Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday in Quiche

Today we had 7 students on English class. I reviewed with them how to introduce themselves and we practiced different verbs and numbers. Their homework looked fantastic and I gave them more to complete for next week.

Well, I as I had previously mentioned, I was looking for a new adventure.......and I found it. I found an on-line Bible program though Alethenia Bible College. It is a 3 semester program and I have an on-line tutor in Europe and we will be corresponding through emails and also having conversations on Skype.

The first unit of the first semester deals with Hermeneutics or the study of scripture, the nature of God and man, The Holy Spirit, Satan and Baptism. The first page had close to a 100 links of information, books and downloads for study. I was a bit over-whelmed so I mentioned this in my email to the tutor. He said that it could be a bit daunting and told me that they had a simpler program if I wanted to change. Well, that just made me more determined to do it.

So, the first homework assignment is to take each verse of Matthew 5 and find supporting references or allusions in the Old Testament. Then I need to choose one of these scriptures and write a devotional for new Christians. hmmmmmmmm.............I will just see how this new challenge develops.

Tomorrow afternoon Marcos, Josefina and I are headed to The City. We will have dinner with Lisa and Kemmel and prepare for the next day of meeting with other Health Talent staff.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Clinic in Mactzul V

Gaspar called me this morning and he had spent the night in Santa Cruz so I met him near his hotel and then we drove to pick up Juan. Yesterday, Juan asked me if he could drive today so as we pulled up to the bridge that we meet him at, I hopped out and told him it was his turn to drive. "Are you sure?" he asked. I responded, "Sure!" I was very proud of him and he drove very carefully.

Clinic was very small today and we were told it was because a young boy in the community had died. When there are other events the day of clinic as weddings, funerals, parties or political activities our numbers really drop. It is just something that we don't have control over.

I was very pleased to see Jeremias come to the clinic today. He is the young man that we took to the hospital on March 29. He had his appendix removed and then was baptized. He looked good today but his family was concerned because he was not eating very much. I told them that his appetite will return in time. His incision looked good, he did not have any fever, only minimal discomfort and he was walking very good.

After clinic we went to Lemoa and unloaded the truck. We will not have clinic again until next Friday so there is not need to keep everything in the garage. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we will be in The City for meetings. Rick will be back down and we will be with the staff from Montellano also. It should be a good time for sharing ideas and making some plans for the next year.

I decided that the circus was not going to leave Santa Cruz until I I went this evening. I can not believe that they have stayed in town for 3 weeks. I watched for about 1.5 hours and then came home. It was interesting but I just had my mind on other things I needed to be doing.

Tonight I completed my Continuing Education Hours for my nursing license. It is good to have that done. I need a new adventure to take on........I am researching a few so I will keep you posted.

We have English class in the morning and then it is time to clean my house again. Goodnight!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Clinic in Paxot II

Gaspar and I made our way to Chichi to get Mauri and then we progressed to Paxot II. We had 16 patients and it was a good day.

On March 28, I first blogged about Juan in Paxot II needing a wheelchair. At that time he was using a crutch and a stick to help mobilize himself. We were in the process of trying to get him a wheelchair when Rick told me that there were some in the storage room at Clinica Ezell. I found one and Manuel took it to him last week. He came by the clinic today to say thank you.......and I want to say thanks to Rick for thinking of this :)

The weather has been unbelievably warm. In fact, it has been hot with the temperatures in the 80's for a few days. There have been several fires so it will be good when the rainy season begins. The rains should start next month and continue until November.

Ok, that is all for today.......tomorrow is another adventure in Mactzul V.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Busy clinic in Lemoa

Clinic was wonderful today. I love it more and more all of the time. The patients are so appreciative and kind. When they come back for a follow-up and are doing better it is so exciting.........we always pray and thank God for the improvement.

First, we had an opportunity to follow-up with Tomasa and her mom. She is feeling so much better after having a 12 pound tumor removed at Clinica Ezell last week. Her incision looks good and she does not have any fever. When I asked her if she liked Clinica Ezell, the doctors and nurses she just started grinning and talking very fast. Her mother also expressed her gratitude for everyone at the clinic.

Below is a photo of Tomasa and then Tomasa with her mom.

Several children were sick today with colds and fevers. Two children had temperatures of 101.0 so I gave them their first dose of medicine before they left the clinic.

We had two diabetic patients whose blood sugars were better controlled.

