21.11.2017

Eyeglass Assist

Today was my first real day out. At 8:45 in the morning we were picked up by 3 men in the Aluminium boat of the Ministry of Health. They drove us and with us over to the other side of Penrhyn, to the main town Omuka, where the nurse Hina expected us for our project of distributing reading glasses and sunglasses to the people who need them.
Rio, the Mayor, drove us to the hospital where Hina and I then set up two tables and used a bed without mattress to lay out all the glasses in the different strengths and already separated in women / men / small so that Marcus would have an easier job in finding good ones for the people. Of course the Mayor was the first one to get a pair. It was a fun day, we met 10% of the population of the town so we handed out about 20 pairs of reading glasses and the same amount of sunglasses. I was a bit surprised that not more people came.
While I checked the people's reading abilities in terms of sight and determined the strength they needed Marcus was handing out glasses and corrected the fitting so that they would sit perfectly fine. We had our hot air blow pistol with us and that way were able to adjust even plastic frames. Worked great and people were happy.

When it was quiet Hina and I drove on her Moped to do two house visits for older ladies. That was a lot of fun and rewarded me with a handmade beautiful swiper and a shell necklace. On the way back we stopped at the shop and I bought a 1,5l box of ice cream which Marcus, Hina and I made it half way through. We will finish the rest when we come back to that side before we leave.
A couple more people came and then at about 2pm we started packing up as no one showed up. Hinas husband had brought her sewing machine and I had brought fabric, a zipper and sewing thread and then I showed Hina how to make a handbag. I almost finished it all the way before we left at 3.30. Only 2 seams were left to sew, she'll finish it off. Sooo cool that this worked out because she had asked me to teach her when we first met. The bag I made has a smaller zipper protected pocket for the wallet and phone as well as a pocket for keys and other than that is big enough to put her bible in it. She is more than happy.

So, we have met many very nice people today and we have heard some happy laugh and almost cry from people who are finally able to see and read. Some had never had glasses, some had glasses but they were broken. Most said they wanted to be able to read the bible properly. One pair a time, it makes a difference.

Thank you to the headmasters of Eyeglass Assist, Paul and Frances, to have made this possible by giving us the glasses to distribute.
Check the website out for their next project, the Salomon Islands.
Www. Eyeglassassist.org

Thank you to all the people who have donated glasses and to the Lion's clubs around the world who collect thousands and thousands of glasses, clean and check them and send them to organizations like Eyeglass Assist, where at no extra cost the glasses are distributed directly to the people.

Tomorrow we'll distribute glasses on this side of the atoll also with some home visits.

Here are some pictures of today, of the hospital and at the end one of Hina and me with her Singer sewing machine and the almost finished handbag.

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