Last summer Ms Darcel noticed an article in the paper about the Lions Club bringing some new equipment to Belize and that the Lions would be traveling to the elementary schools giving eye tests. We are not a typical elementary school so they probably would never visit us, but it prompted Ms Candi to make a phone call to BCVI (Belize Council for the Visually Impaired). BCVI is a non profit here in Belize dedicated to the idea that all people deserve to be able to see. It seems to have some association with the Lions Club, but I’m not sure how all that works.
Side note: Last spring when the planning team was in Belize, Wayne Carter noticed the Lions club sign and we stopped in to talk with them. They mentioned the BCVI and took us over to visit so I was aware of it. Thanks Wayne.
Near the first of September, Ms Candi called to see what arrangements we could make for examinations for our students. We brought the first group of students for eye exams on September 11. The second group came later in September, and tomorrow the last group will come. Our staff will get eye exams tomorrow as well. (Candi just admitted that she has never has an eye exam so it will be good for our staff as well.)
Many of our students do need glasses. While we were at the BCVI office the students picked out their frames, the prescriptions will be ready in a couple weeks. The glasses are supposed to cost between $40 and $120 BZE ($20 and $60 USD) but the receptionist told us that we could get them paid for by Matron Roberts (national health) so we are following up on that.
Two of our students, Jaheim and Keith, needed to see the specialist. Keith has some deterioration of some blood vessels behind his eye and they gave his some eye drops to take every day for a while. If I understand correctly, the condition is not really repairable, but the drops will help prevent further deterioration.
I’m not sure what Jaheim’s eye problem is. We are waiting for the doctor right now in the air-conditioned waiting room. (Even in Belize, where there is air conditioning, the temperature is set ridiculously low–I’m cold and Jaheim is sitting beside me actually shivering.)
Each time one of the students has to see the specialist we must pay $20. Remember that line item we added to the budget last year for “student services?” We just spent a little of it.
I thought you might enjoy the photo below of the students from the 2nd visit mugging for the camera.
P.S. I had just finished writing this when the doctor was able to see Jaheim. He has astigmatism in both eyes, rather severe in the left eye, but good eyeglasses should correct it. Yea.