Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Mom, dad and I went to Hickory and met Sally for dinner. As usual we had a good time and Sally filled us in on her recent trip to New York. She was in Time Square yesterday when it was almost empty. We will watch TV tonight to see if anyone is there to watch the ball drop :)

Mom and Sally at the house after dinner.
Mom made a fruit pie like one we had in Alaska in 2005.............
This is before the whipped cream was added.......

Sorry, no pie was left for more photos..........

Dad and Sally looking at New York photos.
OK, it is time for the tip-off of the UNC vs Nevada game......Go Heels!!!
I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and I will post again in 2009.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Slumber Party at Bea's

Last night mom and I drove to Winston for a slumber party at Bea's. We stopped along the way to get Mary and then progressed to Bea's house.

Carolyn was already at her house when we pulled in the driveway. We would have arrived earlier but I could not read my own directions. The five of us enjoyed a wonderful meal of chicken and rice soup, biscuits-------hmmmmmm........ let me tell you about those biscuits, shaved country ham and fresh strawberry jam.

OK, about those biscuits......as you know from previous blogs, I do not cook or bake........so anything from scratch is a real treat for me. I watched her kneed, roll, flour, cut........then bake. Being a woman of many talents, she can transition from the kitchen into cutting tile for the house she is remodeling. She is a great hostess and we really enjoyed the evening.

I think that Carolyn, Mary, mom and I had a great time. Thank you, Bea!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another day to play

Today was another day just to play and relax. Mike and my dad decided to go fishing........here Mike shows us one of his fish.

Mom and I decided to do some more shopping in the spaceship. We went to a grocery store that has ONLY 16 aisles and a salad bar.........so we had lunch there. For entertainment after lunch, we cruised the vegetable, fruit and bakery departments..........we were strong and did not buy any of those cakes, muffins, brownies, pies or fudge.....but I may return :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Reverse Culture Shock

You have probably read in my blog or Lisa and Kemmel's blog about reverse culture shock. It is a true phenomenon.

I went shopping this morning and borrowed my mom's car. When I got to the store and turned the car off the lights and radio would not turn off. Great........the battery will die while I am shopping. So, I decide to call and sound blond but it's ok. Mom tells me that when the door opens, the radio and lights will go off. I try to open the door and then realize I have locked myself in when trying to turn off the windshield wipers. What happened to simple cars instead of spaceships?

Now, I am in the store shopping...........why are there 10 brands of toothpaste?? I have my cart and I am looking for a few gifts to take back to Guatemala. This lady walks over and asks me how much I think the candy is........I tell her what I think and she thanks me. I return to where I parked my cart and I realize she has taken my things out of the cart, placed them on the shelf and walked away with the cart!

When I left the store I drove to the bank. A lady drove ahead of me fast so she would be able to use the window. This was fine with me because I do not mind using the tube system. While I am waiting, the lady pulls up to the window and turns off her car......she yells to the teller, "Honey, would you give me a deposit slip?" while she begins to look through her purse for a pen...........at a drive-through window??

After the bank, I drove the spaceship home to get mom so we could do some more shopping :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas eve with the family

Today we had our Christmas dinner and it was a good.........turkey, ham and all of the trimmings...........yes!

This is a reindeer that I got for my grandmother last Christmas. He joined us for dinner and I shared my DDP, carrots and glasses with him......he had a hard time seeing after being in the box for a year.

Angie was finding out what was in her stocking as Mike was wearing his.

Dad got the good smelling stuff.......hmmmmmmm.......

Mom and I playing around in the kitchen.
Paige finding good stuff in her stocking.
Angie checking out the Internet.

I hope that everyone has a good Christmas with their family.
MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thank you South Fork

Sunday evening my mom and I went to Winston and worshipped with the South Fork Church of Christ. I met with the Missions Committee and talked to them about the work in Guatemala and continuing to sponsor me for two more years. Because of the their financial and spiritual support, I will be able to continue to work in Guatemala for the next two years. I was also presented with a box of supplies for working with the children. I really appreciate the opportunity I have been given and pray that God will continue to bless South Fork and the work in Guatemala.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Symphony

Mom, Dad, Sally and I headed to Greensboro for the Christmas Symphony. Every year two concerts are held in Winston-Salem and Greensboro. Every year the concerts are good and I was glad we were able to go.

Mom and dad before the concert...............
Sally and I messing around in the lobby.......
The orchestra.......


Thursday, December 18, 2008

GO HEELS......GO TYLER!

Sally and I checked into our favorite hotel in Chapel Hill and prepared for the game. We had a dinner of Stromboli at Pepper's and then took a bus to the game.

The lobby of The Carolina Inn is always very festive during the holidays.

