April 2015 Trip Report
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
April brought us excellent flying weather and cooler temperatures in the Baja than we might normally expect this time of year. It rained in Mulege a few days before we got there on Friday, but the runway had dried out and was in fine shape for our arrival. It is a bit unusual for them to get rain this time of year, but maybe it has something to do with the ongoing El Nino conditions. I flew to LSI this trip, so this month’s report will be a bit LSI centric. I’ll send you to Alicia’s blog http://samaritansmovil.blogspot.com/ for Lopez Mateos specifics.
Contrary to my info in March’s trip report, this became a two clinic trip. We had successful clinics at both Lopez Mateos and Laguna San Ignacio (LSI). As it got closer to clinic weekend, it became apparent that we had sufficient resources to staff both clinics, so that’s what we did. You may recall our plan was to have an LSI clinic every other month, but this season got off to a slow start because we were not able to have the LSI clinics planned for November or January. I hope we’ve now been able to catch up on some of that pent up demand with a small clinic in February and more complete clinics in March and now April.
As to LSI specifics, our dentist, with the support of a dental assistant, saw 18 patients. Our medical provider offered services that were to be focused on pediatrics. The count there was 16 pediatric patients and four adults. We also distributed reading and sun glasses and assessed some challenges that clinic has with ventilation in preparation for the warmer months ahead.
Our two clinics both have their own personalities, but I learned something about LSI that was somewhat surprising to me. Recall that our Tucson chapter initiated this clinic and built the excellent facility, and then turned over responsibility to us because they had trouble staffing it. As you know, there are no charges for anything at Lopez Mateos, but when LSI was established the locals determined that they would like to charge a modest fee for services. This was totally a local choice that was made when Tucson established the clinic. No money goes to the Samaritans and the funds are used for local community purposes. If someone can’t afford the fee, they are asked to do something to support the clinic, for example, drive us from the airport to the clinic and back. I won’t judge this system as good or bad, but it certainly is different than Lopez Mateos.
Last month I reported that our cab drivers’ businesses might be in jeopardy because of a new municipal transportation service that Mulege is to start soon. I got some indication from one of them, Nacho, that the services may be limited and perhaps not as impactful on their livelihood as they had feared. We hope it works out well for our longtime friends who have given us such excellent cab service over the years.
The next clinic will be May 15-17 and the plan is for Lopez Mateos only. (Hmm, didn’t I say that last month? I guess you’ll need to tune in to next month’s report to see what really happened. Better yet, sign up for May and get your information first hand.) June is planned for both Lopez Mateos and LSI. Hope to see you soon!
Looks like dental at LSI for this May trip.