Friday, March 23, 2018

Life in the Wind!

Since I returned to Guatemala, it feels like I have been running..............but it has been good and exciting!

We finished up with the spring break teams from Harding and Lipscomb Universities.  Dave and Susan Melllor did a great job of leading those teams and we had the opportunity to meet Jana, Susan's sister. 

The following Monday, the roads were closed to to protests so it pretty much shut everything down for the day. They had threatened to continue for the rest of the week but thankfully, it was only on Monday.

Then it is time to do laundry and pack for another adventure!

Kemmel and Lisa's sponsoring congregation, Eastside Church of Christ from Colorado Springs work with an orphanage and they invited me to go along this year. 

We left Chichi yesterday at 0700 and it took thirty minutes to get out of Chichi due to the traffic.  Then on the highway to the capital, it was pretty much stop-and-go a few feet.  But, we safely arrived and in time to grab a lunch of McDonalds and Subway.

After landing in Mexico, we needed to jump on a small plane to fly to Cozumel.  We sailed through customs without delay and then had just minutes to find the next terminal......we were filled with fear because we thought we may miss the flight.  Kemmel grabbed a taxi and explained our situation so the driver stepped on it and we arrived in time!!

We walked out to the twin prop and climbed on!  There was excitement in the air from making the flight!

 Getting ready for the props to fire up!

 Photo very blurry due to the vibration as were were getting cranked!  I shared my desire to fly and we talked about my conversations with Brenda, Doyle and Cary in Montellano..........another dream that I have!

 Ready for take off!

It was a quick thirty minute flight over to Cozumel.  Kemmel and Lisa had told me about pork chop tacos near where we were we stopped over there and all I can say is, "If you do not eat there, you are really missing something!"  It was delicious!

The owner of the Air B&B found us as were were finishing dinner........of course it was not hard to spot us!  She and her husband helped us settle in and gave us a tour of the area.  Very nice and maintained.

A dream-catcher in the tree with a swing........good sport for afternoon reading.

We will play for the day and then meet the group for a week of work.

Stay tuned for more adventures!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Lipscomb meets Chutzurob!

Several of the Lipscomb team went with us to Chutzurob, which is one of my favorite clinics.  We saw the ABC Children and a few regular patients.

Getting the ABC Children checked in.

Heights and weights are important to see how the children are progressing.

We do not want any children to have a fever.

After the children have their consult, they colored and read books.

Then before they left the clinic, they had a photo taken, so their sponsor could see how they are doing.

I met Nelson.  He is doing great in school and his physical exam was good.  He is sponsored by some of my friends, Brenda and Doyle.  I told Nelson that I knew his sponsors and that I had just seen them last month in Montellano.  Thank you, Brenda and Doyle!

OK, I will brag a minute.  This is one of my new ABC Children, Rosita.  Her names is Rosa and she also has about four other names. I asked her what her friends call her and she told me, "Rosita."  So, Rosita it shall be!  She is nine years old

When it came time for lunch, I think that everyone was ready!  We enjoyed beef soup and tamalitos!  These are some of my favorite foods, with some of my favorite people!

Tomorrow, it is another day and another adventure!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Harding in Mactzul VI!!

Harding went with us out to Mactzul VI for an ABC clinic today.  We had 46 ABC children and everyone was doing good.

We had three stations to see the students and the families.

The Harding students started with a patient and joined them in the consult and then in pharmacy.

Ana started joking when she saw I had my camera.  I got a fine photo of her hand!

Brenda, our new nurse with some students.

Susan, Jana and Dave busy with their work.

Taking a few minutes just to chat.

Dave and the ladies..............

Kemmel, at work..........he never runs out of things to fix or do.

Look mom!  My tattoo is as large as my hand!

I saw Jose today!  He sure has grown in the last few years.  He is sponsored in the ABC Program by Glenn and Neva!  He said to tell you hi!

It was a fast clinic and a good one.

I met a young lady that has epilepsy and will follow her in our regular clinic in Mactzul I on Fridays.  A very sad situation but hopefully, we will be able to help her.

Harding heads to Antigua.  They will enjoy the night there and then fly home.  Thank you for your work and we look forward to your visit next year!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Clinic in Pacaja Xesic

Today, some of us headed to the Pacaja Xesic community to do an ABC Clinic.

First, I want to share a photo that I took yesterday of Sydney, who is a biology student at Harding University. She will eventually enter the PA Program. She had borrowed a stethoscope from her dad and during the travel, it had become ill. So, we splinted and taped it and then it was good to go!

We had a great day yesterday with the students and look forward to the rest of the week with them.

Today, we traveled to Pacaja Xesic, on the other side of Santa Cruz del Quiche.  We had students from Pacaja and also Chajbal. We had 21 ABC Children and 8 regular patients.

We had people waiting when we arrived.

I know many of the students since we use to have some English classes here.  They have really grown and are doing well.  We have students studying to be physicians, nurses and accountants.  One wants to be a psychologist and another wants to be an orthodontist. What great goals!

Soon, the children were coloring, having their photo taken, reading books and having a video made.

No matter the age, everyone seemed to have a good time!

This little boy finished his page and was so excited with the final results.

The children from Pacaja have been in the ABC Program for several years now.  They are very well groomed and have more self-confidence.  This is the first year for the Chajbal students and you can see the difference in the children.  The ABC Program helps children and families on many different levels.  I know that in the future we will see changes in the new children, as far as hygiene and dental care. What a blessing the program is to the families and to the community.