There was a 7 year old boy who has a white film growing over his right eye. I referred him to Josefina on Monday since she has much more experience with eyes. His parents said it has been there for 10 months so hopefully she will be able to help them.

One man told me that he has an infection in his eye. He said he has had it for many years. In the past he had gone to a pharmacy and got some medicine but when it did not help, his next treatment was drops of urine in his eye. I did not think I was hearing this quite right but when I questioned Mauri for clarification, I had heard correctly. I did not opt to repeat this treatment.

Tomorrow we head for Paxot II and hopefully Gaspar will have some patients that want their teeth cleaned.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Warm day in Las Trampas

I met Gaspar and Juan in Chichi this morning and we talked about how warm it was already at 0830 as we were driving to Las Trampas. The sky was beautiful and there were no clouds in the sky. Usually in Las Trampas it is cool and you can see the mist or clouds being blown over the valley but that was not the case today.

We had small clinic today but sometimes that happens. It was one of those days where you hope that something was said or done to help someone. One child was 7 weeks old and only weighed 9 pounds. We gave the baby some medicine and I asked the mother to please bring him back to the next clinic because I want to be sure the baby is gaining weight. One patient was only 34 years old and has 13 children! Now, that lady has a lot of work every day!

In the photos below, big brother wanted to be sure his brothers were properly weighed so he lent a hand and then ducked from the camera :)

Today I received a telephone call from Lloyd in Panajachel. He was with Jane when she met Baby Diego. At that time, Diego was only 2 days old and was born in Solola. Jane said that Diego was sent home at birth and his mother was given little hope of his surviving because of his cleft-lip. I blogged about Diego on Monday and also have a photo of him there. Lloyd wanted to make contact and offered his assistance if we needed it in the future. His ministry is located in Panajachel and is called Solomen's Porch. Next time I am in Pana, I hope to stop by and say hello.

Thank you for all of you thoughts, prayers and emails on behalf of my Grandma's death. My parents and I really appreciate it a lot.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Exam day for Health Promoters

Today was an exam day for the promoters. At first we didn't think many would be there but we ended up with 11, plus the 6 that we work with on a daily basis. Josefina is grading the exams but I think they did well.

Some wanted to sit close.....maybe hoping to read each others' minds.......

While others seperated themselves......hoping to consentrate more.
Jackie returned to The City today with Kemmel. They arrived safe and Jackie will fly to Canada tomorrow. It was good to have her stay a few extra days and participate in clinics here.

Today, we had some wonderful news!! On March 29, I blogged about a young man named Jeremias from Mactzul V. He had come to the clinic after being very sick and not being able to walk. Sebastian told me that Jeremias had surgery the day we took him to the hospital and he had his appendix removed. Sabastian told me that he is feeling much, much better and that he was recently baptized! I know that the angels rejoiced that day and I am looking forward to seeing him again.

My Grandma

When I got up this morning, I checked my computer and found an email from my parents that Grandma had died early this morning. Mom and dad were with her at that time and that is important. Tomas told me yesterday that they have been praying for her when they started their clinics.

I was very close to my grandparents. I spent every weekend with them as I was growing up and always sat with them on Sundays. Mom says that many people thought that I was their daughter. I would get to do things at their house that I usually did not get to do at home....but isn't that what grandparents are for??

Grandma was proud of my brother and I as she would tell people that we had a song leader and a missionary in our family. She was very kind to people, always wanting to give something to everyone and telling them that she loved them.

The photo below is one of my favorite at Christmas.....I just had to decorate something! Who made the rule that garland is only for trees?

So, I am sure that my grandma is in heaven and she is part of the "great cloud of witnesses" that we are told about in Hebrews 12:1. She would encourage us to continue the race, persevere and remain faithful...........for our true home is eternal!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Today is my catch-up and study day. I am continuing with my on-line classes for Continuing Education for my nursing license. This week, the focus is EKG's and I would be very embarrassed if I did not pass......I will just have to wait and see.

As I was studying, the phone rang and it was Josefina at the clinic in Lemoa. She said a family had brought their baby with a cleft-lip to be seen. Josefina remembered the baskets that Jane brought on April 3. I blogged about Jane and her organization, Baskets of Love and Life on that day. So I turned off the computer and headed for Lemoa......

