Day 5 -- Last Delivery in Cucuta

Trip Start Jan 15, 2013
Trip End Feb 07, 2013

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Flag of Colombia  , Norte de Santander,
Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 5 heralded our final formal delivery and a visit two two institutions that attempt to provide care for those who have been abandoned.  In each case we learned that a project is driven by the passion of an individual or a small group of individuals who want to make a difference.  Rotarians drove us in four wheel drive vehicles to the first project.  The roads are so ravaged by water that even taxis won't drive to the buildings.  This is an area for abandoned seniors, many of them with debilitating physical or cognitive impairments.  The housing is located near the river and the border of Venezuela.  As we looked out the back we could see contrabando being exchanged in plain sight by motorcycle and ATV delivery.  We were also told that it was little use to provide goods of value to these seniors as they were often victims of robbery.  This initiative is kept alive by one of Rotary friends who because of her spirited nature reminded  us of one of our own Daybreak Rotarians.  We were all drawn to one particular very elderly mother and daughter.  They charmed us with their smiles once we showed them the photos we had taken.  This was often the case.  We left this place with such a sense of helplessness and despair as the magnitude of the challenge is so great.  Our second stop brought more hope.  We were struck by the stark contrast in facilities. This centre houses abandoned and orphaned children with special needs and also provides respite for families who have children with physical or mental challenges.  The woman who toured us through the facility had lost a grandchild through down's syndrome.  The facility manager was obviously very proud of the care they are able to provide.  Many of the students are bussed to schools during the day.  Some are enrolled in a life,skills and training centre to assist with more independent living. Here we presented two wheelchairs to the institution.  One young man quickly assumed ownership.  He was a natural who looked as of he had been in the wheelchair for  years.
And so our Daybreak Rotary deliveries have come to a formal close as we have handed over 150 wheelchairs.  The Rotary clubs of Cucuta and Pamplona who have been such memorable hosts, organizers, and facilitators will now ensure that the remaining wheelchairs reach their designated recipients.  We leave having been united by a common goal:  to change the lives of those who have been restricted to their homes for many years!  We have all been deeply touched by the sights, sounds, and people of Colombia.  We are so proud to be able to represent Campbell River Daybreak Rotary in its annual quest to bring mobility to many in the world who are less fortunate than we are as Canadians.  
Craig Gillis Campbell River Daybreak Rotary
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