If you have questions concerning the ABC Program and would like more information, please let me know.  We all have the opportunity to make a difference in a child's life.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Babies Return For Post-Op Visit

Today the babies returned for their post-op visit.

It was not my best camera day but all of the babies were healthy.

This is Brayon and he is doing well.  He has been eating and actually gained some weight after surgery. Many thanks to Angie for sponsoring Brayon's surgery.

Dilan was also doing well.  He has been eating and has not had any problems.  Thank you, Ava for sponsoring Dilan's surgery!

Nelson and his mom are doing well.  Nelson was sponsored by Beverly and Doris.......thank you!!

Santiago was sponsored by Frank and Evelyn.  Thank you!  All of these parents know to return in November so we can start working on their palate surgery in February of 2019.  That seems so long away but it will arrive quickly.  They will have grown so much and we will see much improvement.

Today, Sharon was with us and she is a speech therapist.  She is developing a program to help children with their speech, especially those who have had the cleft-lip and palate surgery.
She quickly became friends with Santiago and we walked over to Noe's area, where he does physical therapy. When Sharon saw Santiago quickly use his thumb, she followed suit!

Noe has a lot of toys and prompts that help with physical therapy.  Sharon and Santiago made themselves at home and started playing.  Sharon was able to give Santiago's parents some suggestions and things to work on with Santiago when they are home.

We plan on Sharon returning to be with us in August and hope to have a larger population of children to work with.  What a blessing she and this program will be to the patients and their families.
Thank you, Sharon!

This is Aida before she left Montellano.  I failed to get a new photo of her.  She had a thumb cyst removed and today, I took out her stitches.  She is doing very well and we are thankful for that.  Thank you Ava, for also offering to sponsor Aida's surgery!

Tomorrow, I will work on getting more photos of the Harding students.  They will be with us for a week of clinics and we will have 2-3 different clinics each day. They are a great group of students who always come prepared and are led by Gary, who does a great job with them every year!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Catching Up............

The last three weeks have passed very quickly and I loved every moment of them!  As I have mentioned before in blogs, no matter where you are, there is someone that you miss because that is part of life. Even though the last three weeks were fantastic, as we climbed the mountains to return to Chichicastenango, I began looking forward to returning to my "normal" life.

The surgical week in early February was great. I do not know how it could have gone better.  We finished the week with fifty-two surgeries and forty-three dental patients.  When we left, there were still a few patients but everyone was progressing well.

We spent that Friday in Antigua and enjoyed relaxing a little.  The majority of the group flew back to the states on Saturday.

I arrived at my parents about 2am on Sunday morning.  After sleeping for a few hours, I spoke at the Morganton Church of Christ about the work of Health Talents and giving them some updates.

On Monday, my dad with with me to purchase a new toy........a Dutchman Kodiak RV.  I did not expect to hit the snag that I ran into.  Because I have been in Guatemala now for eleven years, there is not really any proof that I have lived in the United States.  Laura, who was trying to help me, did not find any humor when my dad told her that I was part of a witness protection program.  So, I had to put that on hold until I could gather more information.

On Tuesday, Dad took mom and I to Charlotte.  We have been planning a week in Cancun.  We had a great time and the ocean was beautiful. I can highly recommend a great place for shrimp tacos!

Dad picked us up when we flew back to Charlotte and he told me that we had an appointment at 10am the next morning at the bank. Then after the bank, we would have a final look at the RV.  All went well this time and we made arrangement for it to be delivered on Thursday morning.

As I was packing to return to Guatemala, the RV was delivered.  The weather was rainy and dreary but at least it had arrived!

Unbelievable!  It was finally at the parents house and we needed to leave for the airport in fifteen minutes.......................
Sally drove me to Charlotte and then I flew back to Guatemala on Friday.....................finally back in Chichi and ready to start clinics in the morning! 

We have groups of students with us for the next two weeks.  We will be running but it will be good!  Tomorrow, I will see the patients who had cleft-lip and palate surgery.  I will also see Yeffry that had nose surgery and Aida who had a cyst removed from her thumb.  Sharon, a speech therapist, is with this group and we have scheduled her some appointments with the parents of children who have had surgery.  It will be a great week and I will post some new photos of the babies tomorrow!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Homeward Bound!!

Today was the day that the parents have been waiting for......................traveling home!!

This is Brayon and his mom.  They had a good night and are ready to travel back to Chichicastenango.

This is Brayon's third post-op day and he is healing well.  In a week, this scabbed area will fall off and the swelling will have decreased a lot.

This is also Nelson's third post-op day and he is doing well too.

His parents are ready to hop in that van and travel!

Dilon was a sleepy head this morning.  I wish I had a video of him stretching his arms and then he fell back asleep. He and his parents will be traveling home to Panajachel, near Lake Atitlan.

Santiago was outside playing with his family.  So this is his mom, his grandmother and his younger brother.  They will also return to the Chichicastenango area.

What a great week it has been!  All of the patients have done well.  These babies will have a couple of weeks to heal and will come to clinic on March the 5th to see us.

We are so thankful for the team that came and spent a week with us.  We had many seasoned staff and also some new members.  We hope to see everyone return to a clinic in the near future.  What a blessing that they have been to 52 patients and their families.  May God be with them as they travel back to the states on Saturday.