Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day to catch up................

Today is a holiday in Guatemala so our clinics were postponed for the day.

I want to introduce you to my new rooommate. He somehow flew into the house last night.........probably through the center court since there is no roof to the house. Last night he was flying against the window and sounded like someone was trying to break in. I have been a little nervous since my neighbor lady was recently robbed. Since that happened, she has bought two dogs, closed in part of her house with a metal wall and her sons have wrapped the whole house in barb-wire fencing. Anyway, my new roommate has a 8-10 inch wing span and can make quite a lot of noise at night.

Robert, a dentist that visits us every year, needed some photos with candles.......not sure why but I was glad to get them.

This is Josefina with two young girls at our Choacaman IV clinic.

This is Marcos, Maury, Gaspar and Martina before our clinic in Lemoa.

Today, I made a trip to Santa Cruz just to get some stuff done. I got photos taken for the renewal of my internatinal driver's license, got my hair cut and visited the grocery store. Ann, who graduated from Michigan Christian College a year before me, sent me some CDs. Thank you again, Ann. I cranked up the music, washed clothes and cleaned the house.........all before the rains began :)

Tomorrow, Gaspar, Juan and I will go to Xepol. It will be our fourth clinic there and is about a two hour drive. I will let you know how it goes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Katie visits with Tomas and his family

About 2 months ago I heard that Katie would be visiting Guatemala again, spending time in Antigua and near Lake Atitlan. She visited last year and was able to meet Tomas and his family. The reason this is special is because Katie's mom, Teresa, sponsers Tomas' son, Everaldo in the ABC program.

Katie and her friend, Claudia, arrived this morning. We spent a little time walking around the market and then had lunch with Tomas and his family.

This is Everaldo and Katie. The ABC children just recieved some new clothes this week so Everaldo is wearing his today :)

Tomas, his family and Katie.
Tomas and his family expressed their appreciation many times. They feel very lucky to be part of the ABC program and also to have to the opportunity to spend time with Katie.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Clinic in Choacaman IV

Today we had clinic in Choacaman IV. We parked the truck , honked the horn and the guys came to help us carry the boxes! We found our way through the corn field without any problem.

It was a small clinic with 11 patients but it was a good one. I took vital signs and glucometer readings, Josefina consulted with the patients and Juan worked in the pharmacy.

The animal population has grown since last time I was here. There was a new kitten and new puppy. Both were receiving a lot of special attention. This kitten just loved sitting on the scales and several times through the morning needed to be moved.

Many of you will remember Miguel. When he was a baby, he was left on the door step of this lady. She has been his mother ever since. He had a cleft lip and palate and had four surgeries in Montellano at Clinica Ezell. He continues to do well and is very content. His mother brought him today because she is concerned with how his teeth are growing.

After all of the patients were seen, we had a wonderful lunch of chow-mien and tortillas........exactly what we tell the diabetics not to eat :) but it was wonderful!!

We then drove to the home of a lady who is unable to get out of bed. She is very ill and will probably not live much longer. Sometimes we are very limited in what we can do and it is difficult.

Tomorrow we will go to Chuchipaca..........................for another adventure!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Clinic in Lemoa

We had a busy clinic day in Lemoa. We had 28 medical patients and 17 dental patients.

Highlights of the day were seeing a few patients that we have had before.

You may remember Tomas. He is the gentleman that was confined to his bed because of his cataracts. He had surgery on one eye in Montellano and now he is ready for the other one to be done. He is full of energy and full of jokes.........and to think last year he was unable to get out of his bed.

We saw Santo Elias again. He is the 7 yr old that previously was in the hospital with a chest tube for a month. His mother brought him just to be sure he is doing ok. She told me that he is running, playing and eating everything he can.......these are good signs for a young boy!

We saw Edison that will have his cleft palate repaired in August. He came to get the papers for his lab work done. He has gained a few pounds and I think he will do great during his surgery.

After clinic I drove Maury, Gaspar and Martina back to Chichi and then I was in for the night. Please remember Kemmel, Lisa and the MET students as they are traveling.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Clinic in Chuguexa

Juan, Gaspar and I went to Chuguexa for our clinic there. As we were unloading the truck, I saw a whole line of people walking down the road and I got so excited! Yes, we have patients!! Well, we did have patients but only seven. We were told the crowd was going to a community meeting about their water. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

This father needed a consult today and his son needed his dad :)

My name was not, "Grace Sheri" today. I fell twice on the hill leading to our clinic. The dirt is packed hard and with the rain, it is like ice. I was fine but I hate it when the guys get worried about me. I need to put some nails in my boots for traction :)

We had heavy rains driving home this afternoon with even some hail hitting the windshields. We arrived home safe and we are always thankful for that.