Somewhere during Jane's travel in Guatemala she found, Diego, the baby below. She gave the parents one of her baskets, my name and the address of Clinia Carris in Lemoa. They came to find us today, tightly gripping the paper Jane had given them. A truck load of family all came to the clinic for support and I felt like I knew them.

Diego is 24 days old and weights only 10 pounds. The next plastic surgery team comes in August so we will see what we can do for this baby.

Today I spent a lot of time thinking about Marta, the 6 year old from Choacaman IV. Today her parents should have received the results from her blood work. Sickness is so very sad, especially when it is a family member and it brings with it helplessness. Today I thought of the story in Luke 6 where Jesus healed the crowds of people with diseases and evil spirits. It is the same Jesus that we pray to for comfort, peace and salvation. His power is as real today as it was then.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday in Santa Cruz

What a fun-filled day Jackie and I had!

We went to the clinic in Lemoa and had English Class with 7 students. I am so proud of the way they have studied and they always bring back the practice I send home with them. Jackie helped me with demonstrating pronouns and then we practiced colors again. I had all of the students practice by asking each other questions. I had Manuel practice with his son Edgar. (You can see a great action photo of Edgar on March 28 being entertained by my dad.) Anyway, Manuel would ask Edgar, "What color is this?" Edgar knew one color but I would whisper the others to him and he was so excited to practice with everyone.

We then hit the market in Chichi. We had one hour to shop after lunch and Jackie can do some fast shopping! In one hour she bargained and purchased one purse, 4 pair of baby booties, two dresses, 3 table cloths and napkin sets, 4 pot holders, eye glass holders...........and there might be more, I just can't remember.

We returned to Santa Cruz in time for worship. The lesson was on the Fruits of the Spirit and he mainly focused on Joy and Love. I introduced Jackie to Josefina and her mom. Jackie will go to clinic tomorrow with Josefina.

Afterward, we walked around the park. The photo below is of the big Catholic Church in the center of Santa Cruz.
There have been some venders set up for a couple of weeks and this is of one place.
I stopped and bought some popcorn from a vender. It was a very small bag for almost $1.00
Now, I can buy a whole fresh pineapple for about the just doesn't add up! :)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Clinic in Chuchipaca

Jackie and I met Gaspar and Juan in Chichi this morning and we headed to Chuchipaca. We had a good clinic with 22 patients. Before we started clinic Gaspar talked to the patients about the importance of teeth cleaning. We have not had a very good response from the patients wanting their teeth cleaned so he talked to them about this. They asked a few questions and seemed to have a little interest so we will see what happens. We continued with prayer and then began seeing patients.

One mother brought 5 of her 9 children today. Most of them had not been eating well, while some had diarrhea or a cough. One of the little girls has some type of dwarf syndrome. She seemed very happy and healthy but was wondering why her knees were different. I have seen one other child like this since I have been here. I told Jackie I did not want to focus on making the little girl feel like she was sick......she is very bright, energetic and happy. We talked about everyone being different and that is ok.......we are all made different.....she listened and smiled as we talked to her mom and sisters. I told her the most important thing in our life was not how tall or how short we are but that we love God and want a relationship with him......our size does not matter to Him. Gaspar invited them to attend the worship on Sunday and hopefully we will see them again.

After clinic, Jackie and I walked around Santa Cruz and checked out the market. Dinner was with the steak lady near my house.

Tomorrow we will have English Class, check out the market in Chichi and attend worship in the afternoon..............good night :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Clinic in Choacaman IV

I walked JoLee to the bus this morning and then went to to Lemoa to get our medicine. She will meet the rest of the group in Antigua and they will return to the States in the morning. Please pray for their safe flight.

I met the guys in the park and we drove to Choacaman for our clinic. It was a very small clinic because of a festival in the community. I could hear the music playing and I wanted to go over there and advertise for the clinic. Instead, between the few patients we had, we practiced English. One lady had an elementary English book so we practiced with it and they also helped me with a few words of K'iche'.

When I see this dog, he reminds me of a Rastafarian Poodle with dreadlocks! Look at that tail and legs!

I saw Diego at the clinic today. He is the grandfather of Marta, the little girl that went to the hospital 2 weeks ago. He told me that they should have some results from her blood work on Monday.

I met Jackie in Chichi at 6pm in the hotel. We took a shuttle back to Santa Cruz and got her settled in the hotel. Everyone enjoys El Sitio, so I will keep booking people there. We then had dinner at Mi Taco Express.......another winner!

Home for the night and studying.

