Saturday, November 21, 2009

Have a little faith in me...(lalala)

Written August 30, 2009:

I’m back in Honduras. Yes, it’s true. Not entirely expected, but true. And it’s been quite the internal journey to get here and it’s probably not over…

Honestly, I assimilated back to the States extremely well these last few months and truly enjoyed the time I was able to spend with my family and friends. I’m really grateful for that time and it has helped give me a renewed sense of identity and gain perspective on where I come from and where I’m going. Yet despite feeling that way, I still found it extremely difficult to make the decision to come back to Honduras. I was caught in indecision and insecurity. I was job searching and got a great offer in the States, but for a job that my heart wasn’t really in. Sure, I would be able to make money, live the comfortable cosmopolitan life, and stay “on schedule” for grad school. But deep inside my heart and mind, I knew the chapter of my life living and working in Latin America wasn’t over. Sure, it may never feel “over” after however much time I would spend, but I don’t want to look back on my young adult life and regret not knowing whether I could have or regret not taking the risk—the leap of faith—for an experience that could be so incredible, certainly memorable, and shape me both personally and professionally.

In my process of making this decision, after I had chosen, it seemed like everything I depended on back in Honduras was vanishing before me. Perhaps the political uprising in Honduras set the tone, as everything I found myself depending on started slipping away. The security of working part-time with my previous organization in order to make some extra income was later denied/postponed. Friendships and relationships that were important in my life here were now either no longer here (moved back to the North American world) or were here but on ambiguous terms, and I was distancing myself even more by moving to Tegucigalpa. These things were significant factors in my decision to return and provided me with some security in my decision-making; however they are no longer things I can fully depend on. That said, I’ve come to choose to understand that even if it were these things that were used to form my decision, and even though they may no longer be my securities or my stability…that’s okay. They got me here, and now, I am here. So I’ll be here, living for the present, to pursue my vocation and contribute my abilities to the door that has been opened for me and that I have chosen to walk through.

One anecdote to end this entry recaps a moment I had on the plane ride here to Honduras this last weekend. As we were seated in the plane, and getting ready for take-off, a huge storm came out of nowhere minutes before we started down the runway. I mean lightning, thunder, typhoon-like rain and winds. Incredible, really. As it happened to be, I was seated next to 2 older Honduran men who looked to me and asked, “Are you scared? Are you nervous?” “Well, yes,” I said, “I certainly don’t want to be putting my life at risk.” The older man to my left replied, “No, don’t be afraid, you have to…” “Have faith?” I chimed in. “Yes, exactly, you have to have faith” he said back to me giving the most emphatic fist pump motion I’ve seen in years. I agreed returning the fist pump. Then we both fist pumped together...haha. He continued, reminding me that whatever storms have come or are to come that lead me to doubt or indecision, or that will threaten my ability to take off on the runway, I will be able to navigate through them in faith…for peace and serenity are to come.

Some quotes I’d like to share from my new journal entitled “Serenity”

“There’s a serene and quiet confidence in knowing that all things do not stand or fall according to one’s own achievements or the correctness of every decision one makes.” –Joseph Sittler

“No matter how long we are on this Earth, the more we have to realize that life finds us living every day with the unanswered and the unresolved. Faith helps us to live with the unanswered. Hope helps us to live the unresolved. Trust helps us to accept…and go on with the work of living.” –Mark Connolly

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Limbo Period

Now that I'm back from Honduras, things have been somewhat transitionary...and confusing...

I did really well for the first 2 weeks in terms of culture shock. Got through family vacations, worked my way up to going to the grocery store and malls...I figured I could make the transition okay as long as I worked my way into American culture little by little. And I did well...until that one moment in Talbots when I went with my mom to get a petite button up shirt that would fit me for my birthday...and it just took me by surprise, after all I thought I was doing well! The pricetag showing the equivalent of a third of my worker's monthly salary...the fact that I was buying the perfect petite button up shirt that fit me by height and bust so that I would look impeccably put together mixed with visions of Dona Perse in her "sexy" (yet entirely way too tight and certainly not "tailored to fit") sequence red dress matched with black heels 2 sizes too big. It hit me hard, unexpectedly, and I left the store in tears while my mom paid the birthday bill. I felt terrible for making her feel bad, and for probably making the retail ladies feel really uncomfortable. But, the tears had to come sometime...and they weren't just tears of "culture shock." They were tears of letting go, of recognizing where my next step might or might not be, of cherishing a time of my life in which I encountered faces and voices different from my own, of trying to cope with a bitter understanding of the realities of this world, and of struggling to define and discern the overlap in my own juxtapositional reality.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ok, I'm terrible at even catching you up. So, here's the brief summary that I wanted to share days ago:

