Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nicaragua January 14th

This is the field along the driveway up into the Bradley House. Horses graze here, and today and yesterday, a few guys were hand cutting the grass for hay- with machetes. I can see what backbreaking work this is, and wonder why they don't use the scythes (?) with long handles, so that they wouldn't need to bend over to cut the grass.
The same spot, but with me turned and facing the opposite direction. The pink house is rented out, the yellow building in the back is Bradley House.

The driveway up into Bradley House. it is only wide enough for one vehicle, and today as we were leaving, we had to pass a small horse drawn carriage. Luckily, there was one small pullout area for the horse.

This girl was being asked to stand and turn. It was very difficult for her, and she was starting to cry.

The staff at Bradley House.

Lunch break is from 12 to 2. This is one of our translators at lunch...taking a bit of a nap on one of the floor pads/mattresses.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nicaragua: January 12 Bradley House

My day was split between La Chureca (see previous post) and Bradley House. Not quite as many photos taken today, I wasn't feeling well, but still, many images that I am proud of. I cannot WAIT to get home so that I can see these photos larger. My laptop has worked out very well, but the screen is not so big for vertical images- and I have noticed that I shoot many more verticals than I do horizontals. Interesting. Anyway, a few photos from the afternoon...the photo above, by the way, is a mom who walked 10 miles to bring her child there for an evaluation. 10 miles! And then 10 miles home! And all she asked for were some bandaids for her blisters. This appointment took her all day to accomplish.
Most of the moms come in with several children, I think. Even if only one needs therapy or an evaluation, there are several others prancing around having a great time with each other. Clearly, parenting is approached differently here. The kids are much freer to wander where they want, play as they want. It's not that they aren't attended to or cared for, that's not it at all. Small children toddle around, without direct supervision, and it all seems to work out just fine. Of course, I have always thought that most parents are a bit TOO supervisory with their children, but as I am not a parent myself I do try to keep these complaints to a minimum.

I can't wait to see this photo bigger. I love the little hand reaching out and holding her moms hand.

They have horse therapy at Bradley House, too.

Nicaragua: January 12 La Chureca

Manna Project had their milk and weighing clinic today at La Chureca (Managua's city dump). The last time I was here, it was a holiday week and the schedules had been changed, so although we got a tour of La Chureca, I didn't get to see any of the programs in action. On Milk Day, the moms that live in the dump bring their kids to get weighed, measured, given a supply of milk, vitamins and oatmeal. More info about La Chureca

This little girl had just had a tooth pulled, and was holding a bloody cloth between her lips.

Manna keeps careful records of the progress that each child makes. They compare this week measurements and weight to the last one, and then might make adjustments to the amount of formula/food they give.

This baby was born last week.

Everyone waits out in the front area until they are called in- most are there for the milk day, but several have come in for the clinic hours, and to see the doctors that are working that day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nicaragua January 11th

Today's photos are all from our work at the Bradley House of Hope. It is a school/clinic a few miles away from Manna that is open during the week. They operate in 2 shifts- 8am to 12, and 2 to 4. The plan is for the WSC students to be at the clinic today thru Thursday all day, and then Friday in the afternoon. They are working with WSC professor Jackie Brennan and the staff at Bradley House- evaluating children, observing therapy sessions. The children are from the area, and each child is on a schedule- my understanding is that they come in twice a week, for half a day. Coincidentally, we are also working alongside another team made up of a doctor, a nurse practitioner, and a speech language pathologist. This week, the clinic is seeing 10 new children, and evaluations need to be done for each child.

An aberration in the series of kid photos...a dog photo. I met this dog today, as I sat outside eating my lunch...a ham and cheese sandwich. She was desperately hungry, and sat very quietly, staring at me while I ate. I gave her some of the sandwich. (This could partially account for my hunger later on...but then again, I am always hungry.) Just looking at the dog made me almost start to cry. I wanted to feed her, clip her nails, worm her, and nurse her back to health...the vet tech experience runs deep. Although I was photographing the people all day (and some of those kids had really amazing, debilitating, disfiguring conditions) it is with the animals that I feel like I could actually help. My photos of the kids will be tell a story about our experiences here, and perhaps help by bringing awareness to other people...people that otherwise would never know that Bradley House was here, and that they need grants and donations to survive. But I can't help the people. I am not a nurse, I am not a doctor, I am not a therapist. I am a photographer. A photographer that had a previous career as a vet tech, and knows exactly what the animals need. And so, I get teary when I see these dogs. It's something I can relate to in a much more concrete sort of way. Anyway, on with the rest of the blog...more photos from the work we did today...