Day 2-3 distributions Cucuta

Trip Start Jan 14, 2013
Trip End Apr 15, 2013

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Friday, January 25, 2013

On day two the group made four deliveries to homes as the recipients were unable to travel to the distribution site the first day. In each case the caregivers as in wives, aunts, husbands, uncles, grandparents and in some cases grandchildren were extremely grateful for the chairs and what it meant to them. One gentleman was bed bound and on oxygen. The chair meant he could sit in another room and see out the window, and perhaps even make it to the street for some fresh air and receive visits from his neighbours. 

We also attended a local primary school in the same neighbourhood and after the official ceremonies distributed fifteen chairs to mostly physically disabled children. There were a few characters in this group, amazing to see such happiness amongst what must be such a daily struggle. I'm sure these chairs will make each day a little bit better for them and their caregivers. Our last delivery for Cucuta on the third day was also a combination of house deliveries and a larger group at the Alcadia Municipal Del Los Patios. One of the house deliveries was for a man who had lost his leg in an accident. Once into his chair he was quickly onto the street impressing everyone with his new mobility and obvious joy in being independent once again. 

It was in the high thirty's when we reached the Municipal hall and the recipients had been waiting patiently under tents for our arrival and the completion of the ceremonies. A young boy came onto the stage and was very interested in the gringos in blue shirts asking questions I couldn't answer. He then looked back at his grandmother and ran back to give her comfort and put his arms around her. I'm guessing he just wanted to make sure she was going to receive a chair. Craig and I were assigned the role of receiving the recipients and placing them into their chairs. This was a fairly quick process and each recipient had individual challenges. We had to be quick to size up the situation and decide on the best approach for placing them in a chair. They would then receive a round of applause from everyone and move to a second area for photos with their family and Rotary. It is important to record this for the families,the local Rotary group and the donors in Canada.

 As we were winding down we noticed that many had also taken the cardboard boxes the chairs came in with them. Likely serving a number of uses and providing the kids with that ultimate timeless and free toy, cardboard. We leave for more distributions in Pamplona tomorrow, a small town two hours south of Cucuta at 8000 feet.
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