April 17-26: Emily and Anna come to visit!!! It was so amazing having them here and it was a time that I really needed to get some perspective on my life. I had just come back from the DR from my host sister's wedding and then the half-Framily came from Wisconsin to enjoy my world here in Honduras. It was a bit of a surreal worlds clashing kind of experience, but I've been in that world before and this time it was so wonderful to share a part of my life that they have never gotten to see in vivo. Thanks for coming Anna and Em--it meant a lot to me! :)

The only bad part of their trip was getting robbed. To make a very long story short...our hostel room got broken into by a drug dealer in Copan and stole a LOT of expensive items and money. Then pretty much the whole city got involved to find this guy and they did...but it was a very convoluted situation. We had already left Copan when we found out they found him and our stuff, so I when I dropped Anna and Emily off for their flight home, I went back to Copan to retrieve our stuff. After fighting cops who insisted I have my receipts to recollect the items (seriously?? How would I have my receipts from the States 5 years ago on me???). During this argument, they pull me aside to the filing cabinet to identify the items, and I, like an idiot, left my backpack in the chief's office (thinking that I was safe at the police station, of course.) Well, it wasn't. Between getting to the police office and going to lunch after my camera with ALLLL my pictures from the DR and the Media-Framigas visit was not there--aka stolen by the police. And I didn't even get my stuff back. I went back the next, they had to change the report so I could get my stuff back, but they had stolen my camera meanwhile!!! I was so livid!!!!! I went back the next day, sooooo upset and frustrated, and ready to fight to get our stuff back--receipts or not. By the end, I was able to get the things that were stolen back but not the camera...and while I wanted to accuse and fight for my camera they--the police!--had stolen, there were a few things that made me decide not to put up the fight. First, as I'm getting so angry in the chief's office about getting my camera back, I look over to my side and there's a women sitting in a chair with her arm in a sling and a black eye making a domestic violence report. My soul was stabbed. What is a camera, really? Sure, it's justice that I was fighting for, but...there are worse things in the world...things that political justice can't even solve. Secondly, I found out the back history on the robber, and slowly began to put the pieces together. He's involved in the drug ring of Copan and now imprisoned (because of MY police report) with drug dealers trying to bail him out to kill him supposedly....and he's also in cahoots with a few high-up police officers to get paid to steal and give the stuff to the police to sell. I thought about all those powerful and scary drug and delincuence networks...and began to realize that they know where I live and my phone number and my passport number (after all, I had made the police report), I figured maybe my safety was a little more important than a camera. So, I made the decision, gulped down my pride and retracted myself from getting any more involved.

May 5-26: At this point I was looking for jobs both in Honduras and the States. I had some good leads in Tegucigalpa and I think it would be a really great move there. I have a lot of friends there, and some jobs leads that would be really at the National Institute for Women in the Gender and Health department and another with Public Health Brigades. There was also an apartment that opened up in Teguc right across from my friends which was so exciting I could FEEL the move. Now with a little bit more of perspective throughout May, there are opportunities still in the process and there are no for sure answers. I want a new professional adventure, but in a place I'm somewhat familiar with. It would be a great move, to be in a place where I know people, but learning a new job and a new environment. However, I'm still waiting...being patient for God to reveal his plan. Things aren't coming together as quickly as I would have liked or with as much conviction as I would have liked....but I know that it will work out...wherever I end up. And for now, I'm just paying my respects to all I have experienced this year, packing up, and going home to get reconnected with the people I love and who support me the most...mi familia. And maybe once I have a little more perspective States-side and in my home, I'll be able to know with confidence my next step and be prepared to embrace it.

