Monday, April 23, 2012

Amped up, ready to fly... here we go!!

We found out Sunday night that we for sure had 23 participants.  The rest because Sunday was a holiday... transportation was an issue.  So monday morning we were going to finally find out how many participants were going to show up.  Again... we were told that because the Ministry of Health was in charge, and this is the Nicaraguan culture... we'll see who shows up, just be flexible.
While we waited for the final word, there was work to be done! :)

 Every participant was given a basic kit with equipment such as a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, goggles, some first aid equipment (gauze, bandages, tape, etc), masks, gloves etc.  They can also bring their bags back down for restocking and to show the centre that they have had the chance to use their skills.  Everything seen here was acquired by donation - whether financial or equipment.  All of Skylark operates on private donations - nothing corporate, but all projects depend on us going down to help fund it.  We got as much as we could, and not entirely sure we got it all done but we did our best. :)
 Everything needed to get organized
 everyone was running around as the building heated up... 
 Meanwhile Brad and Kyle get to sit and set all the watches...

The 4 of our Interpreters - Dessi, Alecia, Ryder and Mabel.  I have no idea how they do it going from english to spanish, spanish to english, and they don't just talk they are actually interested, were engaged and learning along with the other participants.  I am sure by the end of the day they are just completely exhausted.  But were they ever awesome.  It was great to have them help out with every step of this adventure.

So by mid morning we found out we have... 50 students.  Super exciting.  We really had almost expected that we would get 20 and it'd be a "thanks for comin out" experience, but to have a full group, this is great.  I believe the age range included those aged 15 to maybe 40 (tops), males, females, from 5+ communities.  They were from small tiny towns, isolated villages and bigger communities that surround Skylark. They all showed up, and you would never guess that these people had all just met.  I think by the end of the first day they could have been all from the same town.  But yeah - most of them had access to facebook - which reminds me I have to ask kevin to get me Larry's facebook info! haha! He took a bunch of pics and videos too on his smart phone.  

Now that we knew the group size we had the chance to get the next 4.5 days planned.  Steve did a fantastic job.  He put together all the scheduling.  And we worked the kinks out and had everything working in no time.

The nice part - I knew only 2 people on this trip, but it is so nice to interact with people in a different environment.  It was a good environment and I think it brought out something I had forgotten, passion, caring and happiness. Now don't get me wrong... we all had our moments of tension, but it didn't hinder anything from getting done.

Our first afternoon was introductions, and then we introduced the primary survey.  Now as lame ol english folk... the whole translation thing didn't even come to mind.  Haha.  But we managed to get the initial stuff taught and understood.  Our interpreters helped us and worked on explaining things when we discussed what the concept was they helped making it understandable and smooth. 

Hands on practice time...
Chatting with the interpreters.

Welcome and thanks for coming! Our group has finally arrived and the week has begun!

So, the first steps went really well.  I mean to have 50 people, different ages, different communities, and unknown education backgrounds, and to have all of these people join together with such interest and passion, it was really freakin cool!  So the momentum had been started and hopefully the speed... wouldn't fizzle out.  

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