Tomorrow we are off to Chuchipaca. There might be some people there tomorrow to talk to us about doing another clinic in that area and I also hope to see the lady from two weeks ago with hypertension.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Clinic in Lemoa

I picked JoLee up at the hotel this morning and we drove to Lemoa for clinic. As usual we began our day with prayer. We prayed for the patients and staff at Clinica Ezell and we prayed for their safe return to the States on Saturday.

We had 12 medical patients today and we had a few that really enjoyed talking. One man said he had been a diabetic for many years and never took medicine. His blood sugar was 274 so we talked about medicine and changing his diet. We will see what his blood sugar is next Thursday.

For lunch, we walked to the house behind the clinic and had chicken, rice, salad and tortillas. It was a very good lunch but afterwards we all wanted to take a nap.... but there was more work to be done.
While we were eating, these ladies were laughing at us taking photos. They wanted their photo taken but as soon as I took out the camera, they pulled out their serious faces :)
After clinic JoLee and I went to Chichi to talk around the market. She bought a small bag and bargained with a boy over a skirt.......he loved every minute of it! We decided to eat steak on the street near my house so we bought some onions in the market. It was odd because I kept smelling green onions as we were walking but forgot I had put them in my backpack.

When we returned to Santa Cruz, we went to visit my little lady friend who fell and broke her finger. I took her some cream for her hand and some vitamins. She is such a sweet lady.

When we reached the restaurant, I asked the owner if she would grill the onions for us. She did not mind at all and they were wonderful! I think the aroma created more business for her as the customers lined up on the street.

Tomorrow morning JoLee will travel to Antigua to meet the group and the guys and I will go to Choacaman IV.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Returning to Santa Cruz

We loaded the truck this morning for the return to Santa Cruz. The time at Clinica Ezell had been very special and it was difficult leaving. I went and said goodbye to Tomasa and knew that she would return to her home sometime today. The photo below is one of the first times I have seen her smile and I loved it!! The lady with the white hair was so appreciative and offered a hug and a blessing as we left.
This photo is of Frances from Lubbock that worked in the recovery area. Here she is helping a patient who had just been transferred from the operating room.
It was a wonderful 3 days and I learned a lot. Gaspar and Juan also enjoyed the clinic and we now have a wheelchair for a young man in Paxot II. Rick told me there were some in the bodega and I found one that I think will work well for him.
JoLee returned to Santa Cruz with us. We stopped in Chichi to let Juan and Gaspar out. We will see them again tomorrow. oh......I found out that Gaspar talked to Florencia's family about the Bible for 2 hours yesterday and has been invited to return to their home for more study.

We got JoLee settled into her room at the hotel and then I went to park the truck. I later returned to get her to walk around Santa Cruz and have dinner. She had already been out on the town and found a bank. We went to the grocery store and just looked around at different things and then went to dinner. It was very good. We were both tired so we called it an early night.

We will head to Lemoa tomorrow for clinic and then go shopping in Chichi at the market.

Please continue to pray that the patients at the clinic do well. Goodnight.

Tuesday afternoon......

After about 4 hours of sleep I was up ready to to see what the adventure would be......and believe me, it was not a disappointment :)

Last night Janice and Anita had talked to one of the guys we worked with, Valentine, about possibly spending some time talking to a mid-wife or comadrona. They both work in Labor and Delivery in Atlanta, GA and wanted a better understanding of the culture here in Guatemala. Valentine said he would try to arrange something.......and he did.

ConcepciĆ³n, a mid-wife, walked to Clinica Ezell to talk with Janice and Anita. She asked with enthusiasm, "What would you like to know?" The response was, "Please tell us everything!" For over two hours, she eagerly shared her many years of experience and the bag that she proudly carries with her as she sees her patients. The bag was donated to her and other ladies by Health Talents in January 2006 at a Training Seminar.

There are hopes of having more of these seminars in the future and possibly Janice and Anita would return to provide the education. They are from Peru so they have the language skill and the knowlege base :)

After their talk, ConcepciĆ³n prayed with the ladies and then we drove her home. It was a very exciting time and we hope to see her again!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday in Montellano

This photo was taken before we started our night shift......

I will spare you the morning photo even though everything remained in control and the patients did well. Gracias a Dios.

In the morning, Dell brought some sunglasses to share with the patients. Dell is from Lubbock, TX and made the ladies feel as movie stars!
Morning report to the day shift. Many patients should go home today to make room for the new patients.
Time for breakfast......shower......and then possibly another adventure.........