early June: Still a little anxious about future-stuff, but just trying to be patient and let my faith lead me through in a time of unknown and waiting. In the's been good that some little things about Latin culture are really starting to get to me. I don't think I can possible see another person throw a Coke bottle or chip bag out the window of a bus without any concern for the environment. I can't STAND it..and it's really making me be ready to be back in a culture that is significantly better at trying to be aware of environmental concerns. I might just flip out on the next person I see litter...I've already gotten into heated discussions with people on busses and it's now at its peak. It's just such a disrespect for someone's country. It's like saying, I don't care what my town or country looks like, if there's trash everywhere, if animals start dying off in the lake, or the lake because so contaminated because of my disinterest and lack of respect for it's wellbeing and beauty. Also, cars passing people on the street so fast that if one movement happened to be wrong they would instantly kill the person. I've had a coworker and myself get hit by a car this happens. And the fact that people drive with no consciousness of pedestrians or respect of other people or vehicles near them, they just drive fast and out of control....ahhhhh its really getting to me. Another demonstration of disrespect, I feel. But, they are cultural differences that I've had to deal with and have tried to create consciousness among Honduras I know in order to attempt a little behavior change. It is good though, to help make me realize the things I appreciate about my country and look forward to returning. :) Oh so soon!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

life is a highway, im gonna ride it

Yes I’m alive and well! And, well well, not well bad. Ok that was a Honduran Spanish joke…sorry. Anyhow, I realized I haven’t blogged for the last 6 weeks and I’m sure I’ve let a lot of you down…especially because these last 6 weeks have been FILLED with revelations, struggles, uncomfortable situations, and new decisions. For that reason, over the next few days, I’m going to write a blog for each of the last 6 weeks (more or less) highlighting and reflecting on important things that have happened. So, you’ll have to scroll down for each entry, but that way you’ll be caught up on most everything…without having to read one monstrous blog. Ok, let’s start with early-mid April…

April 1-8: To give a little reference and conclusion to my last blog, part of what I was referring to in allowing myself to be vulnerable began with my time in the Dominican Republic, where I had to deal with a lot of things from my past there, most centrally in coping with the disappointments of not being able to realize my dreams and passions there. It was like an uncomfortable pain that persisted throughout my trip there because I realized that this was the first place for me that was filled with passion-the language, the people, the landscape, the air…everything. It was a place for me, that inspired in me my passion for public health and Latin America, and I realized that while I’ve loved Honduras and it has been so good to me, I’ve been living there this entire time not thinking “Oh, yay, Honduras, a new place, a new adventure” but rather “It’s not the DR.” In my time visiting the DR, I had to understand and forgive the fact that the dreams I had had to come back to that place, and the work I had done for a year to research and write grants for Fulbright and other scholarships, though always got to a top candidate status, had been major disappointments when they didn’t come through in the end. But I never had a chance to deal with those disappointments and return to the DR to close that chapter in my life because this opportunity in Honduras came about and before I could cope and move on, I had to be in Honduras…starting the new chapter. Because of my personality and passion, I jumped on the chance to go to Honduras. A week after graduating I was in CA for training and then off to San Pedro. And now, almost 10 months later, I finally had the chance (be it a wedding for my host sister) to go back and confront the disappointments, while being able to maintain the relationships with people and organizations that were the primary inspirations to my direction and passion in my life. I spent two weeks there, probably too long of a time, but by the end, I was ready to go to Honduras. I was ready to close that chapter and continue writing the Honduras chapter of my life. I got back and as I was on a bus for Siguatepeque the next day, I remember looking at the bus terminal and just feeling at home, so comfortable. A little sad that the San Pedro bus terminal reminded me of home since I travel so much I’m in there all the time, but it is what triggered the emotion. Haha. I’ve seen some tough stuff in the weeks since then, but maybe that’s just the beginning on me really learning to live in HONDURAS, with its own unique attributes and its own capacity to love and inspire me.

April 9-17: Well….April 9, really. I get hit by a truck while running outside. Yep. Can you believe it? It’s true though. I was running along el “21,” one of the major (i.e. one of the only paved streets) in Siguatepeque and there were 4 cars illegally parked, so I had to go into the street and though I looked both ways and didn’t see anything, as I entered in, there it was, a truck going about 35mph about 2 feet in front of me. I had seconds to react and tried backing up, but I more had the shock of “Holy crap, I’m going to get hit by a car!” It tried to break but was too close; it still hit my leg and I fell back on my hands and knees. I was definitely in shock and started getting really embarrassed when everyone in the car (and everyone in any surrounding comedor restaurant) came out to see what happened/how I was. I freaked out, got up, could easily walk, so I told them I was sorry, that I was okay, that I was going to be fine and then I went on my way as fast as possible. Honestly, I was more embarrassed that I, la gringa, Johanna Chapin, got hit by a car. I walked home and while I was sore and had some bumps and bruises, I was totally fine and didn’t feel it necessary to see a doctor. I then realized that I was speaking English the entire time with the people on the street, so they probably didn’t even understand me say that I’ll be okay…until of course I walked away in tears like a crazy person.

