July 16, 2007 – Reflections on the 100th Team in Ecuador

We awoke to another beautiful morning. Our colleagues staying at the other hotel joined us for breakfast as did Rachael, our new translator. Each group then left for their respective work sites. My group attended the tour of Camp Hope and learned that Camp Hope serves 125 kids, 50% of whom have disabilities. Camp Hope offers an array of services including PT, OT, psychology, speech therapy, medical and dental care. There are 15 classrooms to educate both “typical” and special needs kids. In addition, social, vocational, and spiritual services are offered as well as parent education, volunteer support, transportation for the children, and an orphanage named Casa Hogar. We toured classrooms for children who are babies, toddlers, K-3, Pre-vocational and Vocational II. The vocational classrooms help to train students in basic skills that they may be able to use in work settings. At Casa Hogar we met Pola the dog and Elsa the pig, who may be joining this large family for dinner (the pig, not the dog!). The facility is absolutely beautiful and the love and care surrounding these children was apparent. When we returned to Camp Hope I had the great fortune to work with Delia, the school nurse, in the very well-organized infirmary. She quickly lined up some great dermatology cases, including some of my favorites including eczema, warts, seborrhea, candidiasis, scabies, actinic keratoses. I was extremely impressed with her clinical acumen and ability to explain diagnosis and treatment to each patient with the utmost compassion, respect, humor and playfulness. She considers all of the children her own and treats them as such. I was left with the overall impression of a place alive with hope, faith and love, so my thought for the day is a quote from Reinhold Niebuhr:

-Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.
-Nothing that is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.
-Nothing we do however virtuous can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love.

– Peggy S.

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