Unfolding a five-year plan

Unfolding a five-year plan

There have been times when we worried that the individual level needs are too urgent, that our methodical efforts to identify promising community level strategies would take too long.  We have worked with occasional assurances that community residents appreciate our efforts to understand from their perspectives.  We were struck by how quickly residents endorsed our



The straw is too long

Notes from March 6, 2012 Michael Cammarata ’12 (ourth project trip) is this year’s clinic coordinator and he has organized meds, worked with our medical providers, and helped to manage local logistics.  He is deeply invested in the project and in the prospects for improving the delivery of medical services.  Dr. Roger Martinez (our Nicaraguan



The axe is too dull

Still catching up.  The following is taken from field notes on March 5, 2012. There is so much water in the rainy season.  Roads flood, water fills the quebradas and washes away roads and trails.  So much of it could be captured, stored, diverted, retained to refill the aquifer.  Last year’s efforts to repair and



There’s a hole in my bucket

Catching up.  What follows is from notes made in the field on March 4, 2012. There is an old Calypso song that tells of a dialogue between a man and  a woman.  It begins with the man’s complaint about a hole in his bucket, apparently in response to the woman’s request to fetch water.  The



Why a pumpkin squash?

3.2.2012.  The A team traveled through the community, meeting friends and notifying residents about the coming week of medical clinic.  We stop at each of the schools to leave notes with the children, explaining how the clinic will work and inviting their families to come for medical consultation, and if needed, for medication.  The roads are



Pumpkin Squash and Reciprocation; 3/3/12

We are greeted warmly—always and sincerely.  This year, the people of Chaguite seem a little less surpised that we have, in fact, returned.  It is gratifying to find our friends expressing and reflecting ideas of partnership more than appreciation. There certainly is nothing wrong with being appreciated—but to be trusted as a partner, to be invited



MANOS: A Team, ready to board

3/1/12.  6:00 a.m.  Next stop, Miami; then to Managua; then to Ocotal (ETA 7pm).  The MANOS advance team will travel the last leg via the Pan American Highway, hoping to stop off in Paraiso, just north of Estelli, for dinner before settling into Ocotal in preparation for the team’s arrival on Saturday.  No team has



Kudos: Well done.

We returned from our seventh annual project week in the Dominican Republic on Saturday, January 7th, 2012.  We had met our quota of hugs on Friday night; we had expressed appreciation to the cadre of fellow travelers and professionals.  We looked at one another with comfortable and knowing smiles.  What needed saying could wait.  We



Community and Partnership Revisited

With apologies to my SOMOS and DASV colleagues,  I begin this post with an excerpt from a letter I wrote to the team when we returned.  There is a theme that I want to elaborate, and I hope to deliver on a promise to recognize the exceptional work done by SOMOS team members. We struggled



Getting there: Gringos off to jail?

Señor Wallace asks us to meet him at the school (where we hold the clinic) at 8:00 a.m. so that we can travel to the government office.  He asks us to prepare a report of our work over the past seven years so that we can make clear to the officials that we are committed