Friday, February 29, 2008

Beezzzzzzzzz in Paxot II !!

This morning I headed to Chichi to get Maury, then we went to pick up Gaspar at his bridge and then we proceeded to Paxot II. It was a small clinic of only 9 patients and it was a cold day. After we had seen the patients that had arrived, we were invited into the cocina, kitchen or cooking area to enjoy some incaparina and bread. We sat by the fires and it felt wonderful.

After a few minutes, I realized everyone was looking to the first cooking area behind me and I thought it was because there was so much smoke. They kept talking and looking puzzled......and eventually everyone got up and walked over to it. I just wanted to sit by the fire and enjoy my hot drink but I followed too. Now, you have to remember most of this is spoken in K'iche' so I am not understanding much of it. Well, all of sudden, they start laughing and running to the top of the building, herding me with them! They now realize that bees have built nests in the chimneys of the cooking areas and they are swarming out of the building and what a noise they are making!

When we felt it is safe to return inside, one of the ladies started digging in the stove area and pulled out two huge, blackened honey combs! Here she holds up one of them for me. Behind her is Juan working at the next cooking area. There are six cooking areas so we go to all of them and build fires to be sure there are no more nests hiding in the chimneys.

Gaspar grabs my camera and zooms in on some of the bees. One man builds a torch on a stick and torches them off of the ceiling. Within a few minutes, honey is sliding down the long silver cylinder that functions as the chimney...........
This photo is a better view of 5 cooking areas. The one in the front is the one we were all sitting at when the commotion started. The cooking area is very important to the ladies as they spend much time here cooking, laughing, sharing stories and fellowshipping. I enjoy spending time with them. Today, they let me chop some onion and stir rice as they spoke K'iche' to me. I try to repeat is very dificult but they know I am trying. I want to be able to sit on the floor by the fire with them and speak their language...........maybe in 5 more years.........
A few more patients arrived and then we drove back with 4 additional riders.

Tomorrow we will have clinic and then I will go and check on the Pepperdine Team that will be here in the afternoon.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Clinic in Lemoa

Clinic was in Lemoa today and it was a small clinic. Before clinic started we began with prayer. We remembered our patients, prayed for safe travel for Manuel and Katy as they went to Antigua, remembered Lisa's clinic and work in The City, asked for continued safety as our mobile clinics spend a lot of time driving and the roads can be dangerous, prayed that the Pepperdine group would arrive safe on Saturday and asked for comfort and peace for Pedro and his wife. These are the parents of the young man that died last week.

After we had seen all of the patients we began preparing our boxes for the future clinics. I counted and bagged the medicines that we needed. Before long, I had some helpers. They were the boys in the photos below. The first photo is of a young man who someday will be a pharmasist. He was opening the plastic bags for me as I filled them.......and then as his cousin would come running in the room, he would carry him out!

He was very proud of his new dental work. He told me that he has had 6 teeth pulled. There were 4 holes on top and 2 on the bottom.

I walked out to the corn field today to talk to the sheppherd lady. She is a sweet lady and is always laughing or smiling. I mustered my best K'iche' and asked her what her name is.......Maria. I then told her mine and she repeated it........whew........I do not think she speaks any Spanish. I will have to practice more K'iche' with her and really give her a laugh! :)

Tomorrow we are off to Paxot II........

I have just submitted my last lesson plan for my ESL Class. If my tutor accepts it, then I will have completed my certificate for Teaching English as a Second Language.......please keep your fingers crossed :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Clinic in Las Trampas

Today we had clinic in Las Trampas. We had a small clinic with six patients. It was cool there and the clouds passed to the side of us. I find the weather fascinating in Las Tampas. One patient and her husband brought us coffee and bread to enjoy after we had seen all of the patients.

As you have probably read in previous blogs there is alot of road construction going on. When we arrived at the point we needed to turn left off of the highway, the ground was not level enough for us to exit the highway. I turned the truck around and we proceeded into the area where the construction in. Gaspar and Juan jumped out of the truck and scouted ahead. They returned and said we could make it! As we approached the turn-off, they moved the barrels and we paved us a path. Then Katy exclaims, "There is never a dull moment!"

Katy will travel to Antigua tomorrow morning with Manuel and then fly home on Friday. Please pray that she and Manuel have safe travels to Antigua and Katy has a safe flight back home.

