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Many of our readers frequently ask me what’s going on with the senior center project in Nicaragua that so many of you gave to generously when I first became involved with this project nearly three years ago. Well, here’s what’s up. I’m heading down to Nicaragua again for my third trip from January 16 to 24. I’m traveling with the entire Board of Directors of the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation, which sponsors and supports the Jinotepe hogares, known fondly as the “Home of the Ancients,” and a volunteer group from Portland State University in Oregon.

During our last trip, we saw the completed addition to the facility, which was made possible by so many N.C. Healthcare Facilities Association members’ donations and equipment. We also watched the staff receive their graduate certificates for completing a program much like our CNA certification program, and we spent time with the full-time physician hired by the Foundation for the hogares and other local projects.

This time, we’ll spend two days at the hogares working on a variety of projects, including painting and planting gardens. I’m also excited to see the renovations and repairs at the original wing of the building that were under way when I was last in Nicaragua. I’ll attend a two-day Foundation Board meeting and discuss plans for the future, visit a chicken farm project the Foundation has initiated to support local projects, and spend time with my dear Nicaraguan friends at a Nicaraguan-style barbeque like you’ve never seen, high in the mountains at my friend’s coffee plantation.

This trip is very special to me because I’m taking my sister and brother-in-law, both ministers, with me. I can’t wait to show them the beautiful plaque of project donors, many of which are from the Association and North Carolina. And, of course, it will be very emotional to see again the beautiful monument they built in memory of my father, again a direct result of the generosity of my N.C. friends and clients. My sister, who cared for my father in the last years of his life, has never seen that, and I can only imagine the overwhelming emotions we’ll all feel when we stand in front of it and think of him. I’ll also be thinking of each of you who have contributed to this project with money, donations of used therapy equipment, thoughts and prayers and your ongoing interest in this very special place. Thanks so much for your interest in seniors all over the world, especially in Nicaragua

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