Friday, August 28, 2009

Is it a bird, a plane or Mario??????

When we would have our meals, we sat outside where there was a hummingbird feeder. Lisa and I played around with our cameras trying to get a good shot of the birds.

I am not very good with the camera and have a lot to learn but it was fun.

Just when you think you have the might not............

Mario realized how serious Lisa and I were about our photos so he helped us out!!!

Thank you, Mario!!

Second day of Leadership

I got up early this morning and walked to the lake.

It was very quiet and peaceful. There were a few people bathing in the lake but I thought that they would want their privacy :)

The streets of Toliman were also very quiet. I did find a nearby store that sold Diet Coke.

This is Marcos, Josefina and David.

This is the Guatemalan leadership team of Health Talents International.

We finished about 2pm and then we drove back to the Chichi area. Tomorrow we will have clinic in Mactzul V.

Tomorrow, Lisa and Kemmel will be driving some members of The Church to different area for a baptism. We are so thankful for opportunities as this because this is the focus of the ministry. Yes, we are concerned with the physical aspects but more important are the spiritual. Jesus healed the sick but also taught there is an eternal life. As we develop new relationships, with the hope of expanding, we want to share gospel of Jesus.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leadership Meeting

Marcos and Josefina picked me up early in the morning and we headed to San Lucas of Toliman for our leadership meeting. The leadership team of HTI meets 3-4 times a year to discuss the growth that has taken place and to make plans for future steps.

The meeting this time was at Hotel Toliman in San Lucas de Toliman. It was less than a 2 hour drive from Chichi and the area was beautiful. For more photos and stories, see Lisa and Kemmel's blog at

This was the view of the lake near the hotel.

We discussed the importance of communication in the classroom setting and then we went outside for an exercise. This demonstrated that without effective communication, little can be accomplished.

We each were given a number but were unable to tell each other what our number was. We were instructed to place a bag over our heads (one that we could breath through more or less) and then we were to position ourselves in numerical order. The key was that we were not able to speak at all. Does this sound close to impossible? Without a specific form of communication, "yes," is the answer.

Some people tried different forms of communication. Some would tap your hand to let you know what number they were.........but there was no rule for the communication so it was ineffective.

Some people would place their hands on your shoulder and firmly plant you.......which seemed as if they knew more of what was going on than you you would not move. At this point it was the lost leading the lost.

Then we were able to take the hoods off for a minute and discuss a game-plan. We said we would get in a line, place our right hand on the person ahead of us and someone would take the leadership role and place us. We were able to be more productive at this point.............which emphasized the significance of basic communication skills.

Rosario, Josefina and I shared a room at the hotel.

We finished the afternoon session in small groups, discussing how the work is going and how it can be improved.

We enjoyed dinner and then a devotional led by David.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Clinic in Xepol

The guys and I headed to Xepol. When we were driving, the visibility decreased and it started raining. In the 2 years I have been here, I think this is the worse I have seen it. I could see the road but could not easily see the people walking in the road, the bikes or the dogs.

When we got closer to Xepol, Gaspar called and asked if we would be able to get to the clinic. They said we could be able to make it if we used the 4-wheel drive. When we arrived, we were not sure we could make it because of the visibly and rain. It was better not to try it.

I backed the truck up until I could turn it around and then we parked it at a small store. We carried our equipment as we hiked down to the clinic. We had a few patients waiting and eventually ended up with 7 patients.

I took some photos to the patients and they asked for more. I felt like a photographer at Kinderphoto as the mom carried a chair outside, tied her child into chair and then stood behind me as she coaxed him to look our way.

This is another patient we had today.

Even though we had a small clinic it was a good one. The guys asked if we could stop and eat chicken at one of their favorite restaurants............Super Chicken!! The food was good and we enjoyed the time together.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Clinic in Chutzurob

We all left Chichi about 0745 and headed to Chutzurob. There were five of us and we knew it would be a busy day. Today Marcos and Martina were with us for the dental clinic and we also knew we would visit a patient at her home.

