JUNE IS UNDERWAY AT WVRC - the 2nd, that is
Senor RUDY showed the video of the District Conference, in honor of our visitors. This produced some informal Table Talk, since most of us had seen the video, but it was interesting to those who wanted to know what goes on at these conferences. Our famous chili was one of the hits of the food fair, and DON NELSON deserves the credit.
GREGG ELLIOTT did double duty, first leading us in the Pledge. He and LENNY FRIEDMAN then combined for "My Country Tis of Thee." GORDON FELL was the Invocator, and he quoted several Aphorisms (first time I ever used that word, by golly!). First was a quote from Confucius, "Respect yourself and others will respect you." Ralph Waldo Emerson was next, with a more lengthy series, and ending with "The most important thing in communication is hearing what is not said." Well done, GORDON.
SEAN McMILLAN spoke briefly on his visit to El Salvador. This is the beginning of a building process, and thus there were several possible programs that were highlighted. One was a wheelchair distribution, providing about 350 wheelchairs, which of course were badly needed. LA Five sponsored an eye care program for the rural poor, and SEAN participated in part of this program. He plans to bring details to our next Board Meeting, and the hope is that our contribution of $2500 will actually produce - perhaps - ten times that amount in needed services.
We had one Visiting Rotarian, Clinton Boddicker from Keokuk, Iowa. He is in Corporate Law and it turns out that Senor RUDY knows a LOT about Iowa! We also had a Special Guest Dr. Juan Alejos, who spoke to us not too long ago about his project down in Peru. Our two usual Rotaractors, Tori and Candice, were present, plus Katia Vaisberg, another member of Rotaract. It turns out that our speaker(s) weren’t going to show up, so we had a bit of open time, and KATHY REZOS rose to say that a good number of those in Rotaract were in PreMed. She felt that visiting Dr. Alejos project over a long weekend would be a terrific program for them next year stay tuned! She summarized their many activities this year, and we were reminded that Candice will be the President next year.
Our Rotary Auxiliary will meet this coming Tuesday, June 7th. The new officers, led by Janice Dea, will be installed, and the year will be reviewed. The meeting starts at 11:30 at the home of Sally and HOMER NEWMAN, and all are invited.
At this point, having stuffed down some of his lunch, Dr. Alejos updated us on his Foundation and what they are now doing. It has a Spanish name, and the English translation seems to be Hearts of Hope Foundation. Dr Alejos is a Pediatric Cardiologist, but his team also covers related medical problems. They have now grown to about fifteen physicians and medical specialists, and they spend two weeks in Peru. During this time they are able to provide about fifty medical procedures, and of course the local physicians are delighted to observe and learn these new techniques. The teams that participate donate their time their airfare is provided but this means that these volunteers are giving up their vacation time to provide this badly needed medical help.
There is only one children’s hospital in all of Peru, and it is in Lima, of course. There is no place for the parents of the patients to stay, and because the hospital is so crowded, parents can only visit for an hour per day. His Hearts of Hope Foundation is now working on providing some scenic paintings to cover the bare walls of the hallways. Another problem is that at least 85% of the parents have no medical insurance. Since they won’t start a procedure until the necessary supplies are on hand (and paid for), some patients die before all the needed supplies are available. This supply problem is obviously serious, and Dr Alamos and his team are working to simplify the process. Local doctors, by the way, earn an average of $150 a month and their patients, in most cases, earn less than a dollar a day.
Q&A - RAY ZICKFELD, How much help can the parents provide? They are only allowed an hour’s visit and the children have no toys or anything to do the rest of the time. YOE, What’s the age range of the children? Two months until they are 18 . TONY MARRONE, Do you have any problems volunteering your work there? No they have a working democracy, and we are welcomed on all levels. Where do you stay while there? Sometimes in local hotels, army barracks, but something is always provided. SHANE WAARBROEK, How have things changed in the ten years you have been providing this service? Things are getting better but it will be 25 years until you really see any major improvement. They almost totally lack any kind of middle class, but that will develop. PDG ANDY ANDERSON, Where are the doctors trained? They attend medical school in Peru but then some of them move on to better paying jobs outside Peru. Dr Juan Alejos, thank you for standing in for our regular Speaker.
Candice came forward with the toast, "Give us the strength to do what we do."