Thursday, March 11, 2010

I scream, you scream, we all scream...

(literally...and over and over again) for ice cream! :)

Wednesday afternoon was a sight to see...and what a beautiful one it was...

At Las Obras, you are able to gain permission to take patients out into the community for a paseo (or a stroll). We received permission to take 7 young adults and 4 children for ice cream...and we had a delicious time watching their happy faces enjoy this small pleasure of an afternoon stroll and a treat.

But we also experienced inaccessibility...and the difficult in manuevering Antigua. Antigua means "old" :) and by this reference, you can deduce that the roads and architecture mimic the customs of long ago, likely when ADA did not exist. Roads are consequently entirely of cobblestone, and given their age, the government has preserved them (and rightly so, they are charming and historic). For those of us with sound body (and for some of us, of mind as well), these roads do not present an insurmountable challenge...however, for the patients at Las Obras who are in wheelchairs, they present an impossible barrier - how do you connect with your community if you are not able to access it independently?

Many of these patients, particularly the young adults, are independent with their mobility within Las Obras. But outside of the complex, they become completely dependent on others to manuever their environment. For us, it was a particularly enriching experience to share with them. We had difficulties ourselves manuevering the wheelchairs, not only on the cobblestones, but also on the curbs as many did not have ramps. Yet, we all did it...we worked hard and they cheered loudly...sweat dripped off our foreheads and ice cream dribbled off their chins...smiles graced every face. It was a very sweet afternoon indeed.


  1. Sounds like it's been a very full week, and so rewarding! I'm very proud of what you'all have accomplished, and so glad Kimberly had this incredible learning experience. Have a safe trip home!

    I, for one, will be happy to see my daughter!

    Denise Craig

  2. How heartbreaking to hear that many of the patients were just dropped off at churches as their families didn't know how to care for them.

    You all have done an outstanding job in Guatemala and UNC should be proud of its PT students!

    Now, on a completely random note, Robin Quivers is flying into Guatemala today. Send a pic if you see her. Bababooey:)