Tomorrow we have clinic in Lemoa. Last week a lady was selling atole de elote outside the clinic. You can be sure I will look for her tomorrow!

Please remember Juan in your prayers. His grandmother died yesterday and it was unexpected. I know his family will have a difficult time. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Completed ABC Clinic in Mactzul V

Today we finished seeing the children in Mactzul V. We had 36 patients with their families so we had quite a crowd. Marcos also was with is and he did the dental exams.

This is Josefina with one of her families.

We were really pleased with the children during these clinics. Most have gained a few pounds and are continuing to grow.

Holly checking out a patient before his consult.
Ester checks out another patient. When she saw her photo she said, "I really look confused." I told her not to worry, this is how we would remember her :)

This little boy was not to happy with his dental visit but later he was playing and doing well.

After all of the patients were seen and the trucks were loaded, fourteen of us had lunch together. Sabastian from the area thanked everyone for their work and told us what a great blessing ABC program is for their area. Before we opened our lunch, some thought it was grilled steak and others thought it was fried chicken. We kept everyone anticipating during the prayer and then everyone was able to open their box..............................fried chicken it was!

This is Ester, Nathan and Holly on their last day of clinic with us. We wish them a safe return home and good luck with their studies.
Our banquet.
I would like to ask you for special prayers as we all travel in different directions through the rest of the week. We know how important prayer is for daily travels. Tomorrow, we go to Chuguexa and the other group travels to La Palma. They will continue with an ABC Clinic there and we will have our regular clinic. Lisa and Kemmel will travel to Panajachel with the students and then on to Antigua.

I think of Ezra when he asked for God's hand to be on them during their journey.
Ezra 8: 21-23
I proclaimed a fast so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all of our possessions. I was ashamed to ask the King for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from the enemies on the road because I told the King, "The gracious hand of our God in on everyone who looks to Him, but His great anger is against all who forsake Him."

Our God is the same today as He was then. He is a jealous God, wanting nothing less than our full commitment to Him. Let us continue to serve Him. He is Faithful!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!!

Happy Father's Day to everyone............and especially, my Dad!

My parents continue to vacation in Florida and will be there another week. I thought last weekend was Father's Day to I called my dad a few times (Skype is wonderful) to let him know I was thinking of him. He and mom were kind enough to not mention that I was confused on the day! He just thanked me and continued on with the conversation.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Clinic in Chuchipaca..........or is it Mactzul I????

When Lisa picked me up this morning we had a difficult time communicating............we just continued to look at each other with more quizzical looks.....not understanding the problem. Well, I had looked at the calender wrong and thought we were having clinic in Chutzurob, when in reality we were suppose to be in Mactzul I. Once Lisa re-oriented me, things went smooth.

Nathan helped us set up the exam room. Please see Lisa's blog at http://www.kemmelandlisa.blogspot.com/ on her true feelings of the exam room :)

In January, when the Pepperdine group was here, I introduced you to Tomas and his family. Today they came for a visit. This is Rogelio and his little sister, Libiana, who he still loves very much. Tomas continues to help us with the clinic and his family is doing well. Libiana is now 5 months old.
Between patients these boys would run behind the trucks and call my name.......wanting me to take their photo.

Miguel is one of our favorite boys in the community. He is always funny and full of energy. Unfortunately, this week he hurt his eye with a nail. We gave him some eye drops, made an eye patch and he will follow-up with Josefina on Monday in Clinica Caris. Doesn't he look full of mischief?

We saw 6 patients today, which is a small clinic for Mactzul I. We think they confused some date. We wrote the dates down for July to help prevent this again.

OK, when you see Nathan again, ask him the meaning of, "I just rocked the bathroom!" I was afraid to ask many questions.........I will let you do that :)

It is the weekend.........time to catch up on laundry, unpack those suitcases and clean the house.

Friday, June 19, 2009

ABC Clinic in Mactzul V

OK, let the ABC clinic in Mactzul V begin..........

Manuel and Nathan picked me up this morning. We then went to meet Josefina, while Tomas was in Mactzul waiting for us. We saw 34 of the ABC children and will return next week to complete the consults.