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Clinic

Janice, Alice, Miquel and I ended our shift about 0800 this morning and we headed to breakfast. It was a good night with eight patients and everyone progressed well. After a shower, it was time for a few hours of sleep.

I had wanted to talk to the mother of Tomasa but when I arrived in the clinic about 1400, I was told that she had already returned to Santa Cruz. I was disappointed but I know we will have an opportunity to talk later. Tomasa is continuing to do well and is having minimal pain. We also have another patient, Florencia, from our area and she too is doing well.

A few of us headed to Chicacao for ice cream. The photo is of Miquel, Anita, Jolee and Gabby with Janice kneeling in the front. I will get a better photo of Jolee later since she is returning to Santa Cruz with me for a few days.

Anita enjoying her ice cream...........we took back a huge container of strawberry ice cream for everyone to enjoy after dinner.
After dinner had settled for a few minutes we had a devotional and prayed for all of our patients by name.

There were 22 surgeries today so the recovery area will be full tonight. As we were praying, the earthquake of 6.1 hit. I have experienced several since I have been in Guatemala but this was the longest one. We continued our prayer in stride as I was thinking, "ok, this has lasted long enough...."

After our devotional, Gaspar, Juan and I went to say goodnight to our patients Tomas and Florencia. We prayed with them thanking God for his power and gift of healing and asking for continual peace and comfort.

It will be a busy night in the recovery area but we are ready for it!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Arrival to Montellano

Gaspar, Juan and I arrived in Montellano right before worship started. My emotions are always very strong here because it is a powerful indicator to me that I am where I need to me for now. I remember so well being at Clinica Ezell my first few times and worshipping with the Church there. The singing is very enthusiastic and the congregation joins in prayer. At another time, I will share with you the message that was shared with us.

As I looked through the crowd, I recognized several people and it is always good to see them and also have the opportunity to make new friends. Neva is here and the plan is for her and her husband to join is early next year. JoLee is here from NY and Alice is here from WV. Jackie, from Canada has returned and she will visit Santa Cruz on Friday. There are also many more........

Tomasa is our patient from the Santa Cruz area. She has a large uterine fibroid that will be taken out today. Juan, Gaspar and I sat with her before her surgery and prayed with her. She and her family are unable to pay for the surgery so there is a ladies Bible class in Birmingham that is taking care of this for Tomasa. After we spent some time with her we went out to the gate and found her family to tell them that she is doing well.

Tomasa did wonderful through her surgery and the physicians were able to remove a 12 pound tumor!

We loaded up two trucks and a van and went to visit a cocoa farm. Below is a photo of Alice and her new friend, Darling. It is a very interesting tour while being able to see some of the living are outside of the clinic.
We had dinner and a devotional which was very good. I am ready to head down to the clinic to work the night shift. I will be working with Janice, Alice and Miquel. It will be a very good end a wonderful day :) Gracias a Dios!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Play Day

Today I headed to the clinic and did my laundry. Between loads, I studied some Spanish and played around with the sheep. It is so amazing how they sound when they "bahhhhh....." and then others, "bahhhhh" back in response. This little lamb is the newest of the group and about a month old.
I went home and cleaned the house a little and then I started studying for my continuing education. The exam will be due on Wednesday when I return from Montellano so I am trying to get a head.

I wanted to introduce you to my newest neighbors. These little pigs run up and down the road every morning and evening with their mother watching them closely. When they cross the two lanes of traffic, everything comes to a halt for them :)
We are headed to the coast in the morning. The team should have arrived late this afternoon and are now preparing for surgery to begin after worship tomorrow.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Clinic in Xejox

I met Juan and Gaspar in the park this morning and then we headed to the Texaco Gas Station to meet Josefina, Manuel and Tomas. It was good to have clinic with them today since I do not see them very often.

The number of patients was somewhat of a disappointment with only 7 medical patients and 4 patients to have their teeth cleaned. I try to stay optimistic and think that maybe something was said or done for one patient that really made a difference for them.

The photos are of some boys that were playing outside of the clinic. They were throwing sticks up into the tree for entertainment.