We knew the night would be an exciting game with the possibility of Tyler Hansbrough beating Phil Ford's record. It is kind of neat because Sally was present at the game when Phil reached his record.

Our tickets before the game.......

UNC won the game and YES, Tyler broke the record. The game started out with an obvious nervousness..............then as Tyler shot the point, the game was stopped and Phil congratulated Tyler and the team.

This was a 7,000 pound sand sculpture outside of The Carolina Inn. As we walked to the car, Sally said, "I guess they don't have problems with stray cats around." I snickered and laughed as we drove away.........

Wednesday in Winston-Salem

I went to Winston to visit this afternoon. I had dinner with Sally and then we went to Bible Study at South Fork. It was good to see everyone and spend some time talking. Charley taught a class on unity, using references from Corinthians. It was ironic because Josefina told me before I left Guatemala that she would be teaching a class on the same topic. We discussed Jesus' prayer in John, which Charley also referenced.

As you can see from the photo, Mary received the apron from Guatemala. Jim said, "I have seen that apron on your blog!" My dad found an article on aprons so I also gave her a copy of that.

It was a good evening and I look forward to being there again on Sunday afternoon.
Tomorrow we head to Chapel Hill! Go Heels!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!

Happy Birthday Dad!!

My Mom and dad met me at the airport on Saturday night, with my DDP, diet Doctor Pepper! I first drank my DDP, then said hello and hugged my mom and dad..........just kidding!! We had an uneventful drive home to Morganton.

Mom tried my new apron..........but it is not for her :)


We took dad out for dinner tonight. There was a special restaurant that he wanted to go to but when we walked in, the power went off. They did not know how long it would be before it was restored so we went to another restaurant. We all had BBQ Ribs :)

Tomorrow I will go to Winston to see friends and visit with the South Fork Church of Christ, my sponsoring congregation.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Early Merry Christmas from Santa Cruz

Early Merry Christmas from Santa Cruz!!

Today has been a great day. It has been awhile since I have had a day at my house to chill and get some things done. I went to Lemoa to wash laundry this morning and then packed for the trip home!

I am packed and ready to leave at 0600 in the morning. Lisa and Kemmel are going to take me to the airport in the morning.

This is the Catholic Church in park of Santa Cruz. It is a happening place these days!

This tree is lit in the evening................

with a nativity scene below.



When I return after the holidays, the plan is for me to move to Chichi. Some neighbors of Kemmel and Lisa are returning The States for several months so I will rent their house while they are away. Kemmel and Lisa have NO idea what kind of neighbor I am......"Hey, can I borrow some sugar??? How about some eggs with that sugar???" Just kidding.........they know I DO NOT cook!

OK, my next blog will be from North Carolina!





Friday, December 12, 2008

We wrapped up the year in Choacaman IV

Today was our last clinic of the year and it ended well. We had 21 patients with a wide range of problems but the leading illness was diabetes.

All of us have struggles and it is interesting how people handle their daily problems. Lisa spent a lot of time talking to a man that has a problem with drinking. This young man is a Christian......and yes, Christians have problems. Lisa talked to him about prayer, his relationship with God, the strength that the Holy Spirit can provide and the responsibility that he has to his family. My prayer is that he went home and thought about what was said.

This sister, Elena, is sewing these beautiful aprons and selling them. Lisa bought a couple and I bought one too. It is not for me but will be a gift for a special friend. I can not say who because I want it to be a surprise........she might be reading the blog :)

So, when we return to Choacaman, it will be 2009! I hope that in 2009 our clinics will continue to grow, God will continue to bless the work here in Guatemala and more people will accept Christ and His teaching...........this is what it is all about!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Busy clinic in Lemoa

Today was a busy day in Lemoa but a good one. We had 34 medical patients, 12 dental patients, 11 patients for dental cleaning and 4 patients that wanted glasses.

A few months ago, Josefina and I made a house visit to a gentleman that was basically staying in bed because he had lost his sight due to cataracts. His name is Tomas. His family has been coming to the clinic pretty regular because his granddaughter had been burnt severely. We visited Tomas and he was very discouraged but wanted to try surgery in Montellano.

Tomas went to to Montellano for the eye clinic which was a great success for him! Today when I went to talk to him, I asked him if he remembered me. He told me no because he could not see me before. He then took off his glasses, started smiling and laughing while patting my head and said, "But now I can see you and your hair!"

This is Tomas and his daughter.

What an exciting time for this gentleman and his family. To Tomas, life has a new meaning because he can be active again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Clinics in Xepocol and Chuguexa

For the last two days I have done clinics with Lisa and I have enjoyed it. Yesterday we had 13 patients in Xepocol. It seemed to be a pregnancy clinic since we had 4-5 pregnant ladies. I have never done a lot of OB so this is a new area for me. We had a couple that we could hear the babies heart beat and that was exciting.

