Friday, August 31, 2007

All is well......

We spent two days on Lake Atitlan preparing for 2008. I found it very interesting and challenging as the report from last year revealed much had been accomplished. In fact, in some areas the goals were surpassed. I will soon be sending a report of my first 6 months here in Guatemala and will share some of that information. Let me know if you do not receive it and would like it.

The first photo is taken in the early morning as we were leaving. The place we stayed can only be reached by boat and this photo was taken about 0530. You can see the volcanoes to the right in the photo.

Today we had clinic in Paxot II. This is typically Dr. Lisa's clinic and we had 19 patients today.
The second photo is of Juan, one of the health promoters, his mother and one of his little brothers. His mom cooked lunch for us which was wonderful. We had beef, rice, tamalitos and atolol.

It started raining as we were loading the truck and getting ready to leave. The last photo is of Edgar who is a son of Manuel. Manuel dressed him appropriately for the rain as he walked home with his mother.

Tomorrow I begin my Spanish/ K'iche' classes in Panajachal. I hope my teacher will be ready for all of my questions :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Day in Panajachal

Charley and I had a free day so we went to Panajachal. We first stopped in Chichicastenango at the bank to deposit the clinic money. We hopped a "chicken bus" to Panachal, changing buses twice.

We walked through the streets looking at the goods being sold. I registered for Spanish/ K'iche' classes at one of the schools. I will study four hours on Saturday mornings. We then walked to the lake and beach area. The clouds prevented us from seeing the tops of the three volcanoes but it was still very pretty. We walked farther through the streets and ate lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking the lake.

When we returned to Chichi, we called Lisa and Kemmel to see if we could meet them for coffee. We enjoyed coffee in Hotel Santo Tomas as we waited for them and then went shopping through the streets.

The photo, right to left:
Linda Henry/ taught the two day seminar for the ladies
Evelyn/ difficult to see between Linda and Rosario. She is getting married soon and will serve as a missionary in Latin America
Rosario/ is a nurse and translated the lesson from Spanish into K'iche'
Kemmel and Lisa Dunham/ serving in Guatemala for 5+???? years :):)
Charley Belch/ friend and elder from the South Fork Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, NC

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bible class in Paxot II

Today there was a ladie's Bible seminar in Paxot II which was taught by Linda Henry. Linda and her husband Calvin are active in training missionaries for Latin America. There were 50-60 ladies in attendance and the lesson was very good. Rosario, who is a nurse in Montellano translated for the K'iche' speaking ladies.

The first photo is of Josefina's mom and Linda. Josefina's brother, Juan Diego studied in Honduras and the Baxter Institute. During his studies, Juan took some classes that Linda taught. Today was as special reunion for Juan Diego's mom and Linda.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Charley in Panajxit

Today was a wonderful day. I met Charley near his hotel and then we met Josefina, Tomas and Gaspar. We drove to Panajxit which is about a 20 minute drive.

Enrique helped us with our clinic today. He always prays with the patients and talks to them about the Bible after they see Josefina. We had 16 patients today. I am continuing to work with Josefina. I enjoy learning from her as she is very patient when she explains things to me.

The photo is of Charley playing around with the guys IN the tree. Yes, he climbed up in the tree and as you can see the little guy to the left finds Charley entertaining.

For lunch we drove cross-county to Enrique's house and had a very good lunch.

After clinic, Charley and I found a bank and then later met for dinner. We were invited to have dinner with Josefina's family. We had tamales, tortillas and coffee. Josefina's mom asked Charley to pray before the meal. Charley led the prayer and paused so Josefina could translate.

We had a enjoyable dinner and conversation. Charley has been able to meet three of Josefina's four brothers. Tomorrow he will spend the day with Juan Diego and then we will all meet for dinner.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Charley and Josefina in Las Trampas

Today we had clinic in Las Trampas. We picked Gaspar and Juan up in Chichi and traveled down the road. It was a small clinic with only 4 patients.

Before the patients arrived, Josefina sat on the step and then Charley sat down beside her. Josefina looked at Charley and said, "OK Charlie, let's talk the Bible." Well, those were welcomed words to Charley and as you can see, there was good discussion.

It was a slower day than I like but it gave us opportunity to discuss plans for when the group travels down in October.

We headed back to Lemoa, where our permanent clinic is. Charley saw that clinic for the first time and also met Manuel and Tomas. It was the first time I had seen the guys since I returned and that was nice.

