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david dollase

19 February 9:59 am


 

David Dollase is the Director of Safety and Security at Sporting Park and received the 2012 National Sports Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award. He recently travelled to Guatemala for one week and has provided updates, photos and more throughout the trip for SportingKC.com readers. Click here to read his previous entries; below is his final report after returning to Kansas City...

Being back is good, I ate a medium pizza all by myself for lunch today. The flight home was quiet and uneventful,  it gave me plenty time to think about the entire trip. I only shared a few stories with you all as it was normally late and there was much to do to get ready for the following day.

I don’t really have a favorite moment to share with you because there were so many that stick out. Just the overall ability to have such a big, positive impact on so many is what makes one feel good about what they have accomplished. I did this blog for those of you that donated to follow along and be able to see the fruits of your gifts, in the smiles and thankfulness on the faces of the people that we touched together.

If I had not been the recipient of so many great donated items these joyous occasions would not have been possible. These accomplishments are due to your generosity and your giving.Thank you to KCUMB for helping to make this happen and from me to you all, Thank You, and from the children of the towns we visited and who’s lives we changed together in a positive way, “Muchas gracias de todo corazon, has hecho muy feliz con nosotros!”

16 February 3:34 pm

David Dollase is the Director of Safety and Security at Sporting Park and received the 2012 National Sports Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award. He arrived in Guatemala last Saturday and will return to Kansas City tomorrow. He has provided updates, photos and more throughout the trip for SportingKC.com. Click here to read previous entries and check out these photos taken on Friday during a trip to the Mayan ruins...

 

15 February 6:08 pm

David Dollase is the Director of Safety and Security at Sporting Park and received the 2012 National Sports Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award. He arrived in Guatemala on Saturday and will return to Kansas City on Feb. 17th. He will be providing updates, photos and more throughout the trip for SportingKC.com. Below is his report; click here to read previous entries.

I took fewer pictures today. It was a day not unlike like the others as far as routine was concerned. The city of El Tahar was only 30 minutes from the hotel and, compared to our previous outings, it felt as though we had barely left the hotel when we arrived at our destination. We set up the clinic in a small church on a two-way street in what would be considered a barrio at best.

Today the students and doctors saw over 500 patients and I was put back to work dispensing medicine. At 11:00 it was so busy that my guide had to come to me to say it was time to go. We only drove about 10 minutes before we arrived at a large metal gate that was being staffed by a teacher who waved us in. As we entered the courtyard, this time it was quiet. After meeting the principal, we were shown the entire school had been put in assembly around the playground.

We spoke with the principal for a few moments and then handed out some shirts to the class of her choice. I explained to her I had jerseys, balls and socks that were for the school's soccer program. She had us come to the playground where we were surrounded by 1,500 students. They sang two songs and then the principal gave a speech of recognition and thankfulness in both Spanish and Mayan. They all waved and clapped as we left them. They followed us to our car then out onto the street. They were so excited.

On the way back I asked our driver about the school and why there were so many children. He laughed and said the day is divided in 1/2 and that 1,500 go in the morning and 1,500 more go in the afternoon. It feels good to know that the donations went to a school that was in great need. Being a public school in Guatemala does not mean you get help from the local government.

The rest of the day was spent working. We did a house call in the afternoon and the doctors who agreed to go requested that I go along for their security. It was described as close and we decided to walk. It was at least seven or eight Guatemalan blocks from where we were, with Guatemalan blocks being much larger than what we are used to in the US.

I stood on the porch outside the one-room house and listened through a concrete hole that was also the window. The woman they were attending to was diagnosed with a broken hip. They repeatedly asked her to agree to a surgery to which she replied she would never do. She said she was old and scared and resigned herself to praying for a miracle and nothing else. They tried to explain that she would surely die if she did not seek help soon. As we left the home and headed back, there were many mini-conversations amongst the people who had attended. Some spoke of previous experiences with loved ones that were similar, some asked each other what they would do if presented with a similar situation while I'm sure the one thought in the back of people's minds was could they have done more.

From my prospective of a literal outsider looking in, I will have to say that what was done was a beautiful and heartfelt house call. I've heard the term “bedside manners" used before. Until today, my understanding of this term was in my mind the doctor being nice while you were in the hospital. The saying took on a much deeper and more altruistic meaning for me today. As I walked behind the group listening to their conversations about the experience, I could only think about how this would be in the minds of the student doctors forever, this day, Valentine's Day. Each and every day has been full of experiences to remember for all of us.

