Day 20: Outage
This morning, we scrambled to get to work during a power outage. After about an hour of good work, the lights and the internet suddenly stopped working. A few minutes later, Mark and a few factory workers found a yet-unused diesel generator to power a few necessary things, like our internet router, of course. We spent the morning working as best we could with the sparse internet and shaky power to the workshop. Scott and Riley figured the power outage was a good opportunity to go out and buy more parts. They found yoga mat foam and velcro straps for cheaper than we’d been buying them, even further reducing the cost of materials of our stander!
The power came back in the afternoon, so we resumed all our work at full tilt until dinner time. Trey, Emily, and Thomas continued to brainstorm and write for grants while Emory, Riley, and Scott worked with Eric in the shop. They spent time working with our new molds and finalizing the stander design for the last time, at least for this trip. Around six o’clock, we headed to Xenacoj to explore the town during the Feria. It seems that there are ten times as many shops and stands as any other week! We enjoyed a few great gringas and churros for dinner before heading back in a camioneta, a Toyota pickup truck with some railing in the bed for passengers to hold on to. We continued to work on grants and the final price of our design before heading to sleep.
Day 19: Santiago Part 2
Today, we split up for the last time. The families we visited today were much farther, so we got an early start. Riley, Emily, and Ilse traveled to San Pedro to visit our standers. They left the earliest this morning, as they had to travel by boat across the lake. Their first launch was at 7 o'clock this morning. In total, they took six boats to get to their families! They visited two kids today with standers. Jesse, Trey, and Scott visited five patients in San Lucas. They traveled with Hector, a physical therapist from Adisa. Emory, Thomas, and Eric saw three families with standers with Anelvy, another physical therapist from Adisa. They drove about an hour and a half away to Patulul, a small town south of Atitlan. The last girl they followed-up with outgrew our stander and now uses one her parents had designed to address her specific needs! She’s improved a lot over the past two years, as now she can stand on her own and even take a few steps!
After convening for lunch, we got back on the road to head back to Hope Haven. Upon arrival, we realized we locked our keys to the kitchen inside the kitchen when we left. Emory, Riley, and Emily were working on breaking in when we realized there was another copy of the keys in the factory. At that point, though, Emory had already gotten to the fridge. Thankfully, we were all able to get some food before we went to sleep.
Day 18: Santiago
Early this morning, the SWM team, Eric and Ilse piled into our van. Today and tomorrow we’re going to be visiting more patients near Lake Atitlan. Our base is in Santiago Atitlan at the Adisa center, where we met Andrea, Jesse, and Karen. Andrea is a physical therapist, Jesse is a recent graduate who’ll be working with Adisa for the next year, and Karen is studying to become a certified physical therapist. Today, we split up again. Three groups spread out over Santiago to visit patients, each with two or three team members and including one physical therapist. Riley, Emily, and Ilse visited three patients; Emory, Eric, Andrea and Thomas visited four; while Scott, Trey, Jesse, and Karen visited three families.
Several of the families we met were only Mayan speakers. In Santiago, the local language is Tz'utujil. The langauge itself is fascinating, it sounded completely different than any other language any of the team had heard. It uses a variety of clicks and guttural sounds, unlike any languages we speak and even different from the Mayan language common in Xenacoj, Kaqchikel.
After meeting together for dinner, we visited the center of Santiago. Tonight was the last night of the Feria, a celebration for the patron saint of the town. We Visited several street vendors and played foosball with some local boys. Eric and Riley proved to be a formidable duo, but Thomas and Manuel, a boy from Santiago, held their own. We met with Jesse at the concert in the main square before heading back to our hotel.
This blog is a daily story of our team activities around the world.