Thursday, November 2, day 41
We went to visit Sprocket, the rescue horse, today.
Kiki, the young man who is caring for Sprocket, has done an amazing job. Sprocket looks great, especially considering how he was. (Conversations with Kiki are always a little intense. He is very friendly, very animated, and talks faster than anyone I've ever known, so fast even other Puerto Rincans have trouble understanding him. He only speaks Spanish so we really have to concentrate to understand.)
Sometime B.M, (Before Maria) someone took pretty good care of this horse. His hooves have been trimmed, his teeth look good. And he's already gelded! That alone eliminates a huge concern and expense.
We received an email from Susan, Stan Brock's "assistant to the president" in response to Elaine's email asking if and how he, Stan, intended to help support his rescued horse. Susan explained in a most condescending email. that Stan has no salary, that he lives in the RAM headquarters building, that he only own five sets of clothes. She said Stan sees a problem and gets it fixed and that he had no intention, no thought, no means to help support this rescued horse. She did ask what the cost would be and did we expect this support to go on indefinitely.
My response to Susan: Our organization exists to provide therapy to people with disabilities. We are not an animal rescue organization. Our "headquarters" is any place we can find Wi-fi or a cell signal. None of us receives a salary, not even the certified professionals. We have minimal facilities and all of them are damaged. While we certainly sympathize with the plight of the many lost or abandoned horses, in this post-hurricane Maria world, we are struggling with no income to keep the horses we have safe, fed, watered, and healthy. We have no resources to take on rescues. We only took on this project because Stan was so insistent.
Further, every single one of us believes an act of rescue is an act of commitment. That commitment doesn't end when the animal is "healthy" and recovered. The animal still needs food, shelter and care. Those needs don't suddenly disappear just because the animal is "healthy." So yes, this is an on-going commitment for an indefinite period of time.
I thought - but didn't say - it seems to us that Stan sees a problem and gets somebody else to fix it while he moves on.
This also makes us wonder about his medical clinics. By all reports they are excellent but they are by definition and design temporary. Do they just come in and do quick fixes and then move on? Hmmm...
On a much happier note, Elaine, Annie, Michelle and I met with the pastors of Ciudad de Salvacion about locating our therapeutic riding center on their property. In the spirit of everything we've seen from them so far, to a person they were welcoming and accommodating.
They are offering us about three-and-a-half acres - FREE! We can build whatever we need on the property. They have an 0n-site well so water is not a problem. They will provide electricity. All free.
Their only request? That no one will be denied therapy because they can't pay. That fits exactly with our mission!
As we talked, it became very clear not only will they allow us to use the property, they want us there. Yes, they see it as outreach but out reach of their "mercy ministry." Like everything else we've seen so far, they offer help along the lines of "what would Jesus do?" rather than a side of help with a huge plate of agenda.
I am no fan of organized religion of any flavor. I do however have great respect for Jesus as a teacher. I don't believe I need to be "saved" but I do like the way he lived. If more "christians" lived that life, this world would be a much better place.