Moral of the story? Don’t run outside on the 21. No actually, the moral and after-thought is much bigger than that. Truthfully, that entire day I had off work because of Semana Santa (Holy Week) and I spent the day sitting on my computer in my apartment job searching. Worrying. Wondering. What do I do next? What does my future hold? Where am I going next? How do I get there? What’s waiting for me? As I walked back from getting hit, the tears started flowing a bit, I said a little prayer, and realized that I am HERE, NOW. Yes, I do need to be thinking about what’s to come and doing what is necessary to get there, but if I don’t LIVE in the NOW, HERE, I’m not going to learn and use skills to the fullest during my time with this organization or with this experience. If I’m here, then I want to be fully engaged, not worrying about my next step. Just trust I’ll get there, and that I’m being prepared for it while in the moment here, in this city, in this job, with these people. Though I’ve always disliked when people say “live in the moment” because it always just seemed like an excuse to be irresponsible or indifferent, but I’m realizing that in some sense, it is true and necessary because in any moment, I could be taken away. So little by little, I’m learning to live for the present and enjoy what I have in front of me...for as long as it is in front of me.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

a little changed

Well I've been traveling all over for the last few weeks, off to San Pedro to translate for an HIV Specialist which I'll have to blog about later, then back to the Dominican Republic for my host sister's wedding and renew my visa, among other unexpected events and well, the expected Yogan Fruz visits. But now I'm back in Honduras, spending Semana Santa a little alone and a little in suffering, but that's probably how it should be given the meaning of holy week...until next Sunday of course. It's ironic that this post should follow the last one based on my presentation on gender, but it's interesting to see what revelations 6 weeks can bring. Enjoy.

A Honduran friend recently told me, “Johanna, you are living in Latin America. Things are different here and they will affect who you are.” Perhaps vague, but more than ever do I understand that in a way that makes me want to cry.

The Johanna I knew before I came here was so full of passion and hope and determination to accomplish the things I wanted in life. What were those things? Serve people, empower women, contribute to public health research, live each moment to its fullest…and maybe down along the road have beautiful family. I was a person so focused on my objectives, very strong-spirited shall we say.

But Latin life has taken its toll. My heart, strong and focused and determined, has been changed…shaped…molded to the heart of the Latin woman. What is the heart of the Latin woman? Of course, each is a little different, but at its root are a vulnerable soul and a desire to submit yourself to the people you love, even at the cost of your individual dreams. Is that bad? Can that be limiting? Is it the real definition of loving others? Is that showing respect for others, respect for yourself?

The exact gender roles I came to explore and empower women to overcome in its extreme forms are the exact ones that changed, shaped, and molded my heart to conform in a lot of ways. After a series of events that triggered me to be an emotional mess for 3 consecutive days (and no, it was not that time of the month) have in some form caused the determined, strong-headed, independent Johanna to be somewhat transformed to a vulnerable, emotional, dependent being. That, my friends, is a culture change.

As my dad and I discussed while we were reflecting on this topic, it’s true, my heart has been changed. Perceptions and roles and influences of gender in Latin American society have changed who I am with a woman’s heart. Maybe it will mold back to its original form when I get back to driven, unemotional, independent culture in the States…or maybe I’ll take the good from the Latin heart along with me forever: the desire to serve the people you love and when necessary, let yourself be vulnerable.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

Ok, so I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say I’m a feminist. Though "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" was definitely something my dad would tell me after a big soccer win and maybe that had something to do with my female confidence. It is true, however, that I am almost constantly aware of gender roles and the effects of gender inequality. Living in Latin America, where Machismo and Marianismo are so rooted in everyday life, it’s almost impossible to not encounter gender discrimination.

