¿Dónde está Juan? Series

February 9, 2012
Hello Olentangy Rotarites and family

This is the first time I have been able to get on the internet. Things are going fairly well. The first day with the eye care project always has a lot of confusion but that is mostly worked out. A big problem we had was the batteries to the video game machine I operate, also known more precisely as an autorefractor, were mostly bad. We were backed up badly Monday and Tuesday milking the batteries and stopping to charge them often. That was solved by Wednesday.

I have enjoyed catching up with some of my Salvadoran friends down here, several that I have worked with before.

We have been working from about 8 am to 8 pm. Somehow there have been up to 600 people a day and there were only 500 tickets a day printed. They must be breeding. We have to solve that problem, at that rate we will run out of some supplies by the middle of next week.

Yesterday a lady that was well into her 70{s came up to me while I was working with a line about 100 feet long in front of me. I think she jumped the whole line. She started rattling off in Spanish so fast that neither I nor my interpreter caught much of what she was saying. The gist of it was that she saw me in the park the other day and said I was "such a love" as she held my face and very animatedly happy started telling me her life story as far as I could figure out. We couldn{t get her to stop talking for what seemed like a long time. The other Salvadorans around just started laughing. We finally got her to settle down enough to shoot her eyes and hand her over to the optometrists.

Surgical supplies have been held up in customs so there have been no surgeries this week. The President of the country was in town yesterday so Sister Ann, Padre Lorenzo and a couple of the eye care leaders went to try to get to talk to someone that could help. One of the members actually pulled on his sleeve and talked to him about the problem, El Presidente gave her the contact for a senior assistant and he is helping but the problem isn{t solved yet.

I was up until 12 the first few nights and last night the Irish boys came over and a few of use were up until 1 30 and I have been getting up at 5 30. I wonder why I kept falling asleep at a meeting today, if I am not standing up or doing something I fall asleep. There may be a direct correlation there.

One of the Irish boys was singing ballads last night, he is quite a good singer and is absolutely hilariously.

I went out to visit some of the sites for the project that will begin soon this year.

Tomorrow afternoon I am going out with the Sirama Rotary Club, Padre Lorenzo, Ismael the construction manager and Morena, my interpreter to the sites of the cisterns built in 2011.  Then we will drive to San Miguel and go to the Sirama Rotary Club meeting. Sounds like another long day.

Saturday will be another day out in the hills visiting some more future cistern sites for 2012. Saturday night there is a big party for a fundraising project locally that I was told could have about 500 people, virtually all Salvadorans, I bought a ticket and I am going with some Salvadoran friends. That should be a hoot, and probably a late night. I should sleep on Sunday but I would like to take a free day to go hiking in the mountains or to the beach.

I hope the Heart of Gold turns out to be another great success, thanks to Sue and so many others.

I will write again when I am able.
John A. Medeiros