Tomorrow morning.......another day and another adventure!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Class and celebrating Katy's moms birthday!

Today was an education day for all of the Health Care Promoters from the different communities. About 20 people attended and the class was on injections. Many, many patients always ask for injections and the promoters need to know how to handle these questions and to know when injections are appropriate.

After Josefina discussed Chapter 9 from the book, Donde no Hay Doctor, everyone practiced with syringes and water injecting oranges. They would fill a syringe then I would tell them how much medicine they needed for their patient. They would then show the correct amount with no air in the syringe and then inject the orange.

We met before class this morning with Kemmel to prepare for next week when the group from Pepperdine University will be here. Most days there will be two separate clinics including both medical and dental services.

For dinner tonight, Katy and I tried a new restaurant near the park in Santa Cruz. We celebrated her moms birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BECKY!! I offered to let Katy sing and produce a video but she declined :( I think her second career will be a tuk-tuk driver!!
It was a good day.........I think everyone enjoyed the class, Kemmel was able to visit us and then safely return to The City, we planned for Pepperdine, we found cake and celebrated Becky's birthday and all of us had safe travels.........Gracias a Dios!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

A day of study.....

Today I spent the day studying and preparing for class tomorrow. I have the handouts typed for the promoters. I have almost finished my English as a Second Language program and should have that behind me in a few more days.

I went to meet Katy for dinner tonight and on the way I finally saw one of my "angels" in the street. I have not seen her since Christmas and had no way of finding out what was wrong. When she saw me, she almost passed in front of a tuk-tuk and it really made her family and me nervous! They probably were wondering why she was so excited........they watched us hug from a distance and are still probably wondering who that pale girl is. She asked me how my Christmas was and asked about my parents. She told me that she had fallen and has been very sick. Katy and I walked back to my house and got a small gift I bought for her at Christmas and we took it to her made my day!!!

The photo below is of Manuel's parents. My dad took this photo of them while we where in Paxot II for clinic. At first they were standing a foot apart with straight faces. Someone approached them from behind, grabbed his arm and placed it on his wife's shoulder!! Well, this is not a typical Guatemalan stance so everyone started laughing and it made a wonderful photo!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A day in Antigua

Katy and I left for Antigua at 0630 this morning. We should have had plenty of time to make the 1030 worship.........but our time was spent in the road waiting for it to reopen. They close it periodically for the road construction. I called Juliet, my teacher, to let her know that we were were going to be real late.

When we arrived in Antigua, we found they have already started processions for their Holy week, Semana Santa so therefore the traffic was being rerouted.......that delayed us even more.

We finally arrived at Juliets and talked for awhile. Then she wanted to show us the house that she and her children are moving to. It is a big house with a lot of sunshine and I think they will enjoy it. Then we drove by where the Church meets so hopefully they will visit sometime.

Katy had heard of a restaurant with a good view of the volcanoes so we went there for lunch. I would highly recommend it and hope to return again. It is the blue building below and it is called Sky Cafe. You can not see Katy on the roof but she is sitting there, enjoying the sun and scenery and drinking a strawberry, pineapple liquado. It was made with yogurt and was wonderful! Of course, I stuck to my limonada con soda :)

This photo is taken from the roof of the cafe. Behind the cactus in the distance is a clearing. It is a cross that you can walk to. It is an activity that students from the Christian Spanish Academy can do with their teachers. I have heard it is very beautiful but you need to go with the school or walk with the police for security.
This is a closer view of The Walk to the Cross in Antigua.
When we returned to Quiche, the road was closed again........not our lucky day for driving :( but we had a safe trip and enjoyed it.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Chuchipaca and a Baby Shower

Today Katy and I headed to Chichi and picked up Juan and Maury. We then drove to Chuchipaca and had clinic with 14 patents. We saw some young babies so this made Katy's day!

One patient asked us to visit his house because his son was too sick to come to the clinic. After we had seen all of the patients, we packed up our gear and drove to the house. His son was laying on a mat when we arrived and there were also about 10 other family members waiting for us. The son was 43 years old and complained of cough, fever and being very weak. After Katie examined him, she gave him an antibiotic, something for his cough and also something for his fever. She then examined the wife who also complained of a cough and also gave her some medicine.

