Florencia’s Homecoming

After countless hours of travel and thousands of miles, Florencia has been returned safely to her village. We had the incredible opportunity of returning Florencia during the village’s Sunday church service where we met and interacted with the local community. We joined them in song and thanksgiving as we talked about the contributions from both sides, and the trust that Florencia’s family placed in the HOW team that made this all possible.

See images of Florencia’s homecoming below.

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A grand entrance to a waiting community
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Women of the village listening to Florencia share her journey
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Florencia shares her gratitude to the ‘uncles’ and her U.S. team
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Pure joy at the chance to walk again
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The men join in the celebration of Florencia’s return
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Greeting friends and family
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A song of praise at Florencia’s homecoming
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Stepping out as son Guildo watches her mother
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Job well done MAD team!
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Reunited with her precious son
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Guildo showing some attitude!

Douglas shared a message with the community and his quote beautifully summed up our journey thus far:

“It takes a village to raise a child and the whole world to give a woman a leg.”

Florencia’s story has touched the deepest places of our hearts.  We have experienced a myriad of emotions on this trip.  With an amputee, it’s never certain that the leg will fit and will be worn or put aside.  Florencia had some adjustments when she was first fitted.  Her back was hurting because she had been leaning forward with her crutches for over two years.  The doctor had her change her posture and immediately the pain left.  And then it happened. Her face brightened.   She stood up straight and began to walk with a true determination.  As she entered her village and took her first steps you could see a boldness and confidence.   Her smile said it all.   Her world had changed and so had ours…

Until All Walk,

The HOW Team

 

 

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A Day with D.R. Mehta

While Jaipur Foot continues to adjust and fine-tune Florencia’s prosthetic, John, Dan, Adirito, and Ella took an unexpected journey with D.R. Mehta to a local Jaipur Foot Prosthetic Camp two hours away.  They were greeted as royalty by  the local Rotary Club and served lunch in a Jain temple.  They learned that the camp helped 600 disabled persons over the last 21 days. HOW International’s goal as an organization, is to establish a fitment camp in Mozambique to serve the 10,000. Being able to venture alongside D.R. Mehta for a day allowed them to gather a vision of how their fitment camp would run.

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Welcoming the team to the camp
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Hanging with D.R. Mehta’s staff and admirers
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At the table of honor beside D.R. Mehta (We got to keep the hats!)
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A man touched by the gift D.R. Mehta has given
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Paraplegics gain mobility through hand-powered tricycles
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D.R. Mehta honors a thankful amputee
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A worker displays a corrective brace for polio patients 
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Visiting a Jain Temple with D.R. Mehta and our team

This day turned out to be one of those experiences you check off on your ‘bucket list.’ We felt so honored and loved by D.R. Mehta and his staff.  This man who cares so deeply for the forgotten and disabled of society, treated us like kings and queen (Ella).   To us, he lives out the mantra of HOW International…Stop for the one, but don’t stop  just at one.

Until All Walk,

The HOW Team

Florencia tests out her first prosthetic!!

On Tuesday at the Jaipur Foot clinic, Florencia has been fitted with a test prosthetic and is walking for the first time in over two years. On Wednesday she’ll return to the clinic to receive her final custom prosthetic, which resembles a real human leg. See images and video of her walking below.

Florencia Walks!:

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The view from our hotel rooftop during a Jaipur sunrise
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Ben communicates in dance with the locals
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Florencia enters Jaipur Foot
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A meeting between HOW International, Former Health Minister of India, and D. R. Mehta
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Cal Poly Interdisciplinary Design Team
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Cal Poly team examines a prosthetic design at Jaipur Foot
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Florencia’s prosthetic being modified to fit
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The heated plastic pipe being fitted over the prosthetic cast to form to the  shape of the patient’s leg
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D. R. Mehta shows HOW International around the clinic
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Cal Poly Engineer, Dan Williams (MAD Director), and Dane Holroyd (MAD Student) sit down with Rehabilitation Physician, Dr. Pooja Mukul, to talk about prosthetic specifics
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Florencia walks for the first time with her test prosthetic
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Florencia gets use to the prothetic
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Florencia walks toward a new beginning

The next step is to return to Jaipur Foot so that Florencia can get fitted with the 4th generation prosthetic. No amputee has been issued this new prosthetic that was designed by the company D-Rev. We are very excited to see how Florencia likes this new design.

Florencia has arrived!!! (Images and update)

At 7:00pm on Sunday night, we headed to the Jaipur airport to welcome Florencia and Aderito’s family to India. The whole team was there to give them a great warm welcome. Here are some images from the evening. Look below to find the full story.

