Trip Start Jan 14, 2013
27Trip End Apr 15, 2013
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After the peverbial reception anthems, speeches and welcomes we presented three elders with their new wheelchairs
On day two we delivered two chairs to homes in the incredibly beautiful hillside. These recipients were very limited to what their outings would entail as the terrain is fairly challenging. The chairs are collapsible and fit into the backs of vehicles or trucks quite easily so will make trips to medical facilities and general outings much easier. The father of the gentleman who had lost a leg was truly beaming with delight and very impressed with all the features their new wheelchair had, as was the teary eyed six year old daughter obviously over joyed and happy for her dad. Neighbours and friends would be needed to carry this recipient out of his home, down the steep steps and into his new found freedom.
Just a few blocks away we reach the home of an elderly woman who had her grandchildren and family surrounding her on this very special day. The kids were mesmerized as the chair was removed from the box and assembled outside the home. Fernando and Oliver go over the demonstration that covers safety aspects, adjusting, foot lift and general operation. The kids eyes light up as they visualize themselves scooting around in grammas new wheels. Tears flow as gramma is helped into her new chair and family hugs all around. Marg makes new friends when she offers some crayons, stickers and mini Canadian flags to the kids. "How do you say share in Spanish?" Marg says laughing at their new distraction, apparently it won't be today they need to try out grammas new high tech wheels.
We also visited a school for disabled children which had recently been rebuilt after being washed away in a mountain slide. No change of location, just the hope it doesn't happen again. University students assist two full time teachers and do practicums in their specialized areas. Classrooms included children with Down syndrome, hearing impaired and physically handicapped. Nice to see a baking room where children are encouraged to learn how to make bread, a great form of therapy. There is no government funding for this initiative.