We prayed with the family and told them about the clinic in Chuchipaca twice a month. They asked us about having clinic in their area so maybe this will open a door for a future clinic.

Tonight after when we arrived back in Quiche, it was time for Sonya's baby shower. She is married to Josefina's brother David. David is a physician and works at Clinica Ezell in Montellano. There were about 40 people at the shower and it was very nice.
One lady led some songs and another lady talked about Hannah and Samuel from the Old Testament.

The photo below is of Sonya opening her presents.

This photo is of Sonya with other members of her family.
It has been a very busy week but a safe one........Gracias a Dios!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Commotion in Choacaman IV!

When we have clinic in Choacaman IV it is very common to have dogs, chickens, turkeys, ducks and a cat walk, run or sleep in the area we have clinic. But today 3 goats wandered through and it was a big ordeal to get them back on a leash! It took the owner of the house, his wife and his daughter to get the goats under control.

We had 11 patients today and it was a good clinic. I really enjoy having patients return and being able to follow-up with their blood sugar and their blood pressure.

We saw one lady today that has a prolapsed uterus and we will try to get her scheduled at the next surgical clinic. The patient and her husband were so excited when they left the clinic. They now have hope of having surgery at an affordable price for them. They hugged us several times and kept thanking us as they promised to return for a follow-up visit in Lemoa.

After clinic I went to wash laundry. I love being at the clinic when it it quiet and peaceful........while listening to my clean laundry flap in the wind and watching the shepard lady with her flock.

I took a book to read. It is the writing of Jody Glittenberg, To the Mountain and Back. She was a nurse that practiced near the area I am living. She was here during the years 1971-1976 in three separate phases. I can relate very well as she writes that as she boarded the plane for the first time, she knew that she would not return home the same person. I remember so well how things really changed for me during my second visit here in July 2005. Each return trip became more important for me and I wanted to do more. My previous plans were no longer important.........

Tomorrow we are off to Chuchipaca........

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Follow-up with surgical patients and a funeral

We had clinic today in Lemoa. It started out as a very exciting day and then it ended with sadness and unanswered questions.

First, there is a patient that travels 5 hours with her son to the clinic every 3-4 months. I have heard how very sick she was when she first came to the clinic and saw Dr. Lisa. Her name is Maria and her photo is below with her son that brings her to the clinic. She has another son, Rafael and he lives in SC with his wife Angela and two sons. I had an opportunity to go to SC last year and meet them. They are a wonderful family and are very thankful that Maria is feeling so much better.
(I apologize for the blurred photso...maybe too much coffee?? :)

The photo below is of Byron, who had his cleft lip repaired at Clinica Ezell during the week of February 10th. His mother and father are so excited and thankful. They brought us a papaya that weighed close to 10 pounds! Gaspar had an opportunity to talk to them about the Bible and how this operation was a blessing from God.

Another child, Miguel, also returned today for a follow-up visit. He made his first blog appearance on Tuesday, Feb 12. while at Clinica Ezell......Mary Ann is holding him in the rocker while he slept. This is the child that was left on a doorstep.......and then cared for by this special lady.
Miguel is doing wonderful with no problems at all.......he is full of laughter!
Another lady brought her ultrasound report today and it confirmed a large uterine fibroid. We will see if we can get her worked-up for surgery in April.

We received word today that a young man that was seen toward the end of January died very early this morning in his home. He was only 16 years old and lived in Mactzul VI where we have clinic once a month. We found out that the funeral was from 2pm-4pm so Juan, Maury and I went. There were over 200 people at the funeral and it was very comforting to see many people from different clinics and areas that we visit.

We will not know exactly what happened and that is just because it is a different culture. The service and message were very moving and led mostly by members of the Mactzul VI and Choacaman IV communities. They talked about how hard death is but God helps us through it. Life on this earth is short and that death for a baptized Christian is a is the beginning of heaven, an eternity with God. It serves as a reminder for us all........

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Education Day

Today was our education day. The chapter that was selected from the book, Donde Hay no Doctor (Where There is not Doctor), discusses medicines and giving injections. The mind-set of many of our patients is that medicines given by injections are better than pills or syrups. Many people get injections from the pharmacy and do not seem really sure of what the medicine is. So, this is an area of education that we can work on.

Katy and I bought pigs feet in the market last night for the guys to practice with. They practiced injections on the feet and then practiced some suturing.

