Orinoco ... The first medical trip
On the first trip upriver, Dan met a young local dentist practicing in the coastal town of Pearl Lagoon. Dr. Leon was very excited about the possibility of taking his skill as a dentist to other small communities. So they picked him up on the way up river to Orinoco and Marshal Point. The team was small: Dan, Robert and Wibur as captains, Dr. Leon, Orlando who is a nurse, and Sixto who is a deacon in our local church. From the very beginning the team worked together, everyone finding their niche.
They headed out on a Monday morning, May 22nd and returned on Thursday afternoon. Here are some pictures and details of the trip.
Caribbean Grace docked at Marshall Point
People waiting patiently to see the dentist...some waited all day long.
Dr. Leon working ... mostly pulling teeth (120 teeth in two days!).
On the second day they set up shop in the cockpit because the cabin was too hot. The nice breeze made both the patients (70 in all) and the doctor much more comfortable.
Dr. Leon giving out toothbrushes and toothpaste.
He made them promise to brush their teeth 3 times a day!
The galley crew...Sixto and Orlando
Gathering around the table after a long day's work...
Dory Sailboat Race...
As part of the Maypole festivities in Bluefields, there is always a dory sailboat race. This year we took a group of 20 from the church to anchor out in the bay and watch the race. It was a rainy, cloudy day, but we enjoyed the fellowship, the race and even got to do a little fishing ...
The group assembled and ready for a great day...
The boats are owned by local fishermen who get people and businesses to sponsor them.
Everyone gets new sails for the race..
It was a pretty choppy day, but they were all expert sailors.
Kevin's catch...the "big one" got away.
Miss Margaret's first time fishing and first catch!
Gizzy's catch was one of the biggest
Fishing with Casa Bernabe...
Saturday we took 14 kids from Casa Bernabe, the children's home, out in the bay to do a little fishing. For many of them it was their first time on a boat or their first time fishing. Trying to get them to follow some basic boating rules (i.e. no running, hold on, always wear your life jacket) was challenging...but there were no mishaps and all the kids had a great time.
Loaded up and ready to go
The best part of the life jacket for Tygy was the whistle and the light!
Robert and Wilbur have become a great captain team
The kids loved riding on the bow
Richard and Darell...two very determined fishermen
Cooling off on the stern deck
Jaquelin caught 3 fish!
Ingrid wanted to take her fish home and eat it...Donna fried it up that afternoon.
Several of the boys took turns stearing the boat...Darell's face tells it all!
Tired but happy...on the way home.
After making several trips up-river, we have become convinced that to get the best use out of Caribbean Grace, we need to involve local medical people. They know the area, the people, the problems, and the languages (there are at least 5 in the region) and they are eager to help their own.
The biggest problem is that most of them can't afford to leave their practices, even for a few days, without some financial compensation. We are starting a fund at Global Outreach to cover the costs of salaries, medical supplies and trip costs.
If you are interested in investing in the sponsorship of a local doctor/dentist or an entire team, please indicate "funds for local medical teams" with your payment.
doctor salary: $50/day
4-day trip approximate cost: $600;
We thank you for your interest, your encouragement, and your support. We are excited about what the Lord will do with this boat in the near future...
Blessings, Dan and Donna Letton