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Meeting the US military "humanitarians"

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Timothy, I cannot express what I felt after reading your post! I am so upset. I know you had become fearful, and I had wondered whether you had already left the country.

What you went through, is indeed, much more important and shocking, than perceived wrongdoing of stupid acts done by drunk individuals.

Continue to take care.

Patricia

 

Unfortunately, our trial period here in CR is done this December. I'm glad we followed the advice of many of you forum members and tried CR on for size prior to making a full blown move. Still, we did ship a vehicle and a bit of personal effects that will be a significant loss.

 

However, we don't regret our time here but this is not the life for us and it makes us appreciate home more warts and all. I will do a full post in a new thread as it gets closer to us leaving as many times you don't get the after action reports of the "why people leave".

 

Until then, I am teaching home and self defense to people in the area. Yesterday was definitely an experience but that seems to be weekly now. What can I say? Pura Vida?

 

Tim

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Dear Forums Members,

 

I am sorry to have to chime in here but Formus members are expected to police themselves and stay within the guidelines. So I want to remind everyone once again that members who choose not to follow the guidelines may find themselves moderated or with their membership terminated. And attacking another Forums member is a sure way for that to happen.

 

This thread was moved to the Open Fourm when it became inapropriate in its original location. This was done rather than close it outright. We're not telling anyone that they may not disagree with another member if they wish to. Only that if they decide to disagree, to do so in a manner that remains respectful of the other member's right to their opinion.

 

To wrap this up, I suggest that members refamiliarize themselves with the Forum Rules & Guidelines, linked at the top of every Forums page. And as always, if the shoe fits . . .

 

Regards,

 

Paul M.

Forums Moderator

==

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Timothy makes a good point. To be young, drunk, and stupid has little to do with whether you wear a uniform or not.

 

I have had contact with US Army personnel and veterans in recent years and have visited some Army posts. I am very impressed by character of these men and women. I have attended events where where alcohol was served and, as a sober observer, found the behavior of the group no better or worse than at any similar event.

 

Obnoxious behavior does reflect on your group (Army, Navy, Gringo, or other) and their commander realized that and took appropriate action.

 

As far as their reason for being in Costa Rica, they follow orders and have no choice in the matter.

 

Tom

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"America"'s Finest

 

(No direct link available now)

 

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

 

"The humanitarian mission by U.S. military and private organizations treated 5,769 persons aboard the USS Iwo Jima during its 10 days in Limón, said the U.S. Southern Command.

 

There were 2,537 dental procedures and optometry services were provided to 3,750 persons, the command said. In addition there were 3,210 veterinarian services provided in the Limón region. 1,268 pairs of glasses were distributed along with 472 pairs of sunglasses, the command added. Some 54 surgeries were performed.

 

A Navy construction unit built a playground, upgraded a bathroom and renovated two school sites in Westafalia and Hone Creek, the command said.

 

Non-government organizations also were involved. They distributed $290,000 in goods: 35 pallets of wheelchairs; a pallet of water filters; six pallets of medical consumables; $232,750 in Project Handclasp donations; 12 pallets of goods from the Latter Day Saints and three pallets of disinfectant."

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No one likes to see members of their own military behave badly. It is worse when observed in another country, because there's this "Please. Not in front of the neighbours!" thing going on. Aside from that, a Canadian perspective (there's a U in neighbours) on the US military comes from my time in Ottawa where I regularly had interaction with some of the USMC stationed at their embassy there. Not bad fellows all around, but drunk brings on disorderly, and in Alpha Males who've been through Marine Corps indoctrination, that cannot always be a good thing. In fairness a gang of rugby players could be just as troublesome, and has been, but then again they're not generally seen as "ambassadors" and of course, rugby teams don't come with arms & armour either...well, not always.

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I was curious when the article appeared in AM Costa Rica about what happened while the Iwo Jima was here.

 

"Non-government organizations also were involved. They distributed $290,000 in goods: 35 pallets of wheelchairs; a pallet of water filters; six pallets of medical consumables; $232,750 in Project Handclasp donations; 12 pallets of goods from the Latter Day Saints and three pallets of disinfectant."

 

Where did these goods and wheelchairs and so forth actually GO? A pallet of water filters? Where did the money go? Where did the 12 pallets of "goods" and three pallets of disinfectant? Three pallets of disinfectant? For all love, did they think that Costa Ricans are that dirty?

 

I think it would be interesting to know just how this stuff was distributed and where that Project Handclasp money went (whatever Project Handclasp is.) Some of you are so good at ferreting out information-- Expat99.... David C Murray....?? Come on guys....

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I was curious when the article appeared in AM Costa Rica about what happened while the Iwo Jima was here.

It was billed as a goodwill mission, but other than that there was little more elaboration than you indicate below. Maybe that is really all that needed to be said, if that is what they were doing, and there's was nothing to give me to believe otherwise.

 

 

"Non-government organizations also were involved. They distributed $290,000 in goods: 35 pallets of wheelchairs; a pallet of water filters; six pallets of medical consumables; $232,750 in Project Handclasp donations; 12 pallets of goods from the Latter Day Saints and three pallets of disinfectant."

