Friends from Homaha

This post is long over-due, but one I have been thinking about and writing in my head for a couple of months.

For the past few years I have been trying to convince my friend, Donna Hultman, to come down to visit and teach me a few things about working with visually impaired children.  You see, for a number of years, Donna was the supervisor of the program for the visually impaired for Omaha Public Schools.  I loved working with her then, and knew she would be a great help to us in our work here with the blind children we encounter.

Well, a year ago, Donna took early retirement from the school system, and, for the first time this in many years, actually had a summer free.  You can only imagine how thrilled I was when she wrote to ask if I would like a visitor (or 2) in June.  I think she could probably hear my screams of delight all the way in Omaha.

Donna and Vicki unpacking at Casa de Esperanza
So, in late June, Donna, and her friend Vickie Schurmur, a pharmacist at the Med Center, arrived here to work with us.  While I love all the groups that have come down, I have to admit that there was something special about having two American women close to my age here for almost two weeks.  While we worked hard, we also had some time to play and had the best conversations about almost every aspect of life.

Our main focus during the time they were here were three blind or low vision children in Santa Maria.  Donna met individually with each of them, assessed their needs, and gave recommendations for ways in which we can work more effectively with them in the future.  (Click here to read more about her work in Santa Maria.)  

We took one day to visit some families in the town of Tecpan.  Donna has a friend who is a doctor who brings surgical teams to here each year, and she was anxious to see the place her friends had visited.  It just happened to be where Maria and her family live--and one of my favorite places to visit.  Dick graciously agreed to be our drive for the day, and so we set off.

Dick involved in one of his favorite activities
taking pictures and sharing them with the kids.

While the living conditions here were about the most primitive we visited on this trip, Vickie and Donna didn't miss a beat.  They looked as comfortable here as if they had lived here all their lives, and the kids loved having them here.  

You be the judge?

Don't they fit in?

After their week of hard work we did take a day off an have breakfast at a restaurant on a mountainside overlooking Antigua.  It was a great way to wrap up their trip, and a fun break for all of us.

Vickie, an avid animal lover was the only one brave enough to hold the birds we found there. 

 I think he liked her hat!

I hope this is Donna thinking about when she will be back!

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