We had a total of 23 medical patients, 16 dental patients and 6 patients for dental cleaning. We gathered as we also do to welcome patients and then to pray as a group. Lisa and I moved to the back for our consults, the prayer area was behind us and Marcos and Gaspar used the first two areas for their work.

This was one of our patients. He was excited to be at the clinic.

One of the men from the congregation translated K'iche' for us. I really enjoy working with him. He is always helpful, is beginning to know the line of questions that will be asked and is always ready to discuss the Bible and answer questions. He is very gentle with the patients and is encouraging. He reminds me of how Paul instructed Timothy about teaching. If we use the wrong approach when we try to teach others, we may do more harm than good.

II Timothy 2:24-26

And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil who has taken them captive to do his will.

After we had seen all of the patients, we went to visit a lady in her home. She has been sick for many months, spends most of her time in bed, is unable to eat and is in a lot of pain. Lisa examined her, gave her some medicine and some papers to get some lab work done. Hopefully, she will visit us when she has her lab results.

The patient has seen several doctors and has taken medicine but is not sure of what the medicine is or what the doctors think is the problem. It is difficult because the lady is only in her early 30's and has several young children. She and her husband do not regularly attend worship so we are hoping this will be an opportunity to teach this family. We pray that the lady will feel better, the family will think about their spiritual wellness and develop a close relationship with Him...................and all for His glory!

My parents and Sally celebrated my birthday last night..............even if it was without me........and that is they are with my "mile high cake." They all told me how good it was! I hope they made good wishes when they blew out the candle!!

OK, tomorrow is clinic in Xepol...........................

Monday, August 24, 2009

Recap of the weekend

Dee and I left early this morning for Antigua. I had mentioned a physical therapist that I met a couple of weeks ago. Her name is Jennifer and she is working with another clinic here in Chichi. She also needed a ride to Antigua so she went with us.

We arrived in Chichi in time for worship there. Raul preached and his lesson was very good. He drew correlations between people in the medical profession and Christians. Just as a medical person would give the correct medicine for an allergy a Christian has the need and responsibility to teach the gospel. When you see a medical person you want them to act with confidence and the same holds true for a person teaching the Bible. We always need to be ready to answer questions on salvation.

I Peter 3:15-16
But have reverence for Christ in your hearts and honor Him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope that you have in you but do it with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

Dee in the market buying a few things for her family................if her granddaughter never sees this hat, it is because Dee decided to keep it for herself :)

Dee's flight left early Monday morning so we left the hotel at 0400.........dark and early. After we dropped her off, I was sleeping in the van on the return to Antigua.

When I returned to Chichi, I was ready to use my new washer and dryer and clean my house. When I explained it to someone, they asked, "You attach what to what and drain it where?" So, I thought I would give you a photo.

The washer is connected to the pila for the water source and then drains back out into the pila. The white pvc tubing fits into the pila in the back yard.

The blue hose is running water into the washer. The propane tank is for the dryer.

I am so excited to have them!

Tomorrow is clinic in Chutzurob..........another day and another adventure!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Clinic in Chuchipaca

Lisa, Dee, the guys and I went to Chuchipaca today for clinic. We had 16 medical patients but unfortunately no dental cleanings for Gaspar. He instead translated Kiche' for Lisa. Dee helped Juan with the vital signs before the consult.

We had one of our favorite patients back today. He is feeling so much better and told us how he can pick up his stick if he drops it. In the past, he would have to ask someone to get it for him if he did drop it. He is always so cheerful and with a smile. When we see him I think of Sarah S. who was with us when he came to clinic the first time.............he loves the medicine and is very thankful to God for his progress.

That smile is always there and he is able to work again.

Tomorrow it will be the day to return to Antigua with Dee because her flight is at 0600 Monday morning. She has enjoyed the week and has learned more about Health Talents and the work being done with the local Churches of Christ. We pray that she has a safe flight home and that she will be able to return for another visit.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Clinic in Choacaman IV

Do I know how to play????

Today we had clinic in Choacaman IV. We drove through the fields and then the guys came to help us carry our equipment. We had a small clinic of only 8 patients but it was ok.