This is Josefina with one of her families. They were having fun and getting the consult done at the same time.

Nathan and I checking out another family.
All of our children have grown and gained weight. The children talked about school and their favorite classes. All of the boys denied having girlfriends but they might be keeping some secrets.

It is the cough, runny nose and cold season with the coolness and heavy rains. Nathan listens to this little boys heart and lungs. The boy is holding a book that they are responsible for having signed when then visit for a medical consult or have a dental appointment.

This young lady is Sandra. She is sponsored by Jeanie, from Morganton, NC.

It was a good clinic and we finished a few minutes before lunch. Josefina needed to go to Xela for classes so we wished her a safe travel.............tomorrow another clinic with Lisa and the MET students.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Texas hits Chutzurob

Pat and the group from Texas went to Chutzurob today and it was a true adventure. The team rode on the bus and we followed in the truck. The bus could not travel the last 0.5 mile so we loaded the truck a few times and eventually got everyone and all of the equipment where it needed to be.

As we were unloading and reloading, we started celebrating Irene's birthday. She and her husband, Steve, have been down for two years and are a big part of the team.

The members of the church had everything ready for us, as they usually do. The church building was divided into sections for medical and dental. It continues to be exciting to see a group of people so active in helping their community both physically and spiritually.

The team again had activities for the children......they colored, sang, acted out skits and painted t-shirts.

After the group activities, these boys wanted to continue to color while sitting in the road.

Ceaser lives in Chuchipaca but he has been a big help to us for two days. He helped us translate into K'iche', directed the flow of patients and even held babies as the mothers needed to be weighed.

We were able to make one house call today to see a young lady with a fever. We had one patient with significant high blood pressure. While he was waiting to see the effect of some medicine, the members of the church took the opportunity to pray with him and read some scriptures. He seemed very interested and possibly will visit with The Church on Sunday.

We had a total of 62 medical patients, 35 dental patients, 11 patients had dental fillings and 10 patients had dental cleaning.

Everyone had a safe return trip to Chichi and enjoyed dinner at the hotel.

Tomorrow, the Texas group will go to Xepocol and some of us will go to Mactzul III.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pat's group..........from Texas

We look forward every year to Pat and his group from San Antonio. Juan, Gaspar and I worked with them today in Chinique. We had a great response from the community. When we first arrived we did not have many patients so Gaspar and I drove through the community announcing the clinic...................and the patients followed us back to the community building.

This is Pat with some of the Christians in the area. The man in the center is Enrique and we have clinic at his house twice a month in Choacaman IV.

This little girl played outside after her consult.
Barb and her friends acted out the Bible story about the man who planted seeds on different types of soil. This little boy was the farmer who planted the seed.

These children all wanted to blow bubbles and chase them.

This mother and her child are waiting for their consult.

It was a busy, fast paced day. We had a total of 66 medical patients, 42 dental patients and 12 patients for dental cleaning.
Tomorrow we will have clinic in Chutzurob with Pat and his group again. Another day.........another adventure!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Friday in Antigua..........

We left Montellano about 0830 this morning for Antigua. We had a quick breakfast, shot the group photo, loaded the bus and Marie called the last roll. No one wanted to be left behind..........all of the patients were well, Antigua was ahead and the cooler air was calling our names!

I think everyone enjoyed lunch at Sky Cafe..........JoLee and I had great salads...............

We then divided up into groups for the rest of the afternoon. I arranged my return shuttle for Sunday morning and then I walked to the market. Everyone was doing well and there were enough people who had been to the market before, I felt it safe to return to the hotel and relax before dinner.

At 7pm we enjoyed a dinner buffet at the hotel. This is Jessica and Sharon, both from Texas.

This is Eddie and Trudy from TN......they have been down several times.

You have met Charles and Marie.

This is Katie (OK), Emily (AL) and Naomi (Antigua).

Marie went from table to table to let everyone know the plan for the next morning......breakfast at 0700, bags in the lobby at 0730 and departure at 0800...........just like clock work.

Naomi and I hung out talking after dinner with some others.