The almost 2 hour drive to Xejox is interesting. Part of the road is paved real nice, part has been repaired multiple times and part is nothing but dust. I was not aware the tires can spin in dust like they spin on ice. Manuel was driving a head of me and I watched his tires spin and the truck slip..........then when you get out of the truck, you actually sink into the dust. In another month, the dust will be replaced with mud :)

When we returned home, everyone was in their own world. Sometimes we talk about patients that we saw, sometimes the guys have questions or we talk about future plans or clinics. Today
as I was day-dreaming, Gaspar was listening to music on his phone and Juan was in the front playing with the radio.

It seemed out of character for Gaspar but he was singing in the back seat with his earphones on........just singing away!! We could not hear the music, only him and he was really enjoying it! Juan was changing radio stations and flipping the dials. One time I reached down to change gears and accidentally grabbed his hand thinking it was the the gear shift.......we just laughed and went back into our separate thoughts.

I asked about Pedro today. He was the young man that we visited in his house in February. The guy translated for me today is his brother, Luis. He told me that Pedro can now eat and talk......and that is all. He spends all of his time in bed, unable to move or to walk. It is just one of those difficult situations with no explanation.

Tomorrow is a catch-up day for cleaning, laundry, studying and packing for the clinic in Montellano. A surgical team will arrive tomorrow from the States and they will be at Clinica Ezell for one week.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Clinic in Lemoa

Today we had 22 medical patients and 9 dental patient at the clinic. It was a busy day and unfortunately, I did not get a chance to take any photos. I should have taken one of the family that just found out they were going to have another baby!! Both of the parents let out a little shout which is unusual but very nice!

After clinic today I went to the hospital to see Marta and her family. The nursing staff were very nice to me and remembered this little girl by her bruising and petechiae. They told me that a doctor had talked to the mother yesterday and then they went home. I just hope that they have some information that can help us in knowing what to do next for this little girl.

Tomorrow we head to Xejox. I am hoping to find out what happened to the young man we saw in February. His name is Pedro and we went to see him in his house. He became worse, went to the hospital and then returned to his home. Maybe we will find out that he is doing wonderful and is able to help us again in our clinics!

My grandma was sent back home but is not doing well. Mom said that she is unresponsive at this point and we will continue to pray that she does not have any pain.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Clinic in Chuguexa

I forgot to introduce you to my new English Class. We are meeting at 0900 on Sunday mornings. When the children in the area see us, I will have a separate class for them since they are so much younger and harder to entertain :)
We had a great clinic today in Chuguexa with 19 medical patients and 3 dental patients.

One lady was severely depressed because of her family situation. Gaspar and I talked to her a long time about the Church and how there is hope in Christ. Really, Gaspar does most of the talking when the patients speak K'iche'. I just throw in supportive nods, smiles and a comment here and there :) After Gaspar prayed with her, he went out and talked to Martin one of the men from the Church there. Martin then spent some time talking with her and hopefully we will see her again at the clinic in May.

It is something that we all are reminded of from time to time that this life is very short......and many times very difficult.....and if we don't have hope in Christ, it is very sad.

I had noticed that out patient exam table had lost a few bolts but had never seen them fall out until today. As you can see, this is a very simple bolt or screw.......or so I thought. How many hardware stores do you think I had to visit today before I found one???

I had to visit 14 stores before I found any! I spent an hour and a half walking from store to store and getting more directions to other stores who might have them before I found any. I was determined! The ones I bought are a little longer but I will make them work :) I will find a saw!

I found out today that we may have a wheelchair for a young man in Paxot II. There is an agency in Chichi that has some chairs, so Juan is going to go on Monday and start the application process for one. He is only 22 years old and having a difficult time walking with one crutch and a stick.

Thank you for your thoughts, emails and comments on my grandmother. She is still in the hospital and they are trying to get her pain under control before sending her home.

Tomorrow we are in Lemoa for our clinic.......

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Back in Santa Cruz

Today I found out that my grandmother has been admitted to ICU and has recieved 4 units of blood. The bleeding seems to be controlled at this point. My parents really like the physicians that they have been talking to and they are rearranging her medicines so hopefully this will not happen again.

I ran by the school in Antigua where I study Spanish to see my teacher for a few minutes. She seemed to be doing better than the last few times I have seen her. It was good to see her smile and laugh again. The school is basically under new management and I think that she feels this is for the better.

Marta, from Choacaman IV, is still in the hospital here in Santa Cruz. Her grandfater has called twice saying they still do not know anything. I am going to try and go and visit them tomorrow if we return from Chuguexa in time.

