Amber and I have now completed our greatest accomplishments. Yesterday we fixed a washing machine that had been in service for four months, broke, and they then had out of service for 6 months. Their only working washing machine was a scarily old beast that spewed as much water and soap out the side as it retained in. A technician had previously been there to work on the machine but told them that the problem was an error with the program and they were about to throw out the machine. Fortunately we took a look at it and it turns out that the only issue was with a small switch that connected to the door to let the computer know that it was shut. So we fixed that by bending it a bit and that solved the problem. We were running through the diagnostic program and at part of it no water came in so we were about to start taking things apart, but then we realized that it was because there was no water line attached to that inlet. Thank goodness we didn’t start taking everything apart because we could have seriously screwed things up.  Anyway a lot of people were incredibly impressed, even the director stopped by to thank us. It was pretty great feeling to fix something that people were really dependant on. Today we had a similar experience fixing a sewing machine for some of the women. They were not able to get their machine to go zigzag, so we worked on it for a while and were able to get it to work. Again their incredible enthusiasm was astounding. Not to mention our feeling of success  from starting with a machine that we had little to no idea how it worked to stepping through each of the functions and finding out where the problem was and how to fix it. It is somewhat of a slow process for us because of our limited knowledge, but so rewarding when we do finally succeed. Furthermore, I feel like we made leaps and bounds of progress with building relationships and getting people to trust us. I don’t feel like we will really have a whole lot of time doing nothing now because people have seen what we can do. There is still always that fear that we will not be able to repair the machine though.. and I hate promising them anything that I cannot deliver on.

Last night Amber and I were invited to dinner at one of the nurse’s house.  We got to hang out with her daughter, who is our age, and teach her English while she helped us with our Spanish. I LOVED hanging out with her and chatting. She was really great to talk to because she understands the difficulty of learning a new language so she was really easy to understand. We talked about our prince charmings, or “Principe Azul” and she taught us a lot of the common phrases they use here in Olanchito. That was extremely helpful because those are the words that people use frequently here and we don’t understand.

I think we are finally starting to feel like we somewhat can fit here in this hospital, and now we have just over a week left here. It really flies by when you finally feel like you have adjusted to things. I wish it was easier to feel this comfortable earlier, however some of these things I think just take time to happen. I am just so glad that we have been able to build the relationships that we have, seen the incredible kindness of the people here, and been able to make a bit of a lasting impact.

Next week our professor is coming to town and will hopefully be able to help us with fixing an autoclave, so we are quite eager to see that happen because it is a brand new autoclave that they have had for quite a while but are unable to use because they don’t have the proper power input. I am quite hopeful that we will be able to do some good, so we shall see.

Also this weekend I am traveling to Chuluteca to visit an organization that works with prosthetic limbs as this is what I am doing my senior project on next year. I am pretty eager to take a visit to that organization and see how we will be able to be most helpful next year. Please pray for safe travels as I will be traveling by bus for almost 20 hours this weekend… so long…

Just one more week here, praying that I make the most of it and continue to do good work.



8/7/2010 05:01:23

What a great adventure you are having! Bus rides, and truck rides, and sketchy food and kind strangers.... Sounds wonderful, and you're very brave to go and see all you can. I'm excited for your successes with washing machines and the like, and being able to prove yourself, breaking the ice... and just when things are getting really good you have to leave. Bummer. But, then, sometimes its good to stop while you're still having fun. Praying for a blessed final week and safe travels home. Can't wait to see you!
Love, Anno

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