Member Memo Board

Recent photos, trip reports, comments, accolades, and pointers from our DBTC members…

Sunset at Campo Garcia, South Campos San Felipe. Photo by Brian Frick

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Photos by Michael Bauer from his 2022 San Ignacio Gray Whale Trip with Pachico’s Eco Tours

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La Paz Clinic

Well, it’s been about 2 1/2 years since I’ve been to La Paz for our semi-annual clinic due to COVID. Because I’ve been vaxed and boosted I felt pretty safe attending this one, although one of our patients could not keep her second appointment because she came down with COVID. After the clinic I returned to Bahía Asunción to decompress. Once I was sure I was OK with no symptoms, I returned back to the US and will get my second booster just in case. I crossed south at Tecate with my one-ton GMC pickup truck with my 8’ Alaskan camper installed. I must have had about $20K in supplies and used parts for the clinic squirreled away from the prying eyes of Aduana, but had 4 letters from the Rotarians and Mexican government agencies explaining what the stuff was for just in case I was hassled by authorities.

Because we original founders are getting on in years, we’ve found some new blood to carry on with the clinic. Doug and Garth are both certified in Prosthetics and Orthotics and Zenon is a well rounded technician. I arrived at this clinic two days early to clean up and organize. The clinic started full bore on Saturday, April 2nd, and Doug, Garth, and Zenon worked until the middle/latter part of the following week. Brad, Louise, Dr. Bob, and Jim arrived a couple of days before the other group left, so we had a couple of days of overlap to smooth the continuity.

We all worked a total of 11 actual days, and casted/measured, fabricated, fit, delivered, and gait trained 23 patients. Mostly they were below the knee amputees with a few above the knee amputees thrown in along with one hip disarticulation amputee. That’s an average of about 2 prostheses per day, not to mention the number of patients that we saw who didn’t necessarily need a new socket for their prosthesis, but still required adjustments to their current legs by adding padding to accommodate atrophic changes to their residual limb, providing new liners, stump socks, new endoskeletal components when necessary, etc.

In addition we fit a few lower limb orthotic symptoms for some kids with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, and other congenital and non congenital conditions. I gotta say we all worked our butts off, but one of the highlights of the trip was when a pair of Rotarians took us out on a 64’ boat to enjoy a day on the water. We went to Balandra Beach, had a wonderful lunch and dinner, and got to watch a beautiful sunset (no green flash as Steinbeck described though!).

All in all a great clinic and a wonderful time spent with our amigos in La Paz.The La Balandra Rotary Club sponsors these clinics along with bringing us wonderful authentic Mexican lunches each day.

On my way down, I managed to go out with Shari Bondy on her last day of whale watching for this season (google Whale Magic Tours), and I spent several days both before and after the clinic at our trailer in Bahía Asunción enjoying the local flavor. Don Ramon’s fish and shrimp tacos are some of the best on the peninsula, and the Casita de Hamburguesas has burgers to die for. Mex. 1 was in pretty good shape, with the few usual potholes here and there, although none big enough or deep enough to require their own zip code. 

Coming back up Mex. 5 and through La Rumorosa to the Tecate border was uneventful, and crossing on a Thursday at noon was a good choice with only a 20 minute wait time. BUT, when I was second in line to cross, the Mexican authorities turned back a gringo in an older cabover camper in front of me. The border guard said he was turned back due to lack of official paperwork on his camper (not the truck). She asked if I had had a problem when I crossed a month before, but I had no issues. So this is just a heads up for anybody trying to cross with a slide in camper mounted on their pickup. 

-Paul Boe

Clinic volunteers
Everyone helps out in the fabrication lab.
A below the knee amputee in his new prosthesis.
Clinic volunteers with a patient.

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Check out the photo essay from David Brackney of his recent trip through San Felipe, Bahía San Luis Gonzaga, and Bahía de los Ángeles along Highway Mexico 5.

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“I caught this Dorado by grabbing him by the tail as he was trying to squeeze over a sandbar in shallow water.” -Rich Durant

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“Trip good but on the way back Friday my husband discovered he left his small backpack with all documents, passport, wallet, credit cards, etc at Baja Cactus in El Rosario.  I emailed them, called motel, called Mama Espinoza’s where Gerardo was so helpful as he spoke English.  He helped to confirm the backpack was indeed at Cactus Motel.  I then get a call from Antonio Munoz, who said he managed motel, and that his wife could bring backpack to Tijuana on Sunday where they live and he will then bring it to us on the US side of border.  Talk about service!  We will definitely give Baja Cactus Motel 5 star plus for service.  We picked up backpack from Antonio in Mission Valley.  It was like a milagro.” -Andree

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