Tomorrow we will drive to Panajxit. This clinic is one that our group had the opportunity to get started and it has continued to grow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Charley and I arrived in Guatemala!

Charley and I arrived in Guatemala yesterday without any problems. Juan Diego, Josefina's brother, met us at the airport and drove us to Santa Cruz. Charley checked into his hotel and got a short in-service on how to operate the shower in hopes of hot water :) His hotel is about 6 blocks from my house and is in a good location.

Today we had clinic in Chuchipaca. Gaspar and Juan worked with us and we had 13 patients. The photo is of Charley, Juan and 2 patients.

One of our patients had trouble walking so we offered to drive her home. On the way back, Juan wanted to practice driving. I said, "Sure, go for it!" Charley sat in the back with his eyes closed.....just kidding.

P.S. Charley said he did have hot water last night :)

Grandma's Birthday Celebration!

Before I returned to Guatemala, we celebrated my grandma's 95th birthday!

The first photo is of Sally who has helped me more than I can say. We have been friends for more years than we would like to admit......we just can't count that high. She helped me with my house before it sold, during the sale and continues with issues as they arise. She will make her first trip to Guatemala with the South Fork Church of Christ in October and I am looking forward to that.

We had lunch with my Grandma to celebrate her birthday! My brother, Mike was not able to join us since he is in Fayetteville, NC. He works for the NC Forest Service and the fires are keeping him busy. Please pray for his safety. Angie, my sister-in-law and Paige, my niece were able to eat with us. The photo is of Paige, my mom, me and my grandmother.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dinner with friends.......

We planned on a dinner at a restaurant in Winston Salem for everyone to enjoy each others company. It was a wonderful dinner with 38 people attending.

The first photo is of me and my parents before the dinner.

The second photo is of my nursing friends who all at one time worked in ICU together at Forsyth Medical Center. In the last few years many have transferred to different roles or different organizations. Lynzi started her first day of school today. I hope that it was a good day for you :)

The other two photos are of people from the South Fork Church of Christ, my sponsoring congregation. I am looking forward to Charlie returning to Guatemala with me and then preparing a team to visit in October.

It was great to see everyone again I am hoping that we can do this again in December.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Update on clinics

Sorry for the delay in updates. On Friday we traveled to Chuquexa, which is one of Dr. Lisa's clinics and saw 18 patients. As we were seeing patients, we heard voices singing from the Church. It is very encouraging to recognize the songs in Spanish and to be able to hum along.

We saw three families with scabies, one lady with a hernia but declined surgery at this point, one lady with confirmed Tuberculosis and many more with the typical complaints.

If you have an opportunity, please visit Lisa and Kemmel's website at Kemmel has given an overview of how some things will change over the next year due to Lisa's license. Lisa will need to do one year of community service in Guatemala. She will not be able to continue her clinics near Chichicastenango. She only had a few days to prepare and has now has started her six month work in Nebaj. Nebaj is about 2.5 hours north of Chichicastenango.

The last 6 months of her service will be in a hospital and they have been told it will be in Santa Cruz. This is not what we had planned on but we have to have faith that God's plan is at work. They will be able to continue to go home on weekends and Kemmel will still be able to help us in Lemoa.

Josefina and I will continue to work together with the promoters. To be able to fulfill all of our clinic responsibilities, there will be days we will split and do separate clinics. Kemmel talked to the leaders of the churches and they were open to reorganizing some clinic days. We feel that the clinics and the work of the local churches is too important to put on hold for the year.

Please continue to pray for the work and each of us as our roles are changing and we will have other responsibilities. Please remember Lisa and Kemmel as they will be traveling more than ever, if that is possible, and Lisa as she is working in a totally different environment.

My mom and I arrived in the States late last night. I am now headed to Winston Salem to see friends and worship with the South Fork Church of Christ, my sponsoring congregation.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Update after clinic and return to Santa Cruz

On Tuesday morning we loaded the van and headed for Samayac. Jose sat in front with me to help with directions. Once we got to the community building, Jose welcomed all of the patients, lead some songs, prayed for the patients and then he began to take their names to be seen by the physicians.

The second photo is of a mother and her children that wanted their photo taken with Dee and Lisa. Dee is from Houston and Lisa is from Sacramento. Lisa's husband, Dr. Andrew also helped us with the clinic today. He is an emergency room physician.