One lady that touched our hearts has a husband who is very sick and has stopped eating. His problems started with his eyes, he then he lost his sight and now is unable to walk. Gaspar talked with her for quite a while and she seemed receptive to what he said. We are praying that she will visit The Church in Xepocol and they will be able to offer spiritual support to her and her family. His name is Sebastian.

Today our clinic was in Chuguexa with 20 patients. Today was not a pregnancy clinic but seemed to be a diabetic clinic. We had 6 diabetic patients with all but one doing well. This one gentleman comes back when he has not had medicine for several weeks so there is no way of knowing what his sugars are running when he is talking his medicine. I have had this discussion with him several times and education is such a large factor.

I saw this patient in September when she was pregnant with her baby. Today she came for a visit and brought her 20-day-old-baby with her.

The baby is precious.
Tomorrow we will be in Clinica Carris. I will help Lisa with patients if there are quiet a few and if not then I will help Kemmel with the inventory. It is time to be wrapping up the year so it is a busy time. I have received the calendar for the first two months of 2009 and I think it will be exciting. I will be doing some clinics with Lisa and some with Josefina, helping develop some new clinics, helping with education, spending time at Clinica Ezell and who knows what else.......more adventures lie ahead!
























Monday, December 8, 2008

Back to life in Santa Cruz

Does it ever feel good to be back to Santa Cruz, see everyone that I work with and help a little at the clinic. I went to Josefina's house this morning, got the truck and then went to the clinic in Lemoa. Aury rode with me and we got caught up on what has been happening. They have started some much needed road repairs so it took us a little longer.......but that is ok.

I helped unload the trucks and then headed to Kemmel and Lisa's to talk about plans for the week. I will got to Xepocol tomorrow for the clinic with Lisa.

I then went back to Lemoa to do some laundry and help Josefina see patients. I was able to do 2 pap smears for her and see 5 more patients. That helped her finish at a good time.

Now, I am in the house, by the fireplace and ready to settle in for the night.

Please pray that the clinics go well this week before we start our vacation for the holiday.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More ABC Children

This is Noe and his family from La Palma. Noe is the ABC Child of my parents.

This is Tomas and his family. A friend of mine, Teresa, sponsors Everaldo.
This is Everaldo after he received his prize.


This is Sandra and her family from Mactzul V. Jeanie from the Morganton Church of Christ sponsors Sandra.

This is Florencia and her dad from La Hacienda. Hettie, from the Morganton Church of Christ sponsors Florencia.

It was a good day of celebration and we returned home tired. I am sure the children and their family's felt the same. Next year the celebration will be even larger as two more areas now have the ABC program. Please let me know if you are interested in helping a child.












ABC Celebration 2008

It was time for the ABC Celebration in Montellano. The weather sure was different in Montellano than it was in Antigua. As we drove closer to the coast the weather got warmer.....it got even hot!

When we arrived Baldimare, the minister in Montellano, was talking to the crowd. I counted 19 buses plus many, many vans and trucks.

People sat on chairs and blankets during the day as the prizes were given to the students. Some of the students even sang in English!



Alejandra, Violeta and Carlos called the childrens names as they came forward to receive their gifts. The big prize this year was bikes for the children who did well in their classes.Debbie was able to meet her ABC Child, Sipla Perez, at the celebration. Debbie and her son John have returned to The States.

Everyone enjoyed a lunch of grilled steak, rice and beans. It was great!
I am ready to head back to Chichi and Santa Cruz......it is time to get back to other things.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Time for new adventures

As my time in Antigua winds down, as always, I have mixed emotions. I always feel I should have learned more or done more but it is time to move on.

Sunday was my last day of worship with The Church here in Antigua. I spoke a few minutes to one of the ministers and told him that I thought the congregation has grown a lot in the last year. He agreed and then asked that we pray for The Church here. He told me that the Catholicism is very strong here in Antigua and that is evident. So, I have placed his request on the right side of the blog. I have also placed there a prayer request from one of the teachers in the school, Teresa.

Many people ask what they can do for the work here and there is always a need for prayer. Writers in the New Testament frequently encouraged each other with prayer and often reminded reminded each other of this. We should do the same. We always need prayer for the work, the promoters, our safe travel and that the patients have interest not only in physical needs but spiritual needs as well. Please see that there is also an area for thanksgiving. As we see our prayers answered, we should give thanks. I try and update these areas as needs arise.