To try to give some kind of simple definition, Machismo is really a cultural phenomenon that claims that men are the strong bread winners, possessing strength in virility and exercising control over their women counterparts, among other cultural beliefs. Marianismo is the belief in the purity of the woman, that she is the weaker, submissive counterpart, and must fulfill her roles as mother and caretaker. Well, it’s easy to see where these gender roles could get carried out the extreme, and it’s usually as a result of these extreme gender-based behaviors that comes women’s vulnerability to unintended pregnancy, violence, and STI transmission.

Since these cultural norms really just fascinate me (and totally affect me living in Latin America), I decided to give the main presentation/discussion talk at the last support group meeting at our clinic in Siguatepeque. It was challenging to prepare for, but felt FANTASTIC doing research and really getting back into the academic realm I miss so much sometimes. Well, I first opened up with some ice breaker activities related to gender that everyone really enjoyed, and then got into the discussion about what is gender and what is sex? If you don’t know, don’t worry…no one else did at the session. Sex is the biological characteristics we use to define “women” from “men”…the characteristics that are permanent, biologically unique (like menstruation, vagina, penis, beard, etc). Gender on the other hand is the cultural and social characteristics we use to define “masculinity” from “femininity”…they are characteristics that are changeable, that are based on social beliefs, values, traditions, and roles and responsibilities of cultures that are always undergoing change (like activities such as cooking/cleaning, nursing, gossiping, or putting on makeup are representative of femininity because they are culturally associated with the female roles and responsibilities, whereas construction, strength, or presidential leaders are associated more with masculinity because we culturally link these roles with the male).

I then asked, “why do you think it is important to talk about gender and sex in terms of HIV/AIDS?” uhhhh, I hear d in the background. Well, in Honduras, and the majority of Latin America, Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa, the most common form of transmission is unprotected heterosexual sex—so that means sex between males and females. So how can we NOT talk about men and women and our differences and similarities when it comes to a topic that is based on relationships between men and women?

So then I into the chart-making stage of the presentation, first starting with “sex” (remember: biological characteristics!) and how that affects HIV treatment and prevention of women and of men. At the root of the discussion, were the questions: How does being a women, biologically speaking, affect HIV treatment of that woman? HIV prevention for that woman? what about men, biologically, affect their form of HIV treatment or HIV prevention? While we talked about a variety of subjects, some key points that came up were that during HIV treatment, women often have lower viral loads at the beginning of their infection which can affect treatment initiation. In terms of HIV infection, women are more vulnerable because biologically the vagina has more tissues and is much more sensitive to tears which would increase susceptibility of infection. Furthermore, they have to be conscious of prevention of mother-to-child prevention through prophylaxis, breastfeeding methods, and proper disposal of sanitary napkins when they return to menstruation. Women are often detected first at pre-natal testing services, which can be good for knowing their status and getting treated, however, being diagnosed first in the relationship often “appears” as if they are the ones that passed it to the men which brings blame to her, though the males may have actually contracted it first and passed it on to the female partner. Ok, not on the male “biological” side, HIV treatment is really no different for men than for women, but in terms of HIV prevention, because they are biologically men, they have the opportunity to be circumcised which has been found to decrease the risk of HIV infection in half…!

Now the tough term: gender (remember: social and cultural characteristics). How does gender affect HIV treatment and prevention? Well, if women are culturally seen as the caretakers then they may not be able to make a doctor’s appointment because she is taking care of the kids, or perhaps she is more likely to miss the exact time she takes her pills because she was occupied with kids who aren’t always on a schedule. However, on the other side, men are culturally seen as the bread winners, so there is more pressure for them to find a job and support their families during an economically tough time…so perhaps this brings more emotional and psychological burden to males which could bring down their CD4 levels. We have seen, however, more cases of women having to play both roles of mother and father, as the all-too-common situation of males leaving wives and children for other women continues to occur, and that means that women are taking on the burden of both social and economic care of their children. Unmarried women are culturally expected to be virgins, which means they could be less likely to seek gynecological care or testing for HIV or STIs if they do become sexually active before marriage. Condoms as a form of prevention are socially seen as the responsibility of the male, so if the male doesn’t bring one or refuses to wear one, that leaves the woman without an option for self-prevention.

