Monday, March 16, 2009

A Promise Kept

Last year when we visited the isolated leprosy village of Hoa Van, one of the women (the one pictured with Elaine on the right of the collage) asked that if we came back could we bring food for the elders who could no longer work in the fields and therefore were hungry. Today we did exactly that with the help of the staff of Global Village Foundation and our dear friends Stan and Marie Teitge.

Le, the proprietress of our homestay, had volunteered to procure and bag the $500 worth of groceries for seventy families. The loading of these precious bags onto and out of the boat, via a narrow concrete jetty on one end and via basket boat across the surf at the beach in the village was tricky, but we managed with the help of a wonderful boat man and a welcoming group at the village. We struggled up the beach and through the lanes with each of us carrying several of the ten pound bags.

We brought another precious gift from Canada, hand knit bandages for the wounds left by leprosy. We had a good talk with the male nurse, who was grateful for the delivery (we had included bottles of bleach and lessons on how to sterilize the bandages) The nurse assured us that he knew this procedure, but when we went over to deliver the food packets to the patients in the hospital, we were aghast at the condition of their bound feet. The bindings were far from clean and certainly not sterile. The nurse estimates his needs to be about 600 bandages a year. The important piece of information for the Bandage Brigade is that the finer gauge bandages are preferred, and surprisingly he would like them to be a shorter length, about three girls, it will be more tedious to knit on smaller needles with finer yarn, but at least we will finish in the same time with the shorter length.

Once again, we are committed to getting more bandages to this village and also to provide the gauze dressings which they so desperately need. In addition, there was a wish for a little money for each family, about 100,000 VN Dong...that's $6 US. To fulfill this dream, we would need to raise just $500. We can do that!!!!

There are more pictures of this day for the Journey of the Heart team on the web album, accessed by clicking on the small slide show at the top right of the blog.

Blessings to all our knitters and generous donors.
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