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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
Another wonderful day with patients, families, the Guatemalan staff and our team. Happy Valaentine's Day to everyone!
We finished the day with nine GYN cases and three plastic cases.
This is Yefery. He had a motorcycle accident a few years ago that damaged to his nose and created difficulty in breathing. Dr. Philip helped Yefery and he is so very thankful. He likes being with us. He had the option of going home on Monday and he opted to stay until tomorrow when the vans return for the babies. He is a really good guy and it has been a pleasure to help him!
This is Bryan sleeping right after breakfast. This is his second post-op day.
Nelson's mom stepped outside so his father stayed with him a little this morning. This is Nelson's first post-op day and he is doing well. Notice the wisps of his hair due to the fan action!
Dilon continues to do well on his second post-op day. His parents are still very excited for this opportunity.
Today Santiago was not a happy baby. I tried to get a photo of him but could never catch him at a good time. I will try again tomorrow.
The babies will be discharged in the morning. The drivers know to come and pick them up. They will receive their discharge teaching and have a follow-up appointment with us in Lemoa on March 5th.
It has been a great week thus far and I believe that tomorrow will be the same. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for all of our patients. God has been with us every day.
I am Sheri Kretzschmar and I am serving in Guatemala with Health Talents International. I am a nurse from Winston-Salem, NC and currently live in Chichicastenango. We are working with the local Churches of Christ as we conduct mobile medical clinics in the surrounding communities. It is our prayer that we will share the love of God and demonstrate the compassion of Jesus.