An interesting, yet delicate topic that arose during this gender discussion was that of violence. It was difficult, but wonderful to discuss how women and men experience violence differently. Fortunately, I had done some research on this area beforehand with the government-funded Proyecto Deborah. According to them, in Honduras, women experience about 90% of reported cases of violence and the majority of cases are physical or economic violence. Men, however, are victims mostly of verbal violence which has psychological consequences that are often not addressed and treated. Which totally makes sense. Men are victims of verbal violence over and over, and at some point, they break, and they break violently because they are the “macho” strong physical counterpart. Perhaps they are repeating violence experienced in the home when they were children, and it continues on culturally and can have consequences emotionally, physically, and perhaps very acutely in the pressures of sexual relationships and the risk of HIV/STI transmission and/or unintended pregnancy.

In the end, my presentation wasn’t a presentation. Sure, I brought out some statistics, some issues that maybe wouldn’t have been looked at, but ultimately it was a discussion that often times doesn’t happen. There were a few awkward silences at times and it was those moments that I thought I wasn’t doing well, I criticized myself, as any typical perfectionist. But afterward I asked some participants why they didn’t respond, why they didn’t speak up. One man told me, you did a fantastic job don’t worry about that…I just didn’t respond because I was thinking about what you said a lot, really thinking about it, and I didn’t think I had an answer.

That’s exactly what I had hoped for. There really isn’t an “answer,” but rather an understanding of both men and women, and their experiences, and how we can support them in a way that better comprehends and respects each.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

an update

So first I want to start off with a moment of silence for Alba* who I discussed in my last blog last month....

Since I returned, Alba was recuperating okay from her condition, and an infectious disease doctor from the States came and diagnosed her with Stevens Johnson, a skin disease that basically causes the person to shed their skin and it has major implications for the tissues of the organs inside the body as well. Well once they diagnosed her, Alba was willing to go to the hospital again after having spent almost 2 months in her bed. They treated her and her skin cleared up but still continued with a lot of pain. But there was hope. She was recuperating.

This Monday we received a call saying that Alba has passed away. It was really tough for the personnel, we gathered together and cried and mourned and tried to pull ourselves together again. I realized then, that I would have to tell the workers in the workshop. While I was thinking about how I was going to do that, I all of a sudden heard screames and shouts coming from the workshop--who told them?? I thought.

As I ran over to see, one of my workers, Orlando* was on the floor convulsing from a seizure. While we took care of him and tried to deal with the situation, everyone in the workshop was shocked and scared and really unstable emotionally. As I started to calm them, I ask what exactly had happened, how did he fall, why, etc. They responded saying that he had mentioned something about Alba and then turned really red as he was working and then collapsed. While Orlando was sleeping after the seizure, the women started asking me about Alba...they had heard some of the staff crying. I had to tell them that she passed away and it was really difficult. We sat in silence, and then started talking about how we were feeling, the good things we remember about her. It's really important to deal with events like this emotionally and talk about it. The workers are often very passive and keep their emotions on the inside...but with that kind of reaction, their mental and emotional health suffers immensely. When Orlando woke up, I comforted him and asked him how he was feeling and what he was thinking. All he said was, "I'm thinking of Alba. She passed away didn't she." I didn't even have to tell him, after hearing our cries, he used his intuition to figure it out and all that emotion built up and resulted in a seizure.

Tuesday was the funeral. Though obviously a sad time, it was interesting experiencing a funeral of a family of different economic means. I felt, through a lot of it, like it wasn't fair. For example, the family commented on how much they had to spend on preparing the body, yet it was almost disturbing the job they did to "prepare" her. Her eyes weren't entirely closed, her mouth was still left fairly open. It looked like thye had stuffed toilet paper in her nostrils and you could see the gangrene starting to set in and change her color. I don't mean to say these things so bluntly or to judge, but it was almost upsetting to me to see her that if there was little respect for her body and burial. But it's not at all a lack of respect, but rather the simple fact of money, and the investment of money in a process of someone who is already passed. I'm not sure what to take from this experience, but it was something I never really thought about before and I felt really sad and convicted morally about how we treat our dead.

I'm not sure how to end this post. It's a difficult issue. But as they say here, "Tenemos que seguir adelante" (We have to move forward). Because the lives of the patients of clinic and the workers in the workshop will continue on and they need the support and the encouragement and empowerment to think positively, to move forward, and, well, to live.