Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Clinic in Xepol

Today the guys and I headed to Xepol. We knew that there were a lot of activities going on but we really expected to have more patients than we did. We saw four patients.

One of my favorite patients came today, Victor. He has been coming to clinic now for about 7 months. His mother brought him because he has seizures and a behavioral problem. He just likes to hit people.

Because of his problems, he is unable to attend school but would like to. I am not sure if we will ever get him into school because he does not have the support he needs. His father drinks heavy and is not a good role model.

His mother brought him again today and told us that Victor only had 2 seizures this month. Before, he had as least one seizure a day. She also told us that he is getting along better with people and is not in as many fights. He is a little more social at clinic but is still very quiet.

Today, I gave Victor a NC ball cap. I am hoping it will help remind him to take his medicine.
I also talked to his mom about helping him remember his medicine. Apparently, if he forgets to take it, she also forgets.

Small steps.........but steps in the right direction.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Highland ABC Celebration!!

Today was the Highland ABC Celebration! What a day it was!! Kemmel had everything prepared and we just put everything into motion. We met at 0600 and started getting ready for everyone to arrive. The activity was near the lake in Lemoa. It was a very nice day to be outside.

I have so many photos, I can not show them all here. People gathered early and brought their breakfast from home. My family from Paxot II shared their breakfast with me, another community bought me a coke and another brought me some oranges. It was a day of food, festivities and fun!

When it approached 0900, people moved closer to the lake for the program. Voces Acappella performed and we had a short message from Luis, who is one of the ministers in Chichicastenango.

People gathered below as the prizes were awarded the students. There were three groups of awards based on the accomplishments of the students through the year.

This group of students won third prize.

These are two students who won the first division prize.........and yes, they are my ABC Children, Emilo and Esteban! Go boys!!

This is Sandra with the group of students that won the first prize. Can you guess who is her sponsor?????

The group from Xejox wanted to present Violeta a huipil and corte from Xejox. This lady helped Violeta get it wrapped and tied.

This is Noe, my parent's ABC Child. Here he is showing off the bracelet he made.

The older boys made kites............................

and yes, they flew!!

The younger girls made bracelets. Two little girls helping each other out with getting them secured.
After lunch, it was time for the games to begin. The girls played basketball as the boys played soccer.

Yes, that is Sandra! She can handle that ball even if she is wearing a skirt. Go Sandra!! Yes, I stood at the sideline as any proud parent would :)

It was a fun day but even more important, it showed the students we support them in the ABC Program. We hope that the students who did well this year will continue to do the same next year and for those who need some improvement.........well, that they will be motivated to improve.

This is the second year we have had the celebration here in the highlands. It was a good day and we look forward to next year!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lunch at Kemmel and Lisa's

Today, all of the HTI workers in the highlands were invited to have lunch at Lisa and Kemmel's house. Everyone was allowed to bring their immediate families.........but then you have to define immediate families.........but everything was great and it was obvious that everyone enjoyed the day.

Josefina gets a card memory game started and her mom helps out. Tomas' wife is in the gold blouse to the left and their oldest son is next to her. He just finished a two-year evangelism program in the city.

Kemmel, Lisa and Josefina's dad, Diego, are flippin' the burgers. Manuel's wife, Juana, is in the background.

Tomas and Juana waiting for lunch to be served.

Maury and Aura enjoy lunch under the tree. Aura has competed her first year of dental school in the city.

After lunch, the hammocks went up for people to rest in. We needed a rest after hamburgers, corn dogs, chips, salad, pineapple and ice cream!

Marcos and one of Manuel's daughters take advantage of a hammock.

Then the hammocks came down and the games began!

After the guys, the girls got their turn. The five gallon plastic buckets that you see in the photos are placed in the yard to protect small plants from getting kicked and ran over during the games. There is one that I am not sure if it survived or not :(

There were 35 people present and a day full of activities. Kemmel thanked everyone for being there and the support that they are to Health Talents. We had a good year together and look forward to even a better year in 2011!

First Clinic in Xeabaj

The drive to Xeabaj this morning was a very pretty one. I do no think I have been this far up the road before and believe me, it was up. Today, we are having clinic in an area called Xeabaj, which means, "under the rock."

This clinic is a result of one of the babies who had their cleft lip repaired in August. His name is Sergio and his father, Tomas, asked us to come and visit their community.

When we arrived, we were still not at the top of the mountain so we finished walking it! This is the stairs that we carried all of the equipment up! Some of the men from the community are at the bottom starting up with some of our things.

It was beautiful and you could see all over!

Since there is not a Church of Christ in the community, we used a school. It was a very nice place and we had a great clinic but it was very cold..........very cold.

Here Gaspar and Juan get things organized. Then they explained the process, the services that were available, introduced us to everyone and then we prayed. The morning flew by fast.

When some of the children saw me with my camera, they wanted in on some of the action!

We had a clinic of 28 medical patients and 30 dental patients.

Sergio's sisters brought him to clinic to say hi. Lisa gave them stickers and that was a great hit with them! Sergio hid behind his sister until he saw the photo.........

Then he was ready for his action shot.

I hope that we will be able to return to this area. There is definitely a need and it seems to be a large community.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Bithday Geronimo!!!

Today all of us were invited to the birthday celebration of Martina's brother. Geronimo. When we arrived at the house we was out doing errands but we were served a wonderful meal of fried chicken, salad, rice and tortillas. His mom also served us some chili, that was to die for so, we are going to see if she will make us a gallon and sell it to us!

This is Geronimo.