Dee enjoyed the puppy and kitten at Enrique's house. She tried to play with the kitten but it appeared the kitten had no instinct to grab or to catch anything. Dee continued until finally the kitten caught on. At first it was, "Why should I bother playing and waste my energy on a stupid game?"

Finally the kitten caught on................

And then it even appeared to enjoy it.................but only for a few minutes. Enough is enough!!

We enjoyed lunch and then went to Lemoa to load up the dental cleaning equipment for tomorrow in Chuchipaca.

Tonight Dee and I went to Lisa and Kemmel's for dinner. We had wonderful ham sandwiches and apple pie. Lisa knew I had been craving apple was worth the wait!! Thanks for the Happy Birthday song!!

OK..........tomorrow is another day, another clinic and another adventure. We will leave Chichi tomorrow at 0800 for Chuchipaca.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Clinic in Lemoa

This is one of the flowers in my yard. Tomasita has beautiful flowers.

Today we had a busy clinic. There were 16 medical patients. Gaspar did not have any patients for dental cleanings so he planted three peach trees instead.

Dee and I saw 14 of the patients and then Lisa came and finished while we did a house call. Really, Lisa was there all day with us. I made several calls to her through the day because I was not sure what to do..........but she got me through!

Juan, Dee and I went to see Armando, the young man that needs to use a walker. He has been doing his physical therapy exercises twice a day. I asked him how he feels today compared to the month before he was doing them. He stated that he feels some stronger but not a great deal. We explained that this is normal. We have all reinforced that this is going to be a long process and have encouraged him and his wife not to get frustrated.

Dee and I stopped my the house long enough for the propane man to deliver a tank and propane. Now, I have a washer and dryer........I am so excited.

Dee playing around for the camera.

We walked up to Chichi before the rain started. We talked about having dinner but were not hungry at all. We at lunch today in the clinic and it was very good. Instead of dinner, we stopped and ate a chuchito near the park. They were very hot and very good. I walked Dee back to her hotel and then took a tuk-tuk home.

Tomorrow we will have clinic in Choacaman IV.........................another day, another adventure!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Clinic in Chuguexa

Dee and I met Juan and Gaspar in Chichi and we drove to Chuguexa. When we arrived there were no patients but we unloaded the truck and waited......and waited.......and then we took some photos.

This is Juan playing on the side of the building. Don't jump, Juan!!

Dee decided she would jump and then we talked her down :)

Dee and I holding on to the rebar for security.

We finally had one patient. She is a returning diabetic but unfortunately only returns when she does not feel well. I talked to her for a long time about returning every month and not going for 3-5 months without her medicine. We will see what happens.

When we finished, we stopped for chicken and went to Lemoa to work on the inventory of the the medicine.

Dee and I then went to Chichi to walk around for awhile. We stopped in Santo Tomas and had a limonada con soda.............yum! Then it was home for the night............

Tomorrow we have clinic in Lemoa.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CHE class in Lemoa

Today, Lisa conducted the CHE class today on diarrhea and dehydration. Lisa and Kemmel had completed CHE training a few years ago and I was able to attend it in May. Dee, the friend who I picked up on Sunday, also participated in the May class.

Lisa had started the class and then asked for someone to write down the responses from the class. Here, the scribe is writing the answers to Lisa's question, "What is diarrhea?" All answers are written. This prevents people from feeling their answer was wrong and to encourage total class participation. It is easy to assume that everyone knows what it is and how to describe it but there is always opportunity for more education.

The CHE training includes discussion and activities. Here, Lisa is demonstrating how a person with diarrhea loses volume and it needs to replace. She emphasised that people to not die from diarrhea but can not see it but there is a hole in the bottom of the container. As she walked around the class, she lost the water and then she would refill it as she emphasised important points.

Two guys volunteered to help make the replacement fluid that can be easily done at home. Here, Gatorade and other drinks are expensive. Most people here have the needed ingredients in their home.
First we need clean water.........then we need one hand-full of sugar.................

................. then one pinch of salt. We then added fresh lime juice which will provide some potassium and flavoring. There are many recipes for this but Lisa offered a simple one that uses items that are commonly found in a Guatemalan home.

Here the guys participate in a role playing activity. The class listened and then responded to questions.
The class was divided into three sections and each returned with their responses and then presented the ideas to the class.

