Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Cabecar Indigenous from the Chirripo Reservation were notified last week that they would receive emergency supplies. Today they arrived at our home and the Alcalde of Jiminez arrived with a truck load of foam mattresses, assorted food, tuna, beans, rice, soap, toothpaste and blankets. Before he came, I gave sweatshirts to the women and children. Our hefe’s wife brought used clothing and used children’s shoes. One little boy walked for 8 hours barefoot. He was delighted with his slightly used sneakers.
I held tiny babies today, none had diapers on, they have none. Cloth diapers would be a blessing.
A small child that I guess to be less than 2 years old had a terrible ear infection. I noticed the oozing crust that had built up on the now purple ear. I brought the hydrogen peroxide and asked permission to clean the ear and take a closer look, I quickly realized this child needed a real doctor. This young child was born on the reservation and his parents never documented his birth, so he has no cedula, no documentation. He is entitled to medical care but without official intervention he would most likely not receive it. The father wanted to go to Maqina Veija, someone there is practicing “natural medicine”. Whatever that means. I am all for alternative medicine and I use alternative medicine for us and for our animals, I went to nursing school, I also know my limitations. This same person treated the baby of Alexander and Sonja, with what I don’t know, but when babies and children have fevers you need to find out why. Their child had intestinal parasites so the magic potion was not going to take care of Mentos because no one asked why is my child having this reoccurring serious fever. When I picked up Mentos and his parents for the second time, again with the fever, I told Phil I think I can break this fever, but why is this child have reoccurring fevers. We need to find out why this is happening, there were no obvious signs of distress. Today I new the problem right away, but this baby has multiple problems and they were not just starting, the ear infection was critical, and sores on his skin could be signs of other problems.
Yes there are alternative treatments for parasites, but babies who have deteriorated health conditions need professional medical treatment fast. I hope that the child today received the care he needed from a medical professional.
Friends and friends I have never met donate sweatshirts, durable clothing, skirts, and educational supplies for the indigenous and rural poor. Today, because of the generosity of others I was able to hand out gifts of warmth donated by visitors to Costa Rica and Americans who live here. When you come to visit you can help the Cabecar by bringing an old suitcase filled with used clothing for children and women in small and medium sizes. The good folks at The Pura Vida Hotel, just 15 minutes from the San Jose airport, www.puravidahotel.com will keep your gift for us until we can get in the pick it up. If you are not going in that direction please just print out the hotel address directions from their web site and pay a cab driver to take it to Bernie and Nhi. Please put a note inside and outside with my name and information on it, Bernie will call me to say it has arrived. If you need a place to stay near the airport, they are wonderful hosts, Bernie is a Costa Rican historian and Nhi is an awesome cook. If you stay there once, you will defiantly return for another visit.
KW Cabecar Indigenous, donations, educational supplies
Today was a great day of discovery and interaction. There is so much need and so little help available for the Cabecar. I wish I could help the children and their Mothers just a little more, for they have the hardest life within the tribe. Education is always the key to a better life and it is no different for the Cabecar. We must help them get to a point of sustainability so they are not hungry and we must also help them to understand and meet their hygiene and dental needs. They received toothbrushes and toothpaste today, but I know that they don’t know what it is or what to do with it.