The truck is fixed and all is well. Tommorrow we have a medical and dental clinic together in Chuguexa.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Safe in Antigua

I bounced out of bed early this morning ready for a full day!! First, I was headed to Chuchipaca to check on a patient and then to Antigua. As I was preparing to leave the house, I heard my phone ring. I could hear my parents talking but they could not hear me. I returned their call and found out that my grandmother had become ill and is now in the hospital. She is losing alot of blood and they will do some examines to find the cause. My parents will keep me posted.

I drove to Chuchipaca to check the blood pressure of our patient there. On Saturday, her blood pressure was 210/110 and she had alot of fluid in her feet. Today she told me that she felt much better and her pressure was 140/90. Her feet were less swollen and I was encouraged!! There still is some room for improvement but I feel she will return to clinic and we can talk some more. Sometimes patients say they will return and do not. She knew that today I made a special trip to see her and she feels better. This is a step in the right direction.

When I left Chuchipaca, I heard an odd noise in the truck I had never heard before. Then the truck started pulling slightly to the left..........I drove slower........then the noise started bumping in the steering column.......hmmmmm, I thought, I can make it back to Chichi and will have to make different arrangements for Antigua....then it sounded like the whole front-end was going to fall out......I decided to pull over.......and then there was a strong pull to the right. OK, I know when I am beat or in over my, who do I call for help?!?! Kemmel!! He sent Manuel and a mechanic to save me. We swapped keys so I was able to continue to Antigua.

My trip to Antigua was important because Mary, a friend of mine fell, broke her back and fractured some ribs. I wanted to see how she is doing. She had been visiting Panajachel with her son from the States and fell 10 feet backwards from a wall. She is doing as well as can be expected but anticipates a full 8 weeks of bedrest. For Mary, this will be very difficult but she understands the imporatance.

I also needed to make transportation reservations in Antigua for Jackie, who is going to be spending a few days with us in the highlands.

Sooooo, I am in Antigua safe, the truck has been repaired, Mary is in bed resting, reservations have been made and Grandma has received some blood and is in good spirits! God again has been faithful in answering prayer for safety and comfort. I will head back to Quiche tomorrow morning.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Clinic in Chuchipaca

Gaspar, Juan, Maury and I headed to Chuchipaca this morning and arrived in time to set up clinic and start at 0900. This is the new Church building in Chuchipaca and today was our second time using it.

There is a line hung so we can hang a sheet for privacy during our clinic. I told Gaspar I could hold the ladder for him but he did not believe me :) He kept saying, "I am scared, Sheri!" I was so tempted to shake the ladder and tell him we were having an earth quake but I did not want to cause him to have a heart attack!
We had 19 patients today and Gaspar and Maury took turns helping me with the K'iche' speaking patients.

One lady came bringing 5 young children with her. One of the children, 3 years old, had a severe infection on his foot. When I took his sock off, he cried in pain because there had been so much drainage from the wound. I gave the boy some antibiotics and told the mom I really wanted her to bring the boy back in 2 weeks. Then she told me the other children had the same problem.

When the other children showed me their sores, it was very difficult. Each had infections on different parts of their bodies. I talked to the mother about bathing the children daily and using a different soap. We prayed with the family and I am really looking forward to seeing this family again.

Another lady came to see us today and her blood pressure was extremely high. The first time it was 190/100 and then it was 210/100. I gave her some medicines and want to see her again before the next clinic. She is unable to travel to our clinic in Lemoa so I am going to visit her on Monday when I need to go to Antigua.

After clinic we went to find an area where we may have a future clinic. We will see what happens.

Our English classes start tomorrow! I hope there is a good turn out...........

Friday, April 4, 2008

Clinic in Choacaman IV

The day was beautiful, sunny and warm with bright blue skies! It reminded me of Carolina Blue .........UNC........Go Heels! They play tomorrow evening at 6:40, Guatemalan time :)

Today Gaspar, Juan and I made our way to Choacaman for clinic. We parked the car on one side of a corn field that recently has been cut down and then carried our equipment to the house of Enrique. They are a wonderful family and open their home to us twice a month.

The diabetic patients were a little disappointing today. There are two gentlemen that had been keeping their sugars under 140 but today they were over 250. One told me it was because of Semana Santa, which was their Holy Week. This week was full of celebration and food not highly recommended for diabetics. I just shook my head, smiled and told them we needed to look for another reason..........then one confessed that he has been eating 18 tortillas a day! Now, we are getting some where!