Gaspar continues to practice on his pig's feet. Then he continues to tell us how to cook them for dinner in a soup. Katy and I passed on that........
I wanted to add a little color to the blog so the photo below is of parrots that are at the Santo Tomas Hotel in Chichicastenango. They are brought out during the day to enjoy the sunshine and then are taken back in at night.
I talked to Josefina a little last night about Pedro. She heard he is a little better and that the family feels he was around some type of poisening a few days before he became very sick. We will see what happens but we know that God can heal him...........

Tonight I walked to the store to get some coffee creamer for the clinic. I decided it was time for some icecream! No special reason, just because. As I was walking through the park Maury and Aura spotted know how you feel eyes watching we headed together for icecream and it was very good!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A day to study and get caught up......

Today was a different day.....but aren't they all??

I went to the clinic to deliver a message. I decided to take a a minivan to the clinic because it would be much easier than getting the truck out of the garage and then waiting when I returned for the owner to removed his van from the garage. When I got to the clinic, I found they were having a good day with 16 patients. It is exciting when there are patients at the clinic and you can see how they are progressing.

When it came time to leave the clinic, there were no returning vans for some I walked and walked....and walked. Finally, one did pass by and I was thankful. It made me think of so many people that depend on others for transportation. I know it is very difficult for them at times.

I went to the hospital today with Josefina's mom and dad, Maria and Diego. When we arrived, we found out that Pedro had been moved to the Intensive Care Unit. His dad and brother were outside waiting for some information. We found out that the doctors and the nurses said that Pedro should go to a hosptial in Guatemala City because they did not have the treatment here that he needed. When we questioned what the diagnosis was, they told us we needed to talk to the doctor or the father of Pedro. The problem is that Pedro's dad did not understand. No information was given to us.

The mother and the father were very much against going to The City because of money and the distance. When I asked for a range of how much it would cost, I was told it would take food and clothing from the family and it was too far. They wanted him at home because if he were to die, The City was too far away for people to visit.

The family asked Diego to drive them home which is about a 2 hour drive. When they wheeled Pedro out of the Intensive Care he appeared worse than when we first saw him on Friday. Maria and Diego both talked to the father and asked him to please change his mind. The answer was still no. It took 4 men to move him off the stretcher and into the truck.....he is still unable to walk, stand or drink.

Diego drove Maria and I back to the house. It was the first time I have rode in the back of the pick-up......another cultural experience for me to enjoy.

I said good-bye to Pedro and his family and told them I would continue to pray for them. It was not easy. He should be going where he can get the care that he needs....not returning home almost 2 hours farther away and then having to be carried through the fields.........Maybe, just maybe they will change their minds and find a way to get Pedro to another hospital.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday in Chichi and Santa Cruz

We headed to Chichi this morning to see the market. When we stepped out of the van, we saw these poor turkeys on their way to market. I do not think they were excited or looking forward to their adventure like we were.

This photo is taken of the large Catholic Church in Chichi. Many people sell fruits, flowers, vegetables, chickens and turkeys :) on the steps. They also light incense and burn candles in the entrance.
This man is from Solola, a community near Lake Atitlan. He was selling and bagging radishes.
This afternoon we went to worship here in Santa Cruz. After the service was over, Katy and I found out that the patient, Pedro, is now in the hospital here in Santa Cruz. He is the patient that we saw on Friday in Xejox. We had walked to his house to see him. Tomorrow several people are going to the hospital to pray with him and Josefina's mom asked me to go too. He has been on my mind alot. I will meet them at their house at 1:30 and go with them to the hospital.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Day in Panajachal

Today Katy and I drove to Panajachal for the day. The weather was very warm and sunny. The lake was beautiful and we enjoyed walking around, looking at the shops and watching the people.

We both did a little shopping. I bought a t book at the bookstore that I have heard is really good. The title is To the Mountain and Back. It is written by a nurse who worked in the highlands and shares her experiences. I have started reading it already and she begins the book by talking about learning a new culture, living with the people and becoming a child again. I can relate to that so well. Everything is new.......the language, thought processes, what is accepted and what is not, family is a totally different world and imposible to describe until experienced. Your past experiences do not help you understand or give you direction.

