|Tom helping Miele from the van|
|Auguste exiting the van in the motorized lift!|
|Fresh off the bus for Camp Jake|
We couldn't have done so without the Rhode Island Conference United Church of Christ Haiti Task Force, Physicians for Peace, St. James Episcopal (Eureka, AR), Episcopal Diocese of RI and all of the Red Thread supporters -- to them we tip our hats and say thank you again. Actually seeing the fruit of our labor in use after months of waiting was fantastic! Just another example of the red thread of destiny connecting us all for the good of others.
Greeting the van and following bus was our own Camp Jake band, complete with guitar, vocals and percussion. Campers enjoyed the music as they were lowered from the van on the lift and hugged by new and returning counselors. New campers were a bit shy, but the returning ones were exuberant! Their smiles were infectious, their hugs and kisses much anticipated.
Following a brown bag lunch, name tags were passed out and room assignments were given. Counselors helped campers retrieve their luggage and find their rooms to settle in and rest after the long, sweaty drive from Port-au-Prince.
Jake then showed Sonya, one of the counselors, how to do weight bearing and stretching exercises with Auguste, one of the wheelchair-bound children whose movement is very limited. When Auguste floated, he didn't respond as well - his legs contracted up to his chest as they often do while sitting in his wheelchair, But when we raised him to his feet in a somewhat standing position, he slowly extended his legs and began to bear weight on one or the other.
In short, Auguste STOOD in the water, something we had never seen him do! (Sadly, we have no photos since Sonya is the photographer!)
This sparked quite the commotion among observing campers, particularly a group of deaf girls working with Laura. His standing caught their attention and they poked at one another to gain attention. The looks on their faces was pure astonishment. They quickly signed 3 phrases repeatedly:
- "No way"!
- "That can't be happening!"
- "Do you see that?"
Little did they know that, by the end of our time in the pool, Auguste was already putting weight on both legs! We asked Jake his thoughts on this and he was thrilled with what he observed, stating that Auguste showed lots of potential. We will continue working with him throughout the week, pursuing weight bearing exercises and limb extensions for longer periods of time to improve potential bone and muscle growth. We will also begin training both counselors and caregivers with these exercises so this basic physical therapy can be continued far beyond Jake's time with the kids.
|Andy with 2 of our blind campers, Elisme and Markenson|
Dinner is another story that we'd like to share. But it is late, we are exhausted and there is time for that story tomorrow. Sleep well, dear readers, and we will talk to you again in the morning.