Tomorrow will be my last day in class and on Saturday we will go to Montellano for the ABC Celebration. Lisa and Kemmel will drive through Antigua on Saturday morning for me. They are great chauffeurs!

I will only have one week in Santa Cruz and then head to The States for the holidays. I am looking forward to spending time with my family, visiting South Fork Church of Christ, visiting with many people, and going to a UNC Basketball game........Go Heels!

This photo was taken from my hotel yesterday as the sun was going down.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

More of Saturday in the park

This is a different part of the program on Saturday.

My information on the history the Mayan Culture on may not be perfect but I have been told that if a man was interested in a lady, he would grab a small blanket that she wore on her shoulder. The side that she wore it on would designate if she was single or married. He then would take the blanket home and his parents would then talk to the parents of the lady and the marriage would then be arranged.

The ladies on their knees were washing their clothing when the group of "men" began flirting with them. At first the ladies resisted.............
.......then the lady in the middle began to have some interest.
This clip is of the man grabbing the blanket and the lady then breaking her jar.........as you can tell the crowd is amused and it was very interesting.


video

Saturday afternon in the park

On Saturday afternoon there was another concert in the park. It was some type of cultural celebration which I really enjoyed.

These ladies danced to "The Little Drummer Boy." Their costumes were very colorful and you could tell they were enjoying themselves.
Baby Jesus looked a little pale. :)
These children were great and a clip of their dance is at the end of the blog.


These kids also kept the crowd entertained.

video
More photos and clips to follow.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another day of Thansksgiving!!

I want to share this photo and story with you. Lisa sent me this photo when we were in Montellano at the meeting. It is a baptism of 5 new Christians in Mactzul V. Please check out Kemmel and Lisa's blog at http://www.kemmelandlisa.blogspot.com/ they do a great job of telling the story. I especially like the scripture that they have posted. There are so many seeds that at planted on a daily basis and we just need to pray that they fall on fertile ears and hearts.

There are more baptisms planned in Gaspar's community in December. I am hoping that we can be part of that celebration.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! (a little late)

I hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving with your family.......turkey with all of the good stuff. I spent the day in class and then had lunch with Debbie and John. They came down for the clinics earlier in the month and have been running around in Guatemala since then. They spent a few days in Pana and then came here to Antigua to study Spanish. Next week they will go to Montellano for the eye clinic and the ABC Celebration.

They took me to a nice restaurant called La Pena, which we highly recommend. The stage for their band was set and we could not resist playing around.


After lunch I studied for the afternoon and then went to a performance that Juliet's daughters were in. It was The Little Mermaid and it was good. I snuck behind stage at intermission and got their photo.




Thursday, November 27, 2008

Video of team exercise

The following video is of the team activity that we did at Clinica Ezell. The object was to continue the movement of the marble in the tubing without it falling out, stopping or rolling backwards. As the marble passed out of your tube, you needed to move down the line to pass your tube to another team member...............and then position yourself at the end to be ready for your next opportunity!

video

The second day, everyone participated and we were able to circle around the entire driveway of Clinica Ezell! It took many trials, much patience, the maintaining of a good attitude, good listening skills, confidence in other team members, no finger-pointing and MUCH determination............doesn't this sound like many things we need to be successful in life??????

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meeting in Montellano

All of the employees of Health Talents met on Monday and Tuesday in Montellano for a end of the year meeting. We discussed the clinics in aspect of strengths and also areas we are weak and how we can improve them.

One activity that we participated in was one that the leaders had done in an earlier meeting. The object is to pass a marble through tubes without allowing the marble to fall. The marble can not stop moving, it must continue to move forward and it can not roll backwards. If one of the rules are broken, the process must start again. As the marble passes to the next person, you need to take your tube to the next person in line who does not have a tube.......... and then you move to the end of the line to wait your next turn.....................sound complicated????? Believe me, it is not easy but it can be accomplished.

Aury and Maudy are practicing before they started.........technique is very important because if you do not have control of the marble as it passes through your tube then the next person will have a difficult time.. If you try to move too fast, it can knock the marble out of the next person's tube. If people get congested and too close, it is difficult to maintain composure of your tube.


The team receiving more instructions. Listening skills are very important.

As the marble passes through your tube, you run to the end of the line to give your tube to the next person. If you move to fast, the ball can be jarred out of the tube........if you go too slow, the ball will reach the end of the line before you do and that last person will not have a chance.

After each trial, which were MANY, the team would regroup and talk about how to improve.
On Monday, only the people who never had particiapted to play. Here, Sylvia is happy because she gets to cheer the team on..................little did she know that on Tuesday, EVERYONE would have to participate!


It is a good activity to help team-building and encourage opportunities for discussion.