Thank you J.D. Mowat for taking 2 NJT medical aid suitcases to Guardalavaca, Cuba and sharing your clinic experience with us:
“We had a great trip, and were really thrilled to be able to drop off the NJT cases to the clinic. We saw a lot of old friends and found everyone to be happy, healthy and as usual, ready to show us a great time.
The clinic itself is very small. I’ve attached an older picture of the exterior. There’s one doctor, one nurse and that’s it. Most of the equipment there is quite dated and in many cases, it’s not operable. The town itself is small, and removed from the provincial capital, so it’s on the low end of the distribution list. The clinic itself serves a large area – people who work in the resorts, farmers, fisher people, families and many others. There’s no other medical service in the area, and the closest ‘hospital’ is in Holguin, an hour away on a good day.
We’ve brought down medical donations before, stuff we bought, borrowed or had given to us. Our trip with NJT cases was our first, but it won’t be our last. There were some minor difficulties at customs, but nothing we couldn’t talk our way out of. We hopped a vintage Chevy into town, after spending a few minutes telling the driver that no, we wanted the ‘clinico Cubano’ not the tourist clinic.
The doctor and nurse there were very happy with the contents of the cases. Everything in them will be put to very good use and is very much appreciated. We’ve got so much in Canada that it’s only right that we share that wealth, and the people of Cuba are so incredibly wonderful. If we can play a small part in helping people stay healthy or saving a life by the simple act of moving a case of donations from one place to another, we’d be selfish and very un-Canadian not to do so.
This was our 14th visit to Guardalavaca (it means ‘guard the cow’, a warning from the days that pirates prowled the waters apparently…), it’s almost our second home. We’ll be going back often, and we’ll be taking as much NJT gear as we can. Cubana Airlines has a very generous luggage policy, so there were no hassles with weight limits etc.
We’ll be taking more, and we’ll be telling everyone we know to do the same.
Thank you to you and all the incredible volunteers for all your important and wonderful work.”