Perhaps the place to look is on any of the websites for those non-govt-orgs that were listed as being involved. Surely there is a public relations person for each of those NGOs who would be willing to elaborate to someone who inquired.

 

 

Where did these goods and wheelchairs and so forth actually GO? A pallet of water filters? Where did the money go? Where did the 12 pallets of "goods" and three pallets of disinfectant? Three pallets of disinfectant? For all love, did they think that Costa Ricans are that dirty?

Again, the PR person(s) at the NGOs might be the place to inquire as to where all the stuff went to. But as to where it went ultimately, once it got to CR then it is very possible that that trail becomes fuzzy. Maybe not, but asi es tiquicia. I can see the practicallity of all the items above, including the disinfectant: If you live, for example where the Bri-Bri do, many hours on foot and by launch from the nearest established medical facilities, it would be an excellent 'first line of defense' against infection to have ready access to disinfectants and decent water filters way out in the 'boonies' where none would otherwise be available. After all, just how clean (or dirty) is the rainforest in the Talamancas? What does someone living way out there do to control an infection before it becomes a major problem without a commercial product? (Aside from the proper antibiotics, of course, which were also amongst the items that were donated.)

 

 

I think it would be interesting to know just how this stuff was distributed and where that Project Handclasp money went (whatever Project Handclasp is.)

Eleanor, what's to say that those efforts were not truly humanitaritan? After all doesn't the good ol' USA need all the positive press it can get right about now?

 

That's my take on it and if there be a darker side to it, it surely isn't published anywhere the public is likely to gain ready access to. But maybe Occam's Razor is the thing here and the humanitarian effort that it seemed to be, is what that was.

 

Just my take.

 

Paul M.

==

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Paul - I think your "critique" of my questions is really unwarranted. I am merely curious - not attributing any ulterior or dark motives to anything. It is often interesting to see how these kinds of gifts are distributed.

 

As for finding out about the NGO's involved - where would I find out which ones were involved? There is really only one reference - the "Project Handclasp" donation.

 

And the comment about disinfectant - I was thinking originally about cleaning products but maybe it was a medical type disinfectant which would make more sense.

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Paul - I think your "critique" of my questions is really unwarranted. I am merely curious - not attributing any ulterior or dark motives to anything. It is often interesting to see how these kinds of gifts are distributed.

 

As for finding out about the NGO's involved - where would I find out which ones were involved? There is really only one reference - the "Project Handclasp" donation.

 

And the comment about disinfectant - I was thinking originally about cleaning products but maybe it was a medical type disinfectant which would make more sense.

Just my personal observations, Eleanor. No intoent to challenge or refute your remarks. And you did seem to be wondering about several things, which I offered my impressions on.

 

Feel free to ignore my message/reply if you find it disconcerting in any way. Or would you rather I remove it entirely?

 

I'll just leave it at that...

 

Best Regards,

 

Paul M.

==

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OK - I guess we both misunderstood each other's intentions! That's the problem with the written word - you can't hear tone of voice or look at the face so sometimes is misinterpreted.

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Gotta love Google. Apparently, Project Handclasp is a private/public partnership that allows private companies and individuals to make donations that can then be transported via the US Navy to areas of need.

As the former director/president of a US non-profit sometimes donors increase the value of goods donated so they can get a bigger tax deduction. So, just maybe, the expensive items were not all that expensive. Who is to say?

I would imagine you could request a detailed invoice as it were thru the Freedom of Information Act if you were that motivated.

Here is a link I found on the organization:

My link

 

It is sorta amusing that wheelchairs will have much affect on those living in the mountains of Bri Bri. :blink:

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OK - I guess we both misunderstood each other's intentions! That's the problem with the written word - you can't hear tone of voice or look at the face so sometimes is misinterpreted.

Eleanor,

 

It is true that the text in emails ican easily be misinterpreted due to the uncertainlty of the emotions behind the words. I personally dislike 'smileys' and don't use them, but do try to add a closing that hopefully reinforces my overall intent.

 

So . . .

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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Gotta love Google. Apparently, Project Handclasp is a private/public partnership that allows private companies and individuals to make donations that can then be transported via the US Navy to areas of need. . . .

 

Here is a link I found on the organization:

My link

 

It is sorta amusing that wheelchairs will have much affect on those living in the mountains of Bri Bri.

Thanx Cindy for the link. The article is interesting.

 

Well you're right. - Wheelchairs prolly wouldn't work well on a twisty trail thru mountain terrain, but neither would they work well on sandy streets in Caribbean beach towns. So maybe they went to larger towns with sidewalks and pavments. Or maybe to various medical facilities or to a casa de ancianos.

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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When I needed the use of a wheel chair last year, I was loaned one by a group who had received one as a donation from Do-It Center Foundation in Liberia. I was 'interviewed' by 3 people who in turn decided I was indeed worthy enough to be given this 'temporary gift'. The day the 'interview' took place, a Canadian friend with a Tica wife had stopped by and she was in 'awe' that anyone would donate a wheelchair and was asking how she could get one for her father who was housebound due to the lack of same, but sadly being from another canton, he wasn't eligible, at least from the group in our town.

So, I guess the choice of a very bumpy ride and no ride at all isn't a difficult choice to make.

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