I bought my first huipil today and it is beautiful. It is from the community of Tecpan, which is close to Chimaltenango. I was not sure how the sleeves were to be sewn so the owner of the shop, Delores, offered to sew it for me. She did it by hand in just a few short minutes and charged less than $2.
We headed back after having tacos for an early dinner. Tomorrow we have plans of going to the Chichi market and then worshipping with the Church here in Santa Cruz.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Clinic in Xejox

This morning Katy and I headed down the road and met Aura near her house. We waited for Josefina, Maury, Juan, Manuel and Tomas and then headed to Xejox. It is about a 2 hour drive and we arrived without any problems.

We ended up with 11 medical patients and 8 patients for teeth cleaning. Tomas was excited and he smiled big as Katie took his photo.

Josefina asked me if I wanted to go and see a patient in his house. I quickly responded Katy, Maury, two brothers from the Church and I droved down the road to a path. We parked the truck and then walked about 15 minutes with the men leading the way. We arrived at a house that could not be seen from the road.

The patient was a 21 year old man, Pedro, who has not been able to walk since Tuesday. He developed problems walking and since then has lost muscle tone in his torso and his arms. It was a very dificult situation and also frustrating. The medicines and facilities that we take for granted in the States are not even an option here. I knew what I thought we needed to do but how were we going to get him to the road? He did not want to go to the hospital because of not having the money. We left with him the best medicine that we could offer and he said he would go to the hospital if he did not improved over the next few days. One of the men that walked with us prayed for him and his family before we left. It was heart-felt, emotional prayer and the other family members also joined in. After hugs and hand-shakes we returned to the path for our walk back to the truck.

The photo below is of some children at the clinic that wanted their photo taken.

It was time to give Maury and Aura their second Hep. B injection. It drew a crowd but I could not get any more volunteers to have an injection.
Please pray that this young man will regain his strength and be able to walk soon.
Please also pray for the HTI Team that was down for surgery this week. Today they traveled to Antigua and will fly home very early in the morning.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Clinic in Lemoa

I picked up Katy at the hotel and we went to Lemoa and prepared for clinic. It was a special morning because Kemmel was able to join us for half the day. We wore him out with questions and he updated us on events. Lisa is doing well and we are thankful for that but we are looking forward to their return!

We had a great clinic today. We had 14 medical patients and 7 dental patients. The photo below is of Katy and two of her patients.

Last Thursday a young man came with a growth from his right nares. Today, when he sat down it took me a minute to recognize him. He looked so much better but yet still needs to be seen in the hospital. We encouraged him to return and talk to us about the treatment that is suggested to him.

After clinic we filled the truck and had it washed. Tomorrow we drive to Xejoj, which is about 2 hours. It will be a combination clinic with medical care and teeth cleaning.

Before dinner, Katy and I walked through Santa Cruz in the market area. It can be very entertaining. I never get bored walking through the grocery store and checking things out. We found some HUGE dried fish slabs in the market and I always wondered how to cook them. When we went to the grocery store, they had some prepackaged ones with instructions.....hmmmmmm, soak it for 24 hours while changing the water every 6 hours. It then went on to give directions for making soup.........thank you but not tonight. We ended up going to Mi Taco Express. As usual, it was very good. The owners mentioned that I had someone new with me. Two weeks ago it was my parents, then it was Kim and now it is Katy. I told them about the Pepperdine group arriving soon and they got excited! Good food can help keep visitors happy :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Clinic in Chuquexa

We headed for Chuquexa at 0700 and arrived at 0900. At first we did not think we had any patients but they slowly arrived. We ended up with 14 medical patients and 3 dental patients.

We ate sandwiches on the way home that the cooks from the clinic had packed for us. The sandwiches were greatly appreciated.

Katy is with is for about two weeks. She checked into the hotel and then we ate dinner.........don't get too excited because it was nothing extravagant. We ate chicken and french fries in the park while we talked. She is a 4th year pediatric resident and this is her second time to Guatemala. I hope that she enjoys her time with us.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More events in Clinica Ezell

Beside surgery, many other events take place during the week. Amanda sat during the afternoon and read to patients. This gentleman had cancer on his arm and thought it would have to be removed. Some people said that during worship on Sunday morning he sat and rubbed his arm the whole time fearing the worse. When he woke from surgery and he found he still had his arm, the tears flowed. God does answer prayer!

