Recently we took a trip to Cartagena, Barranquilla and Santa Marta. Our purpose was to visit several foundations that have been administering the churches food supplement to malnourished children and to visit the site of the vision project we have been working on. The above picture was taken in Cartagena and shows a class of teenage mothers with their babies learning about nutrition and child care.
Royal sampling the Atmit when it is made up as a drink. The teenage mothers prefer the vanilla flavor to the chocolate.
This photo shows some of the teenage mothers who are participating in the program. They are all very grateful for the Atmit they receive and how it is helping them and their babies.
We left Cartagena and went to Barranquilla. The coastal area had received a lot of rain. We were on our way to visit a hospital where Atmit is used and the taxi driver could not get through the mud and so we walked a block or so in thick mud which coated our shoes only to find out we were at the wrong hospital. Here Royal and I are standing with Carlos Sanchez, the Public Affairs person for the church in Barranquilla as we made our way back to the cab through the mud.
We were two hours late getting to the hospital. When we arrived, we were overwhelmed at the outpouring of gratitude we received as representatives of the church for the Atmit that these women had received for their malnourished children. They clapped and cheered and shouted, "Atmit, Atmit!" We were amazed that they had sat there for 2 hours in the heat and humidity to express their thanks. Very humbling.
So many of the moms wanted to have photos taken of their children alone and with us. It was truly such a memorable moment for us.
A group photo of most of the women and children that had waited to greet us that hot muggy morning.
The next day we put on our vision hat and went to see the hospital in Riojacha, a five hour drive from Barranquilla, where the equipment for the vision project will be donated. It is a new hospital and will service as many as a 100 poor people a day. Eventually they will do surgeries as well. The opthamologist in charge of the foundation is a wonderful, caring doctor. Dr. Luis Escaf and his wife Fanny (the two people to Royals left) both are committed and dedicated to helping the poor and the needy.
We had lunch in Riojacha at the Casa de Mariscos (House of Shellfish) and then went across the street to look at some beautiful handmade bags. These bags are the handiwork of a tribe of indigenous Indians, (the Wayuu) that weave them by hand. They are functional, beautiful. and unique as no bag is like any other bag. Notice the beautiful beach in the background.
Our last stop was in Santa Marta. We were there to do some ground work for a Neo Natal training later this year. Santa Marta is a beautiful little city right on the coast. We were able to attend church there and have a few hours to relax and look at the sea. Here Royal is relaxing after a fine meal of sushi. You can see the sea in the background.