Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day One

Tuesday, Sept.8th

Hello everyone back home! Yesterday we arrived in sunny (and humid) Brazil with no problems, safe and sound. After a long plane ride to Recife, we arrived at the Fundação Altino Ventura (FAV) who is our partner instead of the Lions Club for this clinic.
They are a foundation that has been family operated from the beginning (3 generations have been involved) and rely upon government support and private subsidies in addition to their own contributions. They have a school for the Ophthalmologists who work at the clinic. The FAV has over 50 doctors who volunteer at least 4 hours a week at the clinic.
After we toured the clinic, they served us a wonderful lunch of salmon, chicken or beef, with pineapple, other fruits and chilled sodas, and passion fruit topped flan like dish for desert. The European team arrived approximatly 2 hours after us. They then ate and took the tour, and we all started the 4 hour bus ride to our week one clinic location, Arcoverde.

The ride was bumpy, but extremely scenic. There is much poverty, but people seem self sufficient, and many own cattle, chickens, horses or donkeys. When we arrived at Arcoverde, we had orientation where we heard about how the clinic will run. We went to an incredible dinner provided by the FAV. Afterwards, the FAV laid out how the clinic came to be, and showed all of the screening processes and cooperation between many different organizations and the various local governments. Over 35,000 kids (5-21 years old) were pre-screened, from 9 different cities. 1,700 people have worked to make clinic possible. From 35,000 kids, they have chosen 2,000 to get brand new glasses and/sunglasses. Several hundred others have been selected to receive medicial treatments at the FAV in Recife.
This is a totally new type of clinic for OneSight. The clinic hours are 7:30am-5pm to see the patients. Meanwhile in the lab (a mile away!) we will be working in one of two full shifts. First shift is 6:30am, the next starts at 2:30pm and lasts until 11pm. We will all have the opportunity to work with the children at some point however, and will not just be in the lab making glasses.
Until tomorrow...
Tchau (pronounced like ´ciao´, means goodbye)

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank


  1. Ciao from Italy! thanks for the detailed description of day one... we are looking forward to reading many beautiful stories!

    Good luck, good work, and a special ciao from your colleagues in Milan!


  2. Hi Tani!

    We hope you are having a great time - it sounds like you are experiencing wonderful things over there and doing great things in the process! Keep up the good work and take many pictures to share with us when you return. Keep us informed and be safe!

    Jennifer Benjamin and Karen Kreider Gaunt

  3. Oi! From Brazil!!! I too am following our blog, from clinic. Yea, it is crazy that our hotel actually has internet access! We are so posh here!

    Anyway, clinic is super, of course. The FAV is so together and organized, it makes our jobs amazingly simple.

    Hello, to everyone following, especially my Bridgid!!! Wish you were here on this one too!

    Kisses to all,

    Sarah Baker
    Sunglass Hut 5742

  4. Sarah Baker, Rita from Macy's says we miss you and are so happy you are helping others.
    This blog is terrific keep em comming.
    See you soon!!