Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Seeing double

We have been trying this year to take some time to look forward.  Instead of putting out as many fires of daily life, to put some things off, and think/plan/pray.  Where are we going?  What are we doing that we no longer need to do?  (sewing ministry is the first big step...we will not be continuing to do that as a mission, although some of our Churches might take some of those supplies and continue on their own.)  
Honduran labor for the mission is the future.  While there are a few of us somewhat long term missionaries hanging around, finding more of those is not likely.  And while there are no immediate plans for Valerie or myself to be leaving the country...we will be leaving one way or another at some point.  How the clinic will continue to do optometry when that time comes has been problematic.

Finding another US optometrist to come and work has been something we have been seeking for years.  That does not seem to be coming, and come to find out, those kind of folks are fairly rare.  And since optometry is not a thing here...only ophthalmology, and opthamologists usually do surgery and are also fairly rare, and thus would also be very expensive, that is not a decent option for us either.  

So trying to deal with the legal aspects, technical aspects, and everything else, we think we have found an option how to move forward.  Valerie will become a teacher in our own optometry school of sorts, training our general medical doctor Alejandra who is interested in learning and taking on the challenge.  Here in Honduras MDs can legally do everything Valerie can do...they just do not have the training.  So the idea is that Valerie will train Alejandra, starting with a few hours every day, and soon enough, poof, we will have another optometric professional.  The next few months will prove to see how that will work, it will require patience, time, and flexibility by both of them, but we are looking forward to hopefully putting to use the two optometry lanes we have equipped now, giving Valerie back up when patient loads are great, and as well giving her more flexibility for working with teams, making trips to the US, etc. without feeling like she is letting her patients down.  

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