A letter received by Chairman Sakovitz from a woman in La Concha:
the brigade of VOSH American
I hope that God will bless all of you for me for the work of charity that you gave in Concepcion. Giving glasses, medicines, and other things to us, the people who are so needy. May God bless you and we hope that very soon you will come back. And thank you to doctor Luis for all he has done on our behalf as director of the health center at la Concepcion.
Remarks From Larry Ulm:
It was a wonderful and very fulfilling experience that I know is shared with all who participated. I'm very proud to be associated with such a wonderful organization! NEVOSH Rules! Larry Ulm Co- Director Optical Dispensary
Reflections on the trip from Brady Hart, your humble webmaster:
As a fifth year VOSH mission dispensary worker, I am pretty well accustomed to the joys of observing deserving optical patients receive their eyewear. This year was somewhat different, as I tried to do as much dispensing and adjusting of eyewear as possible, rather than limiting myself primarily to the task of selecting the appropriately powered glasses from the library.
Also different this year was the opportunity to fit post-operative cataract patients with their new external lenses. This year I was fortunate enough to dispense eyewear to three of these very special cases. All of them had been functionally blind before receiving the surgery, as voluntarily performed by Dr. [Whazzup]. (help I've lost the mission roster)
In one such case, an elderly gentleman was led into the dispensary by the arm by his diminutive wife. Accompanying the charming couple was Claudia McLaughlin, special assistant to the ophthalmology group. As per the doctor's written prescription, a pair of high plus bifocals were dispensed to the aged fellow. I was fortunate to have Claudia there, as she is fluent in Spanish and was able to relate the excited reactions to the visible world to me.
He looked first at his hands, and smiling, turned to his wife. His first exclamation was that he wanted to go that very afternoon and ride a motorbike. He was quite happy about that new possibility. He looked past the rebar in the windows of the schoolhouse and temporary clinic to the treetops in the adjacent park. Claudia asked if in fact he saw any birds in those treetops. There were none, and he confirmed to Claudia and myself that he saw no birds in the treetops. Distance vision would be a success.
He then turned again to his wife, who had been sweetly beaming with joy for her husband throughout the exchange. He gazed upon her for a moment, and said jokingly to us:
"Now that I have a new set of eyes, I'm going to have to start looking for a new wife!"
His wife laughed just as hard at this as we all did. After replacing his post-op dark sunglasses, this sprightly senior ambled from the schoolyard. Still he was led by the arm by his wife, but they both knew that within weeks he would be seeing pretty well, and his wife would have to keep an eye on him indeed.
Brady A. Hart
From Fahara Mawani, President of SUNY VOSH:
As for the website, I am looking forward to seeing it. And I think I can
speak for all of the SUNY folk, when I deem it one of the most educational
and generally rewarding experiences I've ever had. Not just in terms of
connecting with the people in Nicaragua, and trying to do what we could to
improve their vision, but also in terms of getting to know the other
volunteers. I consider myself fortunate to have met such dedicated,
wonderful people. The world needs more people like that.