It was a great week...................mission accomplished. We had several first-timers and we hope they will return again. While it was good to make new friends, it was also nice to see the "regulars." While being able to help others that have less is a great opportunity, it is also a commandment. We know that we have touched many lives this week. We pray that the work has been a physical blessing but even more important, a spiritual blessing. No matter where we are.............the opportunity and commandment remain for us that follow Christ.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thursday........a little relief fom the HEAT

Today was the clinic in Xejeup, where there is a waterfall. During every surgical clinic week, people have the opportunity to go and visit the falls. I have never gone before and since there were enough nurses, Marie asked me to go along........sure :)

We entertained ourselves while Dr. Walter and the MET student did clinic. We walked around, drank a Coke, played some games just to pass the time and then headed to the falls. Here we are sitting in front of the church building. The lady, who only speaks K'iche', wanted to sit with us while we were taking photos.

While Cody (TN) is taking this photo, we have Michael (NC), the K'iche' patient, myself, John (TX), Lauren (TN), Jared (MN) and Josh (NC).

When it is time to go to the falls...........it was time. This is Cody and Lauren. This is Lauren's second trip to Guatemala and Cody's first.

This is Jared and his birthday is this week..............Happy Birthday!!

This is John............I told him to strike a pose and he did :)

This is Michael and Josh. Unfortunately, Josh was not feeling well this day and later we found he had a 102 temperature :(

It was a fun day.......and we returned to the clinic without any problems. Of course, we had to make a run to Chicaco for some icecream...........
Today there were 14 patients. Even though it was heavier in numbers, the procedures were shorter. As always, we want to say Gracias a Dios for His love, mercy and care.

Wednesday.......the heat and heavy rains continue....

The heat and the heavy rains continue.......we had very little internet access but the patients continue to do well.

Someone brought what was needed to bake a cake and we celebrated. We sang Happy Birthday to Charles and Jared.

Charles is on the board of HTI and was our chaplain this week. This evening he discussed the pyramid of Health Talents and what that involved. The surgical clinic this week is only the peek of the pyramid.......there is much below. There are ongoing relationships with the local churches, daily medical mobile clinics, ABC program, other educational programs, the MET program and scholarship opportunities. God has continued to bless the work in Guatemala and we pray that He continues. We are thankful for this and never want to take it for granted.

Tomorrow is another day and another adventure................

Tuesday........the surgeries continue.......

The schedule was a little lighter today with 9 patients. Again, gracias a Dios, everyone did well.

Marie, continues to help out in the recovery area.

This is one of the surgeons, A.D. and his wife Sharon. They have been involved with HTI for many years and are from Arkansas. Sharon paints during the week and this year she painted in the dental area.

On Marie's left is JoLee from NY. JoLee and I shared a room during the week. She slept during the night and I slept during the day but our paths crossed in the afternoon when we would run to Chicaco for ice cream. She knew I slept during lunch, so she would surprise me by having a snack ready for for me when I woke up..................thank you, especially for the Chile Reano's!!

Yes, it is still HOT here...........and we have heavy rain every afternoon........because it was a light OR day, many were able to go and visit the chocolate farm that is near the clinic.....and they got drenched. The farm is owned by a family that enjoys having visitors from the clinic.

Monday..............it is still HOT in Montellano

On Monday we had a total of 12 patients. Everyone did well and the day ran smoothly.

During the week, some of the visitors will have the opportunity to help with the distribution of ABC supplies. We just received word that there are 720 children now in the ABC program.

This is Katie (OK) and Rosario who have known each other for quite awhile. Katie's father, Mike, was a physician with HTI in Guatemala for several years. I frequently hear his name and positive comments, even though I have not had the opportunity to meet him. Later in the week, Katie was able to visit the area that she and her family had lived in and also visit with some friends of the family.

Marie stayed close to the patients and helped with their needs during the afternoon.

This is Patrick (AL) who entertained this child during the afternoon before his surgery. This was Patrick's first trip down to Guatemala and he will be attending med school in the fall. Good luck, Patrick!

This little boy had hernia surgery and enjoyed coloring as soon as he was able. Someone had drawn him a picture of his purple hippo and he was detailing it.

Sharon (TX) has been to Guatemala may times and always finds something to do to be helpful. She continued to practice her Spanish and prayed with the patients. This lady was the last patient of the day and only spoke K'iche'. Even though Sharon does not speak K'iche', a special bond was formed and this lady will remember Sharon for a long time!

This is Naomi and she lives in Antigua. We needed another nurse for the week so she volunteered to work at the clinic.......and she even worked 2 nights with me. We decided we wanted to be role-models.............this poster even with becomes more interesting when we go to Antigua......you shall see........

We survived the night..........and looked forward to the next one!