Day Six : Santa Cruz

November 21, 2007

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I found out today that the operating theatre will be open tomorrow for one of the cataract patients that I’ve been documenting. He’s having his first operation and he’s quite calm now considering, but says he’ll probably feel a bit more nervous closer to the time.

I asked to be shown around the rest of Aprecia with Gonzalo and soon found that in addition to being able to treat patients, they also have an amazing facility for training and working with blind children and adults. They train some of the adults in vocations such as weaving.

The kitchen was very busy with workers baking a range of local recipes for an up-coming fundraising event. They offered me one of their freshly baked buns – it was absolutely delicious! Their local recipe uses a Manioc paste which they mix with local cheeses before baking it in the oven.

Having munched on this very tasty treat, I reluctantly left the kitchen, got back to my camera and moved on to the next classroom where we found a group of deaf blind students going through their lessons.

Here, Gonzalo kept teasing the head of the department for ‘kicking him out’. Gonzalo went on to explain that he couldn’t learn Braille as fast as some of the younger pupils and so he dismissed himself from classes purely out of embarrassment! He still jokes with the teachers about how ‘unfair’ it all was!

After a fantastic day of interviews I said goodbye to some of the patients on the way out, and led Gonzalo back to his house.

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This post was written by Clare Rice

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