14 February 4:10 pm

David Dollase is the Director of Safety and Security at Sporting Park and received the 2012 National Sports Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award. He arrived in Guatemala on Saturday and will return to Kansas City on Feb. 17th. He will be providing updates, photos and more throughout the trip for SportingKC.com. Below is his report; click here to read previous entries.

Today was much of the he same as the last two days: load the bus, drive to the location, set up and go. However, today was different in other ways. On the way to Sumpango, our guide was late and we pulled over on the outskirts of a small village built up around a service station at a T-intersection. Under normal circumstances we would have all remained in the bus but something drove me to get off and look around.

We were pulled up next to a very narrow sidewalk with a door directly in front of the opening to the bus door. I stood on the sidewalk wishing for a cup of coffee. Several of the doctors and students soon followed and we crowded the slim slab of concrete. As we were making small talk, an elderly gentleman slowly came up the walkway and without a word slipped between us and pulled out a key to unlock the door we were standing in front of. We moved to the side and as he pushed the door in it revealed a tiny convenience store. The man walked behind the counter and I couldn't resist to follow. We made small talk and soon there were several of us in the small space buying Cokes and milling around.

I asked about a coffee and he said he had none but the lady down the street made excellent coffee. Before I left, I noticed a large plastic jar of gum balls on the counter and asked him how much for the entire jar. He hesitated briefly and said “the entire jar?" I said “si" and we agreed on what I guess was a fair price. He asked why I wanted the whole jar and I explained it was for the children that came to the medical clinic. He seemed excited to sell it for such a cause.

I imagine he did more business on this day then he has done in several years. As I remembered the coffee, I walked out onto the street and turned left. I expected to see a store of sorts but it was a lady with an open fire a few yards away with two silver pots and some food in a makeshift vending hut made of an old shopping cart, some wood and a blanket attached to two trees. Before I could reasonably talk myself out of it I was buying a cup of traditional Guatemalan coffee. To all of you coffee drinkers out there that frequent high dollar shops in the states, I can only say you are all missing out. There is a lot to be said about buying straight from the source as I enjoyed one of the best coffees I've ever had.

Now with that story out of the way, once our guide arrived we were on the way to the town of the day. We arrived at a large meeting hall across from a church to see lines of people already waiting to be seen. We set up shop and went to work. I took a soccer ball from the trunk and went outside to the lines and found some eager children to play ball with. The day's hours went quickly and it wasn't long before our guide said the mayor had selected a school and was ready to go. The school was a few miles from the clinic. Along the way we passed the local laundry that consisted of a large fountain. There were women all along the edges doing their wash by hand.

At the school it was obvious immediately that it was different than others we had visited previously. It was quiet and clean and walled in on all sides. We parked the bus and unloaded the trunks. We were met by the principal who guided us down some precarious steps to a lower courtyard. Once down I could see open doors along a wall where classes were being held. Since each of these visits is a surprise, our guide spends a little time explaining why we are there. This was done in his office and after presenting him with a new soccer ball and shorts, jerseys and used shoes we were asked to meet some of the children.

We stepped outside his office to see two orderly lines of boys and girls all around the ages of 10 or so. We gave them shirts, caps and sunglasses and a couple of used soccer balls donated by the KC Cauldron. It was all smiles and a soccer game between the boys and girls was started almost immediately. We played for a while then it was time for the children to return to class. I peeked in to see one of the classes and noticed the dry erase board had odd markings on it. I asked the principal about it and he said the children were learning to be bilingual. He said they were learning Spanish as well as Mayan to continue their culture and heritage.

The head of the school gave a short speech of thanks and said that they would now be the only public school in town with uniforms just in time for the soccer games that started in a few days. They were very proud and at the same time so immensely grateful.

Once we returned, my day was spent dispensing medicine to the 300-plus people that the KCUMB medical mission saw. Again there were many occasions where our small gesture of giving changed people's lives for the better on so many levels. It makes one wonder what the whole world would be like if everyone made an effort to pay it forward. I can't begin to thank all those who gave for this cause. You have all made so much of an impact on the lives of many, especially the children of Guatemala whose first experience with people from the US of A will remain in their hearts and minds as an impression of kindness and care.

