As part of our annual Honduras humanitarian mission, we visit homes of previous EcoStove recipients to ensure the stoves are working properly.
On one such visit in 2014, we went to the home of Tonya, a kind woman in her mid-fifties who greeted us with a big smile. As we talked, she mentioned her failing eyesight and not being able to read much anymore. (With no electricity and few windows, the homes are often dark, making it hard for even the youngest to see well.) Madison Rotarian Craig Brennan handed her his reading glasses and said, “Here, try these.” Wearing these glasses, she was then handed a jar from a kitchen shelf, and happily exclaimed, “Oh, I can see to read the label!” I haven’t forgotten her excitement as she hugged Craig and everyone in the room. We soon departed, leaving behind one pair of gently-used reading glasses and one very happy Tonya.
As we ascended the rocky path to the next home, we agreed to bring more glasses the following year. But in 2015, we not only brought more reading glasses, we brought our own optometrist and setup a vision clinic. I doubt Tonya has any idea what she started.