On the edge

Dr. Suzanne on the edge of the frontier and humanity.

In the border town of Reynosa Mexico, there’s thousands of disadvantaged humans seeking haven in the richest country in the world.

On this dangerous man made dividing line, there’s three areas where asylum seekers live and where medical clinics are held. Thousands are in a small and crowded plaza, thousands are in a larger but crowded refuge, and hundreds in a crowded building.

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Mirror Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the FAREST of them all?

Like it or not, everyone needs a mirror to remind themselves of who they are. Refugees are of course no exception, after all, we’re all vain.

For migrants who don’t even have the basics, having a mirror is a luxury.

It was our pleasure to purchase a couple of mirrors for hundreds of asylum seekers, for two reasons.

First, when living in very difficult conditions, people loose themselves and forget who they were, and are.

Second, hygiene. When people see their reflection, especially in front of a sink, they’re more hygienic and take better care of their bodies.

It’s a win win.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from a refugee settlement on the Mexico USA border.

It’s been our pleasure to assist some of the thousands of migrants here in Reynosa Mexico. It feels appropriate being here, after all, the original Christmas story is of a homeless couple giving birth in shit and straw.

Our Dr. Suzanne has been busy treating our desperate neighbors from the Americas with her expertise, medicine, and love.

Yesterday at one settlement, it was great to see a Christmas tree piñata for the kids, and in the main Plaza, now a tent city for thousands, a ragged Christmas tree.

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Power Pulpit

Power from the pulpit.

Today in Reynosa Mexico, about 100 meters from the US border, we turned away sick and desperate asylum seekers from the clinic because we ran out of time. Just like yesterday, from early in the morning until dusk, our ill neighbors from Centra America come seeking medical help for themselves and their children.

This pictured pulpit, only a couple of feet from where we work, gives power. Power to phones and to people desperately in need. The power to talk to a loved one, the power to show us their medical records, the power to talk to a lawyer, the power to hear news from home and the “promised land”, and the soothing comfort of viewing an old photo of a loved one.

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Thanks to people like you, we’ve been able to help a couple of striving Venezuelan refugees families in Puerto Lopez Ecuador.

These families have lived in this area for years, in a 5 by 5 meter rickety bamboo shack covered by a roof with many holes. These families live with a dirt floor, no running water, no bathroom, and are lucky to “borrow” a little electricity at night.

Even with those disadvantages, these families have dignity and work any job they can find for $10-$15 dollars a day. It’s not easy to do this when they could sit outside a supermarket to beg and “earn” $50 a day. They have pride, and thanks to kind donations, we’re happy to help families like these.

Pictured here is their old dwelling.

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Mother of Exiles

Can you help us share dignity this Christmas and New Year’s to a refugee mother or an unaccompanied child?

Reynosa, Mexico.

“Mother of Exiles. From her beacons-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command …Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breath free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Those are some of the beautiful words on the United States of America’s national icon, The Stature Of Liberty.

Often, we imagine our Lady Liberty crying with shame. The U.S. has made a liar of her.

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Guess what? Today is Global Handwashing Day.

Guess what else? Most of you are doing it wrong. Gross.

Here at A Ripple, we have a passion for WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) and try our best to help with safe water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene.

Did you know that 95% of people only wash their hands for 6 seconds as opposed to the recommended 20? Or that 1/3 of people don’t use soap when washing hands? Remember, soap and water go hand in hand.

Today, we feel it’s important to take a moment to remember that 80% of communicable diseases are shared by touch and that proper handwashing can reduce diarrhea rates by 40%.

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Yesterday, our Dr. Suzanne walked outside into the chilly 5:00 a.m. morning to start her drive to Shiprock Emergency Room on the Navajo Nation. She immediately appreciated what she saw. “It’s really dark and there’s lots of stars. I saw a shooting star right when I came out!”

Of course Suzanne knows it’s not an actual star that’s shooting. She went to science class in grade school. It’s just a small meteor rock that’s burning up in the earth’s atmosphere. Simple, factual, and awesome.

As a doctor, Suzanne believes in the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on EVIDENCE, also known as science. Her grade school teacher was sharing the best information that was known to humankind. If we’re realistic, we would be actually wishing on a piece of dust dying from space.

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Tisa and Water

A few days ago, we had the pleasure of meeting a Navajo woman named Tisa. Tisa lives on her family’s land in a very difficult place to find in Two Gray Hills, Navajo Nation. She was in need of help with some water issues, mainly that there was none.

Like most Navajo living on the reservation, she gets water trucked in and stored in a container, as there’s no running water. Pictured here is her main container, which over time becomes full of algae and bacteria. She was thrilled to receive a water filter, and we all drank this old untrusted water with confidence.

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Hand Out

It’s difficult to hold your head high with your hand out.

This mother and baby pictured in Puerto Lopez Ecuador, is a common sight here, and in Latin America in general.

A Venezuelan refugee humbly begging in front of a Tia grocery store.

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