When patients are feeling better we try to entertain them and help them pass the time. Some of the ladies had gone from bed to bed and polished finger and toe nails. The patients loved to pose for the camera and show their new style.
Marjorie continued her activity of walking the patients through the clinic and singing "La Chucaracha." As she walked the ladies through the clinic, they would sing and then she would give them a string of beads for each round that they did.

Tuesday Clinic

We started the day early with the surgery schedule full......

The photo below is of a little boy that had his cleft lip repaired. This photo is of his mother carrying him around on her back the day before his surgery.

This photo is taken the day after surgery. The change is remarkable and the swelling will reduce even more.
I heard from a few people about a lady bringing a very sick boy to the clinic last year. This story is even more touching because someone had left this child on the front porch of this lady's house. He had developed pneumonia, was very sick and she brought him to Clinica Ezell for treatment. This year she returned with him and he had his cleft palate repaired. The photo below is of Mary Ann holding Miguel as he sleeps. She remembers very well rocking him last year and giving the mother some much needed rest. The photo below is of the mother as she is packed and ready to take Miguel home. The lady to the left of the mom is Rosario. She is a nurse at Clinica Ezell and has organized and maintained the clinic very well. Miguel and his mom are from the Quiche area where I live.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday at Clinica Ezell

Last August when we were in Montellano, there was a patient by the name of Edgar. He was full of spunk and life and he had a cleft lip and palate. The physicians corrected his lip in August and the photo below is of Edgar and his mom the day before his first surgery.

He did wonderful after his surgery and went home in a few days. We knew that Edgar would return to have his palate repaired in the future. He was at clinic this week and he was even able to get the same bed! The photo below is of Edgar and his grandmother the day after his second surgery.
We kept Edgar one more night and he was really getting bored. He was given some noise makers and some toys but this boy has A LOT of energy and he wanted to have some fun. We put him in a rolling chair and took turns wheeling him around the clinic!! He loved it and it also kept the other patients entertained!

We arrived in Montellano!

We arrived in Montellano for the surgical clinic after leaving Chichi at 0730. The internet was not dependable so I had a difficult time blogging.....but I will catch up!

It was good to drive up to the clinic, walk across the street and worship with the Church there. It was good to see some people I had not see for awhile. The weather was very different so I was ready for another shower before lunch.

After lunch some patients arrived and they began surgery. It was a light schedule so about 13 of us decided to go to a cocoa plantation for a couple of hours. We loaded up a truck and van and headed out, not knowing what we were in for. It was very interesting and the family who owned the land was very kind to walk with us and explain the process. We did not know what we would meet in the jungle and we were even more nervous as the man walking with us held his machete as if he were going to use it at any moment.

The first photo is of the beans being dried on the concrete before they are sold.

Below is Martha and her friend Mary Ann from Birmingham. I met Martha over a year ago and we have continued to stay in touch. She celebrated her birthday while being in Guatemala and will soon be celebrating retirement!!! yahooooooooooo.......I have told her and Mary Ann that they are invited to come and visit me any time! Mary Ann is a bereavement counselor and was in the recovery area helping as patients needed a kind touch.

The tree that they are standing in front of is a ciebaa tree and it is the national tree of Guatemala.

Some people showed their upper body strength as they used vines to swing across a small stream. It was very entertaining! There were some small boys with us and they could not resist the camera. They were very happy to pose for us.
The first surgical day ended late but it was a good one.........and as always, we pray the patients and their families come to have a closer relationship with God through their experience at the clinic.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Clinic in Chuchipaca

We left Chichi about 0800 this morning and headed for Chuchipaca. I always ask Gaspar and Juan how many patients we will have......of course, I dream big and over estimate. Gaspar guessed 15, while Juan hit the target with 17 patients.

The members of the Church are doing alot of building. They basically built another building around their old structure and tore the old one down. Last clinic when mom and dad were with us, they took these photos of the guys working.

The weather continues to be very warm and sunny. We have not had rain in several days and that makes the days warmer. When all of our patients left, we drank a Coke in the sun waiting to see if any more patients would arrive.

Last clinic, one mother brought her baby to us. She said that the baby had been sick and had lost a lot of weight. We did not know how much weight so we talked about different foods the baby could eat and the mother would start giving the baby vitamins every day. Today she returned and the baby had gained a pound......not much but it is a start and the mother was encouraged. We will continue to follow the baby.