The third photo is of Dee with her father, her son Brandon and Olga. Dee's father, Dr. Ed allowed me to work with him for two days. I learned alot from him and he also left some medical journals with me to read. Olga lives in Sacramento and this is her second trip down. She is fluent in Spanish, helped us with translation and has also been an encouragement to me.

We saw 66 patients this day. During lunch, one patient returned to her home and brought back tortillas and some beef for our lunch.

The 4th photo is of Edgar and his grandmother, first day post op. He loves to laugh and play. He has regained his energy and is keeping everyone entertained.

The last photo is of Margarita who is having a more difficult time. She is not having pain but does not want to eat and still wants to sleep alot. This morning, Dee took Margarita and her father for a walk around the clinic in the sunshine. Maybe this will help her feel a little better.

We loaded the truck about 10am and headed back to Santa Cruz. It was a safe drive and the temperature change was welcomed......the highlands are much cooler.

I will finish out the week with two clinics and then return to the States on Saturday.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Clinica in Mixpilla

Today I went to Mixpilla with Dr. Walter for a clinic. We saw about 12 patients. Many patients had problems with gastritis, asthma, back pains and allergies. I was also able to work with Dr. Ed who is a family practice physician.

The first photo is of Michelle and Brandon playing with the children. Brandon had a puppet and they enjoyed playing with him. Michelle lives in Colorado and will finish nursing school in another year.

The second photo is of Edgar who had his lip repaired today. He rested well today and did not have very much pain after his surgery.

The third photo is of Margarita who is seeing her photo for the first time after her surgery. Her father has been at her bedside since they arrived. He has even spent time at other beds offering support to other concerned parents and family members. Margarita's mother has not been able to be here so she will really be pleased when she sees Margarita for the first time.

We had eleven surgical patients today and they all have done well. We pray for each patient in our nightly devotional by name.

Tomorrow I will go to another clinic with Dr. Walter, Dr. Ed and others who want to learn more about medical mobile clinics.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Plastic clinic in Montellano

We left Santa Cruz promptly at 0700 and arrived in Montellano at 0950. We had safe travels and arrived in time for worship, which is directly across the street from the clinic.

We had a quick lunch and then the patients began to arrive so they should be screened for surgery. Unfortunately, a couple had to be turned away and two will need to return in February for our next clinic here.

The two photos are of children that at going to have their lips repaired. They asked to have their photos taken but are not use to smiling. They had been playing and coloring in the patient ward getting use to the doctors and the nurses.

Margarita is the girl that I mentioned a few days ago. She lives near Santa Cruz. She will have her lip repaired this clinic and then return to have her cleft repaired.

We ended the day with a devotional tonight by the fountain. Everyone will get a good nights sleep and then we will begin again in the morning.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A day in Chichicastenango

Today was a free day so we headed to Chichi to shop and make shuttle reservations for Charlie Belch.
As we were in the travel agency, a lady who has been a patient at one of our clinics came over and told me that her family member was really sick. She asked that mom and I go and pray with her and her family.
We walked about 7 blocks to her house and met the lady. She had severe pain in her left leg and foot. She had fallen about 3 weeks ago and stated that she did not have money to go to the hospital. I told her about Clinic Caris being open on Monday and that Dr. Josefina would be there. She said that she would go early on Monday morning for a consult.
We prayed with Tomasa and the family. Mom had some Tylenol so we gave her some to help ease the pain. Hopefully, she will rest better tonight and see Josefina on Monday morning.
The photo is of Mom walking back to the bus after visiting Tomasa in her home......she enjoyed the hill :):):)
We are headed to Montellano at 7am. The group from the States should have arrived today and it will be good to see people that I met last year.........until later, adios.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Clinic in La Estancia

Life been busy and we have not been able to blog for the last few days. Lisa and Kemmel have returned to us from the States. It is good to have them back where they belong.

Today we had clinic in La Estancia. It was a small clinic because of a community meeting taking place near the house we were at. We returned early to Lemoa and met with Lisa and Kemmel. A lot of things can happen in a month that need attention.

A few of us will leave for the Coast on Sunday morning. We will be in Clinica Ezell for a few days to help with the surgical clinic. I hope to return with some photos of patients. We hope that one of our patients is able to have her clef lip repaired.

Please pray for the safe arrival of the team from the States and also the patients and their surgeries. Thank you.