Greetings from Santa Marta, Colombia

Here we are , back on the road with Healing the Children, Northeast.  Helen Buhler and I are accompanied by  two students, Bruna Carbelim and Jeanette Torres,  to fill out the speech team.   We have a remarkable team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and administrators, the majority of whom have been here before.  Helen was here twice before–in fact, it was the first trip she went on in 2009!

Santa Marta is a lovely small city on the ocean (Pacific of course) and our accommodations are at the Batallon Córdoba, the RnR hotel for the Colombian military.  In fact, we scored one of the small bungalows on the base..General’s quarters, we hear.  We have everything we need (people can live without hot water, right?) and we will be here until Friday.

The hospital is close to the Army base, Hospital Universidad Fernando Troconis, and this hospital has a secret weapon in patient care and child development. This secret weapon is called Unima, and it is a group of volunteers who are totally committed to the behind the scenes work that makes a trip like this succeed.  They also take great care of the team, providing snacks, logistical support, TLC and inside info on how to get things done.  I wish every hospital had a group like this.  

Our travel down was uneventful, beginning with a Friday night red eye flight and a day to meet or reconnect with each other.  Some swam, some napped, and we all had dinner together with the sound of the surf in the background.

Tomorrow is screening day, so those in the know turned in early.  Screening day is not for the weak.

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About Shari Salzhauer Berkowitz

Shari is a speech language pathologist and assistant professor of communication disorders at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY.
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