One lady is a diabetic and I had spent alot of time talking to her a few clinics ago about what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. When I saw that her blood sugar was 280, my heart sank. She must not have understood me...............anyway, the more I talked to her, I found out that she had run out of medicine 4 days ago. Today, we reviewed again proper food combinations and being sure not to run out of medicine :)

I received an email from Kim today and she arrived home safe........Gracias a Dios........

Tomorrow morning we are headed to Montellano for a surgical clinic. We will return on Wednesday after our clinic in Chuquexa.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Clinic in Choacaman IV

Today I met the guys and we headed for Choacoman IV which is not too far from Santa Cruz. As we pulled in the parking area the men from the Church were waiting for us. Usually, we honk the horn and wait for them to appear out of the corn field.

This is one of my favorite clinics. The owners of the house are very hospitable and help me with translation to K'iche'. We had 13 patients and a few of them told me how much better they feel since the last clinic. This is always encouraging to hear but I remind them that God is doing the healing. There were two diabetics today and their blood sugars were much better.

We had pepian for lunch. It was wonderful with beef, rice, green beans, tamalitos and a warm orange drink. Everyone helped us carry the eqipment back to the truck and then we gave a ride to some students who needed to go to Santa Cruz.

The photo below is of the girl I sponser in the ABC program. I met her about 18 months ago and it was great to see her again. She is 13 years old and lives in Guatemala City. Her name is Josselyn and she has 9 brothers but no sisters. You can tell that she and her mom have a very close relationship. We all enjoyed lunch at Pollo Campero's in Antigua and then they headed back to The City.

We are all packed and ready for clinic tomorrow...................

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Clinic in Lemoa

Today we had clinic in Lemoa. It was a small clinic with 10 patients and also some dental patients. Kim stopped by the clinic as Tomas and Manuel drove her to Antigua. She will return home tomorrow morning. Her husband is in Africa on another mission trip and will return home in about 2 weeks.

These photos were taken at the Lemoa clinic by my parents last week. My mother saw one family passing by with the father carrying a load of wood. The children stopped to chat for a minute because they attended some of my English classes. They love to yell, "Good morning!" from the road.

The next photo is of the shepperd lady that has sheep and goats near the clinic. My dad had taken some photos of her flock and then motioned to see if it was ok that he took a photo of her. She waved her hand at him and he thought she did not want him to take her photo. He started turning away and then he realized she was taking a comb out of her blouse to comb her hair for the photo!
I have a special prayer request for some friends of mine. Please pray for Mary as she is having a port-a-cath placed tomorrow for chemotherapy. Please also pray for her husband, Jim. They are very special Christians and need our prayers for healing and strength. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A day in Mactzul VI

Gaspar helped me load the equipment from my house and then we picked up Kim in front of the hotel. We made our way to Mactzul VI where we met Juan. As you may remember from some past blogs they had been working on the roads leading to Mactzul VI and we were able to drive on some of them today and they were s-m-o-o-t-h......Gaspar kept repeating buen camino!

The clinic was announced through the community on the radio. We had a little anticipation since we had heard that they announced we were doing operations today........not quite! Anyway, it all worked out wonderful and we had 24 patients.

Today was Kim's last clinic and we enjoyed her being here. She will go to Antigua tomorrow and then fly home on Friday. We pray that she has safe travels, her residency continues to go well and that she will return to work again with us.

Gaspar was concentrating on the children today. One little girl was sad because her dad is in The States. Gaspar spent alot of time playing with her and cheering her up. She was allowed to sit and have lunch with us which is very unusual. She was well behaved and enjoyed it. Gaspar also took the time to clip a lot of finger nails. One boy stopped long enough to have his nails clipped and then he was off riding again!

It seems to be more evident each clinic how important follow-up is and how important it is to develop a relationship within the community. I always tell patients when we will be back and if they need to be seen before then, they are welcomed to come to Lemoa on any Monday or Thursday. This also gives the members of the Church an opportunity to talk to patients about spiritual needs they might have. If you talk to patients long enough, you usually will discover an emotional or spiritual need. This opens doors for discussion, teaching and an opportunity to specifically pray for their need.

A wonderful day.......everyone is home safe and I hope that the patients are feeling better.......