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The team getting ready to film the arrival
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Landon is all smiles at Florencia’s debut
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The plane is delayed and anticipation builds outside
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Dane meeting some locals while waiting at the terminal
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Ben negotiates camera placement with guard
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Douglas catches a glimpse of Florencia!
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Florencia arrives.
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They’re here!!!
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John welcomes Florencia as Victoria and Aderito look on
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Douglas greets Florencia
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Florencia enters a new country for the first time in her life
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Douglas and Aderito finally meeting in person
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Tuk Tuk Transport!
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John directing the troops back to the hotel

 

We were overjoyed to see them in person for the first time when they stepped off the airport shuttle and into the main terminal.

The whole team was so grateful to shake hands with a woman who has suffered so much and overcome major obstacles to arrive here in Jaipur. Finally seeing her in person and not simply an image was an experience of a lifetime. Now we’re all settled in here in Jaipur and ready for the adventure to come.

We’re excited to begin the process of getting Florencia a new leg at the Jaipur foot clinic. Stay tuned for updates on our experiences at Jaipur foot and with its founder D.R. Mehta.

Until all walk,

The HOW Team

 

We’re Safely in Jaipur!!! Some images of our trip so far.

Hi everyone, it’s Sunday evening here in Jaipur and we’ve made it safely to our hotel. Now we’re just waiting for Florencia’s arrival. Here are some images from the first leg of our journey. Read more about our journey so far below the gallery of pictures.

 

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The team getting our tickets at LAX
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Everyone on the place to Dubai
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Welcome to India!
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Running to try and catch the 6am train
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The street where we caught our bus to Jaipur
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Dane meeting some locals interested in film
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Douglas and Landon look through an Indian menu at a stop during our bus ride
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Douglas talking to one of the waiters
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Our first Indian meal
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The team doing some sightseeing
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Landon waking from some much needed sleep
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Dan Williams enjoying some bus travel
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Some alternative forms of transportation we’ve come across in India.
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Getting some directions on our way to the hotel
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Our form of transportation in Jaipur
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Welcome to Jaipur!

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36 hours later and we’ve arrived safely at our hotel

 

What an amazing first couple of days we’ve already experienced on this journey. We’ve been traveling for over 36 hours, flying from Los Angeles to Dubai, Dubai to New Delhi, by bus for 220km to Jaipur, and then 45 minutes in three rickshaws to make it from the bus stop through the city to our hotel.

Immediately leaving the New Delhi Airport, we were thrown into the hustle and bustle of Indian life. We crammed into two taxis and travelled as quickly as we could to catch the 6am train that we were already running late for. After getting completely stopped by an indian traffic jam just outside the station, we left the taxis and ran through the streets hoping we could make it in time.

Unfortunately, the ticket station is more than a 15 minute drive from the platforms, and with 5 minutes to go, we realized we were going to need a new plan. We found a bus that left 30 minutes later just around the corner and ran with all our baggage to catch it just in time before it left as well.

Once were were on the bus, we relaxed and caught some much needed sleep on the 5 hour drive south to Jaipur.

After learning that the bus can’t drive into the city, the 12 of us, bags included, packed into 3, 3-wheeled rickshaws, driven by three local drivers with an impressive amount of urgency and precision.

We’ve finally made it to our hotel in the south of the city. It’s been a dramatic culture shock and an incredibly eye opening experience. We’ve been thrown completely out of our comfort zones, but we’ve stuck close together and made it through the chaos with a positive attitude.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Until All Walk,

The HOW Team

An Update on Florencia

Florencia is literally less than two weeks from receiving her first prosthetic leg! Recently, she has acquired her passport to travel to Jaunpur, India, where we will accompany her to receive her leg. Not only has Florencia been inspired with excitement for this journey, her community is & HOW International is anticipating the moment Florencia can run again, walk beside her son again, dance again..
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Watch Florencia’s Passport Update

The Goals of Help One Walk

Meet Florencia- a survivor of the iniquities committed against Mozambique, a sixteen year girl and amputee, and an icon for HOW International (Help One Walk). Little question the essentials of life- our tangible bodies, our innate capabilities to walk, to run, to move as we please. But imagine a life where one’s abilities are stolen from our country’s vices? Mozambique’s fifteen year civil war claimed approximately one million lives, and stole the health and well being of an immense amount of innocent bystanders. The war subdued, but what remained was the people whom were profoundly wronged, the numerous individuals who lost not only abilities of their body but also opportune chances in life. Land-mines dissipated across the land cost the people of Mozambique, such as Florencia, portions of their body and fragments of their freedom. A life is not a life lived completely with out the opportunity to obtain education, employment, and utmost vitality. All these aspects were deliberately impeded by the repercussions of land-mines, and HOW International has the impetus to revitalize every individual who has lost such opportunity. It starts with Florencia. We aim to see her walk hand in hand with her son one day soon, to no longer depend on crutches but become an individual established by liberty and countless possibilities. HOW International is working in partnership with Jaipur Foot of India as well as a local relief agency in Maputo, Mozambique with the intention of instating healing and hope to the amputees. Our first mission is traversing to Mozambique to assist Florencia in getting her very first prosthetic. From there, there is indefinitely no limit to the amount of people HOW International can reach out to.

How will HOW do it?