13 February 10:48 am

David Dollase is the Director of Safety and Security at Sporting Park and received the 2012 National Sports Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award. He arrived in Guatemala on Saturday and will return to Kansas City on Feb. 17th. He will be providing updates, photos and more throughout the trip for SportingKC.com. Below is his fifth report; click here for Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV.

Once again we left at sunrise. The trip to today's town was only about an hour or so and there was much less to see on the road. When were turned off the main road, and I use this term loosely at best, it was a short winding downward spiral to our destination. Along the way we passed carts pulled by horses headed to the fields and loaded with farm tools that looked as though they were from he early 1800's. It is a way of life here that keeps these people busy from sun up to sun down doing hard labor.

When we arrived at our destination, everyone was told by the Policia Municipal to stay within our compound due to the somewhat hostile nature of the town. Unfortunately for me, I left the hotel without the hand pump I use to inflate the soccer balls. I helped the students and doctors set up and quietly snuck out with a sack of balls in search of a tire shop with a needle that would work. I surely stuck out as I walked the cobble streets and was about to give up when I spotted what I was looking for. After an agreement of five quetzales to inflate the four balls, it was short work and I was back on the street. It was an uneventful walk that allowed me to see much more of the city.

As I returned, I was greeted by a line out the door and down the street of a few hundred people that had come for the clinic. I took a moment to give away a used ball and the children that were waiting patiently were off and running with smiles on their faces playing soccer in the church courtyard.

A similar arrangement was made with the town mayor to show me the school that needed the most and at 11:00 we set off. I was a little surprised as I was ready for a long journey but the school was literally next door. There were hundreds of children and it was awesome giving them the shirts and balls to use. Many of the children put their shirts on right away, while others took great care to put them neatly away as they were prized possessions.

I stayed long enough for a few pictures and then headed back to the clinic. Today they saw over 500 people and I was put to work dispensing medications from the pharmacy. It was a true test of the little Spanish I thought I knew but it comes back quickly when you're forced to remember. Everyone was so incredibly thankful and wanted to hug you as they were leaving. Smiles come in many forms, some of which put a smile on your face while others are very humbling. Today was tiring yet fulfilling and I left with lots to think about.

 

12 February 3:31 pm

 

David Dollase is the Director of Safety and Security at Sporting Park and received the 2012 National Sports Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award. He arrived in Guatemala on Saturday and will return to Kansas City on Feb. 17th. He will be providing updates, photos and more throughout the trip for SportingKC.com. Below is his fourth report; click here for Part I, Part II and Part III.

Today we loaded a traditional Guatemalan bus at 0630am. We placed large black boxes loaded with medical supplies and soccer balls on the roof and strapped them down. Leaving town at sunrise, we were in the shade of the mountains for the first hour of the trip. The light on the surrounding cliffs and forested areas hid the barrios and shanties precariously placed one on top of the other, spanning the entire side of a precipice. The long and winding road led us through tiny towns and up into the sun still trying to get high enough to melt the frost.

Once we reached the top, the sun was all around us. It didn't last long as the next hour was spent going down and back into the shade. By the time we were nearing our destination, the sun was high enough to make the ground all around us look as though it was hot and steaming.

We entered San Jose Paoquil around 0900am and set up shop in a municipal building that was also home to the mayor. Once we had the crates unloaded and the area of pharmacy, triage, OB/GYN, pediatrics, general medicine and Opthalmology all set to go, we opened the clinic. It started slow and only a handful of children arrived. I took the slow time to inflate some of the soccer balls in the trunk. I tossed one of the used ones to a boy the age of about 9 or 10 and it wasn't two minutes before there was a friendly being played in the street. I spoke with the mayor and explained that I had items that I wanted to give to a school. She said she knew of a school that could use it most and transportation was arranged for later in the day. I didn't have an idea of the number of children so I only took one trunk.

On the way to deliver the goods, it was obvious that soccer was played everywhere. There were makeshift goals on every plot of land that wasn't planted with a crop. In some areas they were the size of a tennis court and in others much smaller. The largest fields were the ones closest to the schools.

