charges? The last day is spent with final surgeries and patients and then (ugh) packing, and labeling, separating those things to bring back to Boulder, and those things to be stored securely in Mante. By 1:30, the last patient was seen, rooms emptied, doors locked, and trucks loaded.

Culture: next year visit the studio of wood-carving artist Sylvestrei Hernandez Perez. Fantastic work.

How poor is poor? Remember on Wednesday we mentioned the twin girl with an extra toe brought for surgery? Her twin also had an extra toe. When Mom was asked why she didn’t bring both girls, she replied she didn’t have enough money. For the free surgery? No, bus fare is charged per person, and she could only afford enough for herself and one daughter.

Michael Jackson was thought of. Anesthesia ran out of propofol (MJs choice of drug) to put surgical patients to sleep. Some good local trading provided what was needed.

PT just knew it would happen. Early in the week, Rosaria came in. With a left bk amputation, she just needed a small right shoe. Lupita and Becky knew something would happen soon. Truly, on Friday, Amanda came in with a right ak amputation. All she needed was a small left shoe. Of course, it fit.

Health education has become a larger focus in our mission. 62yo Pablo is a Type II Diabetic with an ankle ulcer 2”x3”. It has not healed since he came last year. Having no shoes, he borrowed heavy shoes from a friend to come. PT first washed his feet, put on a protective Unna Boot, found shoes and new socks that fit, and instructed Pablo and his family on essential nutrition and skin care.

For 75 years, the Hector Perez Martinez public school has provided studies for 300 kids, grades 1-6. Mante Rotary and Boulder Flatirons Rotary Club have had a supportive relationship for years. Bill and I attended a plaque presentation of appreciation. Balancing boards and collapsible ‘tunnels’ were also given for students to help with early stimulation for young children. In addition, 400+ pair of glasses have been provided. Each child goes to the optician and selects a frame of choice. The optician donates have half the cost, Rotary contributes 40%, and the family pays merely 10%. Around the inner walls of the school is the most fantastic mural depicting the oppression of life without education, and opportunities available for education, employment, health, and culture with education.

The Fiesta is a grand opportunity for Boulder to thank our Mante friends, and for Mante to show their appreciation to us. We provide $2500 for this evening, but DIF provides not only the balance, but all of the work/arrangements, too. BCH is committed to this mission. ?De vera? !De vera! You may be astonished to learn the dollar amount invested in transporting 90 people and our equipment to Mante.

In his thoughtful words at the Fiesta, Dr David Rodriquez mentioned we had nearly 4000 patient contacts (Med, Peds, GYN, PT, Audio, Spch, Nutrition, Lab) and completed almost 300 surgical procedures. ‘We treat all ages from newborns to the very last patient who was 102 years old.’ 2000 years ago, a Greek physician, and mentioned by Christ, said ‘some are born to serve, not to be served. Now with us, we want to serve.’ It has been a pleasure to serve as your reporter….Jean Bedell

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