Group two discussed how to prevent diarrhea..........specifically related to hygiene. It included how to maintain the home and personal hygiene.

Time for group presentations.

I think the class was great! As we do each class, we will learn how to improve them. The volunteers are really interested in education and how to help their communities. They love to participate in the activities and it promotes learning.

After the class was over we enjoyed lunch.......chicken, salad, rice and tortillas.

Kemmel met with all of the leaders of the ABC program to prepare for the end of the year celebration. It will take a lot of planning and preparation...............but I am sure it will be a great celebration and we look forward to it!

Tomorrow, Dee will head with us to Chuguexa. It will be her first clinic and I think she will enjoy it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back in Chichi........

I went to Antigua yesterday morning after worship to meet a friend, Dee, at the airport. We have returned to Chichi and all is well. Our travels were safe and we are always thankful for that. We met during the CHE program in May and now she will be here a week with us to learn more about Health Talents.

I also had coffee yesterday with Glenn and Neva, who continue to study Spanish in Antigua. They gave me some photos of Gloria after her surgery.

This is Gloria before her surgery.

This is a post-op photo in Montellano at Clinia Ezell.

Here she is with her mom, still a little unsure about things but doing better.

The most exciting news is that Gloria's mom was baptized during the week of surgery. We rejoice with her and her decision to become a Christian. We are hoping that she will soon come to the clinic for a follow-up visit.

Tomorrow we have an educational day with all of the promoters. It should be exciting!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just stuff..................

Today, I went to help Josefina with her clinic. It was a very small clinic because of the activities that are happening in Santa Cruz this week. When we finished, I had lunch with Josefina and her parents. It had been awhile since I had been there and it was nice. Her mom is a good cook and I enjoy spending time with them.

I then went to visit a friend but she was not at home. I called Lisa to see if she was doing ok and she only had 2 more patients to go.

I jumped on a van with a few people and then we had to wait for others before we could go. Then several ladies and children jumped on that knew me. They live in Mactzul I where we do clinics. The children started whispering my name and then the mothers realized why. It seems odd to be recognized here but it is good. People are very warm and welcoming.

For those of you who have visited the Chichi area, you may remember the gentleman that use to wear an orange safety vest and direct traffic near the arch. He would write down license plate numbers and blow his whistle. Anyway, he died this week. Josefina told me about it after she saw it in the news. I had noticed how thin and ill he looked a few months ago.

With all of the activities last week, I forgot to share with you some exciting news. Gloria, one of our babies had her cleft lip repaired last week in Montellano. Kemmel received word that her mom was baptized. I will post photos of Gloria when I get them. That is so exciting.

I was talking to Josefina's parents about it at lunch today. I do not know the circumstances or her mother very well but there is a good chance that in the past she was not interested in the Bible or being a Christian. Once she came to the clinic, we offered her physical hope for her child that needed surgery. Maybe when she visited Montellano and saw the spiritual hope that the Christians have there, she was interested. If any of you know more of what took place, please let me know.

Also, for those of you who have been to La Palma, you may know Agostin. His parents were also baptized last week. I was very excited to her this also.

I went for a walk in the neighboorhood tonight. When I arived back at the house, Tomasita was also returning. We stood outside talking for a few minutes and I felt something jerk on my pants. Tomasita started laughing because she knew what it was. It was Nako , the dog, reaching under the door and pulling on the pants.

No more exciting news for now.........I just wanted to catch you up on a few things...........................

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday in Lemoa

Today we rearranged our schedule so the guys could go to a seminar in Paxot II. Josefina, Martina, Maury and I went to Clinica Carris to clean and organize our supplies.

During the morning. Lisa asked if we wanted to practice using the "burning machine." I know there is a proper name for it but it has escaped me at this moment. Therefore, I volunteered a spot on my arm. Lisa thought it was pre-cancer so it was probably a good idea to have it removed.

Lisa injected lidocaine in the area and then went to work.

Josefina continued the process.

It did not hurt at all and I am glad we did it.

Later, Martina and I went outside to play with the sheep.

That is all for now........................................