I am very concerned about a girl that was brought to the clinic today. Her name is Marta and she is 6 years old. Her grandfather told me that she has been bleeding for 3 years. This child was covered in bruises and obviously very ill. Gaspar, Juan and I talked to the grandfather and grandmother about taking her to the hospital which they really needed to do. After talking about possible treatments and care, I completed some papers that hopefully helped when they arrived at the hospital. Gaspar led us in prayer before the family left, asking God to be with them while providing comfort and peace. I will try to get an update on Marta but please remember her in your prayers.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Clinica in Lemoa

Today we had 15 medical patients in Lemoa and it was a good day. I went to Chichi today and picked up Jane, Susan and Felix the clown. Jane has started an organization called Baskets of Love and Life to help babies here in Guatemala with cleft lips and palates. Jane gives a photo of her grandaughter, Evelyn, who had a cleft lip and a basket of bottles to families who have a need. Her friend, Susan, is traveling with her and they were accompanied by Felix who lives in San Pedro.
At lunch, I drove them back to Chichi and they are now on their way to Antigua.

As I was driving home this afternoon, I realized a circus had pulled into town. It is about 5 blocks from my house so I parked the truck and walked back to see the excitment. And let me say, there was excitement! Every taxi and tuk-tuk was parked in front!

The animals were really drawing a crowd!! They had an elephant, a camel, a horse and a llama all tied to trees. There were no cages, barriers or anyone supervising the animals or visitors. This is not something you would see in the States due to fear of law suits :) The elephant was pulling limbs from the pine tree and eating the needles.

This guy decided he wanted a close-up with his camera phone but the elephant had not given his permission :)
Kemmel, I have decided that we need an elephant to carry around with us to our clinics! I think it would draw more patients and I promise to feed and bathe it :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Clinic in Mactzul VI

We had clinic today in Mactzul VI and Juan felt good enough to go with Maury and I. We had an uneventful drive and arrived in plenty of time. I was disappointed with the turn out and was told they had announced the clinic on the radio. We only had 6 patients today and in the two previous months had 11 and 24 patients.

I received an email today from a nurse in Springfield IL, who was in Chimaltenango for two weeks in February. During her time here, her team was able to refer 3 patients to Clinica Ezell in Montellano. One is a baby with a cleft lip, another is a lady with a hernia and another patient has cataracts. Thank you for your help!

Tomorrow, I will be meeting Jane from the States. She is down for awhile after creating baskets for children with cleft lips and palates. I will go to clinic for a little and then go and get her in Chichi. She then will spend some time in Lemoa with us.

Please check out Kemmel and Lisa's blog at Kemmel gives a wonderful update on the men who are here working on water systems and chicken vaccines. They have had wonderful results from their work. I was also pleased to read that Kemmel had spent time with Tomas Sut Gonzales. He is a wonderful man! We are anxious to get Lisa back to this area. Lisa, please don't develop a love for the hospital and want to stay!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Unplanned Day

Yesterday as Maury and I were at the wedding, I asked her how she liked her job with Health Talents. She said that she really liked it a lot. She then asked me how I liked it and I told her that I love it! I told her one reason that I like it so much is because it is always changing. No two days are alike and there is always an adventure around the corner..........

This morning as I was preparing for our class, Juan called and told me that he had been sick all night. I will spare you the details but I felt bad for him. He told me that he would call me in the afternoon to let me know how he was doing.

When I reached the clinic, Gaspar was outside cleaning. I told him Juan was sick and asked him what he thought about our class. He said that we could wait and do it when Juan felt better. So, we spent the morning cleaning and counting pills. One lady came to the clinic because she thought it was open today. I did not have the heart to turn her away so I spent some time with her.

I was then invited to have lunch with a group of men from Tennessee, who have been coming down and giving vaccines to chickens. So Gaspar and I headed to Chichi and had lunch with them and Kemmel. Gaspar's wife, Juanna, has been helping give the vaccine and tagging the chickens. Gaspar said the chickens that have received the vaccines have remained healthy and have not died. He said that usually many, many die in March and April. Gaspar will spend the day with these gentlemen tomorrow.

Juan called me back later and told me that his mother is now very sick. He thinks he will be able to work tomorrow but we will see.

I am home for the night to study different things and prepare for clinic tomorrow in Mactzul VI.