Tuesday, July 08, 2008

We had a splendid meeting today at the Voz Que Clama Mission and talked about the problems the Cabecar Indigenous face in their lives. Because the meeting was in Spanish I have asked Ray Reynolds who attended with friends to write an article sharing with you the content of today’s meeting. That will be forthcoming.

Then we went to view the new Mission building which will house the disabled Indigenous and double their capacity. Wow, it is really coming along fast. This structure is so needed. I know too many people hate to throw money at a building, I understand. But if you could actually realize the need you would want to participate. This is not a monument to men, this is a life saving facility.

Priscilla the disabled Cabecar Indigenous child was our next stop and we met this beautiful child, her mother, grandmother, and the Indigenous family they are staying with. Priscilla has probably suffered some oxygen deprivation during birth. She saw a doctor yesterday and will now go to the Children’s Hospital in San Jose where we are told that she will probably stay for about 2 months for exams and rehabilitation so that she can learn to walk for starters. Her journey is just beginning.

Blanca Rose, Priscilla’s Mother told us that this is her only child. She had a very difficult birth. Her husband went outside in January and she has never seen him again. I am still not sure where on the reservation she came from, not the villages that the Mission serves, but much farther towards Panama. They walked up and down mountains, over and through rivers for 4 days. The child’s Grandmother will also be examined soon to see what is going on with her. She does not talk, mumbles a bit, perhaps she is in shock. The baby makes her happy, it is very clear.

When the Mission goes to the reservation, (they leave before sun up tomorrow), they drive for 3 hours to Quetzal and then walk for 5 hours. When they return on Friday evening, they will be totally exhausted. Only the most fit, can make the journey. We are that exhausted just making the difficult drive to Quetzal without getting out of the car; forget the 5 hour walk a goat would have a hard time making. The men and women who will go on this trip will carry very large and long plank style boards, enough to build another wall on the smoke free house with kitchen (not sure what that means but it will have a chimney) that the volunteers are constructing. This building is to keep the Indigenous from filling their lungs with smoke from open fires in their homes that deteriorates their health, contributes to their asthma and emphysema. It is a simple model home, no illusions of grandeur or palatal manse going on here. The house is a board structure with a tin roof. The volunteers are doing a fine job and have been at it for many many months. I want to stress, this is a simple structure, a very SIMPLE structure that will be the best home on the reservation.

For Blanca Rose to have walked this journey for 4 days, with her child tied to her body with a scarf and her Mother in tow, I can’t imagine.

She has never been off the reservation, never seen cars, or a town like Tuis. (Tuis is so small if you blink you will miss it.) When my daughter drove up to the very rural house they are staying in, Blanca Rose could not believe that a woman could drive, or that a big piece of metal can move.

She fears how dangerous her journey and the hospital will be. We assure her that she and her child will be safe, we will see to it. She must remain tranquilo. I can barely imagine her level of apprehension as she is exposed to our world. It will be like landing on another planet with no knowledge of their atmosphere.

There were a number of starving skeletal dogs in the yard. A few chickens in mailbox like coups laying eggs. I took a 10 year old boy’s photo and showed it to him. He had never seen himself before and was thrilled, shy, laughed and covered his face. Cute kid.

I had the urge to take them all home with me, even the starving dogs. I thought of Alison my dog rescue friend in La Flor who has too many dogs and not enough dog food. She is going broke being a dog angel rescuing those unfortunate animals that are not living the good life in Costa Rica.

If you live in the San Jose area perhaps you would volunteer to be an advocate for Blanca Rose and her child. We don’t think that she can stay in the hospital at night with her baby. Blanca Rose can not be left alone in San Jose either. She has no skills in our world. NONE! She speaks some Spanish, she needs acts of kindness to hold her hand, make sure she eats, and that she and her child are safe.

If you can find the heart to volunteer and help, this may be the most rewarding time in your life. Please contact me at ginnee@gmail.com



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