When we arrived there was an immediate interest in our small van. When I opened the trunk and pulled out a sleeve of soccer caps they went crazy. I gave out some items outside and then closed the trunk and went in. The mayor introduced us to the principal and I presented her with used children's cleats, some shirts and a brand new MLS adidas soccer ball. They were incredibly grateful. On the way out I couldn't resist tossing a used ball onto the courtyard to the remaining boys and girls. What ensued was pure fun. They were still playing after we left.

Tomorrow will come early again and the drive to the next town should be shorter. I have sorted the gear and it's ready to go. It has been a fulfilling day of giving back and I look forward to tomorrow's smiles and laughter.

11 February 11:12 am

David Dollase is the Director of Safety and Security at Sporting Park and received the 2012 National Sports Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award. He arrived in Guatemala on Saturday and will return to Kansas City on Feb. 17th. He will be providing updates, photos and more throughout the trip for SportingKC.com. Below is his third report; click here for Part I and Part II.

Sunday was a day of rest and preparation, spent sorting the donated soccer items to give to the schools that we will visit tomorrow on the medical mission and deciding on how much and what is best.

For the sake of security, I will only say that tomorrow's trip out of Antigua will take at least two hours by bus into the mountains. Many of the medical students from KCUMB spent the day working on their medical terminology in the local language.

The city was much more quiet than Saturday and the sidewalks were easier to navigate. A little exploring and you discover just how much of the city has been damaged beyond repair over the years from being only four miles from an active volcano that has erupted as recently as only a few months ago.

It's early to bed and early to rise. The buses head out at 0630 hours sharp to maximize the amount of time the medical students will have on location. It will be late when we return to Antigua but with luck I will have some great pictures and a touching story of how generosity and soccer help to make an amazing difference.

Until tomorrow evening,

10 February 9:34 am

David Dollase is the Director of Safety and Security at Sporting Park and received the 2012 National Sports Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award. He arrived in Guatemala on Saturday and will return to Kansas City on Feb. 17th. He will be providing updates, photos and more throughout the trip for SportingKC.com. Below is his second report; click here for Part I.

Today started early, with my flight leaving at 0500 hours. I watched the sunrise from the window of my plane. I arrived in Guatemala City, the capitol, and had to go back through bag searches on this end. I guess a guy with so many very large bags may be a little suspicious.

However, after the Guatemalan security guard opened the first trunk and saw all the brand new soccer balls, socks, and gear, he looked at me puzzled and asked what it was all for. I simply stated for "los ninos," or the children. He smiled, closed the first crate and said you are free to go without looking any further at the rest of my bags. From the frying pan to the fryer is an understatement.

The traffic leaving the national capitol was horrendous to say the least and took forever. And just when you thought it was getting better, the road went nuts like some kind of bad track in a video game with switchbacks at angles that made you feel like you were pulling G's in the 1980 Mitsubishi Micro Bus, who would have thought it was possible.

Antigua is rustic and quaint. It's full of tourists from all over the world. But this is only base camp. I can't wait to see the kids that get this gear, they are going to smile from ear to ear and that alone make it all worth it.

Stay tuned...

08 February 2:46 pm


 

David Dollase is the Director of Safety and Security at Sporting Park and received the 2012 National Sports Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award. He departs for Guatemala on Saturday and will return to Kansas City on Feb. 17th. He will be providing updates, photos and more throughout the trip for SportingKC.com. Below is his first report ahead of the adventure...
 

Last year, Sporting KC donated soccer gear to supplement the items given out by the medical mission trip at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (Missouri's largest medical school). After hearing all of the stories of how those contributions of soccer balls, shirts and jerseys made an impact on the lives of those in need, I decided to do it again but bigger. 

Throughout the year, by coordinating with the KC Cauldron, Sporting KC representatives and leadership we tripled the amount of donated gear from last year.  Follow along as we take those items to the clinic sites and schools where KCUMB's 26 students, four faculty, two staff and several of their alumni will be serving over 3,000 people.

These items are going out to some of the poorest villages in remote locations where schools are rarely supplied with gear for students and the classrooms are all still one big room. I want to thank all of the contributors in advance for their generous and heartfelt donations.

Soccer is the international sport that crosses boundaries and touches lives all over the world. Realize now that what you gave is doing the same and will have the potential to impact children’s lives for the better, and who knows, one of these kids may be playing an international game right here at Sporting Park someday, giving back to us.