After lunch, we sat and talked for awhile and then moved into the kitchen area. Martina's mom started talking about the cortes and huipils. She went and got a set and Lisa tried them on. They were very pretty and looked good on Lisa. We were calculating the cost and now undestand why the ladies are lucky if they get one new outfit a year.

Lisa and Martina's mom, Tomasa.

We got everyone together for a family photo.

Then we were entertained by the turkeys and other animals. The turkeys were my favorite and I thought it was very interesting that when they made noise, they all did it together as a choir and then they were all silent. They were strutting around the patio!

Martina's mom took us out to see a turkey that was sitting on a nest of chicken eggs. A turkey will sit on chicken eggs but a chicken will not sit on turkey eggs until they hatch. That does not seem quite fair. Anyway, there were several under her that had hatched and a few more that would probably hatch in a few hours.

We were then served a piece of birthday cake that was large enough for four people. We were giving a plate and a bag to take home the part we were unable to finish.

It was a good day and Happy Birthday, Geronimo!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010



See you in a few weeks!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Church of Christ in India

Today, I have a day at home to do laundry and catch up on things.

A few weeks ago, I started receiving messages from Bontha, that lives in India. I am not sure how he found me but he did and we started chatting. Because of the time difference from Guatemala and India, when he is starting his day, I am ending mine.

This is The Church of Christ that meets in Kamepalli, India. They very much support the widows and orphans in the area.

Almost every night, we chat for a few minutes and we talk about our day. This is Bontha as he prepares to baptize a gentleman.

Distribution of food for those who are in need.

Bontha asks for our prayers in their ministry. Prayer is so important to the work of The Church. It does not matter which county we are in. The needs of people are the same and yet situations are different. Some areas are poorer than others when it comes to material blessings yet everyone needs Christ.

Material things will end. Think about the words of Christ in Luke 12, when He talked about the rich fool. The man thought he would build more barns for his grains and his goods. His priorities were not on his relationship with God.

So, God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

So, the question is, "How do we apply this parable or story to ourselves today?"

Please pray for the work of Bontha and the work of The Church in Kamepalli, India.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Meeting in Clinica Ezell

After breakfast we gathered to begin the meeting.

We had a guest speaker from Antigua, Dr. Raul, visit and speak to us. He and his wife work in Antigua and are very special people. I did not have my camera yet but will post a photo of him later.

This year, employees who had 5 years or more received Bibles. Here, Rosario receives her Bible from Sylvia. Lisa, Kemmel and Gaspar from the highlands received a Bible......I was disappointed when their photos did not turn out well.

As we waited for the next session to start, the Lux family enjoyed photos on Josefina's computer. (David, Josefina and Marcos)

In the evening, we enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner together...........David takes control of that turkey as Violeta moves on. We enjoyed turkey, honey-baked ham, beans, squash and bread. We also had scrumptious deserts as apple pie, pumpkin pie and apple ????? It was my favorite but my English has escaped me :(

The line continues to grow behind Violeta.

I counted 45 people during the meeting. A few more joined us for dinner so that is a large group to cook for. The ladies in the kitchen always do a fabulous job and we appreciate them.

So, since this was our time of thanksgiving..........I am thankful for my family and friends, as everyone is. I am also thankful for my opportunity to be here and work with Health Talents. I am thankful for the South Fork Church of Christ for sponsoring me. I am thankful for Lisa and Kemmel and for their leadership/example that they are to list could go on but it is time to get in line.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Trip to the coast after clinic

Today, Gaspar, Juan and I went to the coast after clinic. We will have a meeting for two days with all of the Health Talent workers.

Our clinic was in Chuguexa and we had 12 patients. Most of them were diabetics and somewhat controlled. I would like their blood sugars a little lower so we will continue to work on that.

The excitement of the day............and also continued into the night were accidents on the highway. The guys and I saw two and we were thankful to get to Clinica Ezell safe.

The second was the worse one by far. When it happened, the flying dust and debris stopped all traffic and we had to wait for the cloud of dust to settle before we would see what had happened.
It included two huge trailer trucks and one car. Everyone was ok except the passenger of one trucks. The driver left the scene........he was GONE!

The police arrived in about 20 minutes and then we took off.........there was nothing we could do and it was obvious the police felt the same. They stood and watched as cars started passing in a situation very dangerous, young people were looting out of the trucks, people were jumping up in the truck to see the gentleman that had died.........the situation was terrible.

Because no one took control nor organized anything, the accident stopped traffic for hours. Josefina's truck, Lisa, Kemmel and Marcos were all several hours late. Lisa, Kemmel and Marcos arrived 6-8 hours later than they should have.

Accidents are a very difficult situation here. The police do not have authority, take control nor are there ambulances available with the needed equipment or trained personnel.

When the guys and I arrived, Carlos and Dante were waiting for us. Dante is four months old!

When Josefina's team arrived......we were thankful but still waiting for Kemmel, Lisa and Marcos. Josefina went home with her brother, David. The guys wanted to eat so we loaded two trucks and went to Chicacao for chicken. The Dunhams had pizza for us did not know when they would arrive.

The best part is that everyone finally did arrive and as I said, we were very thankful!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Poco pacientes en Mactzul I

This morning Gaspar called and told me that I may have problems in an area called Chintinimit. They are working on the road and he heard it is closed. My neighbor told me the same thing as I gave her a ride to the market in Chichi. I was lucky and did not have problems but think more people will be working this afternoon.

I met Gaspar without any problems but when we were waiting for Juan, he called. He said that no trucks were running and asked if we could go and get him. Sure! He has heard that the trucks will not be running for 1-3 months due to the road situation. We will see what happens.

When we arrived in Mactzul I, we did not have any patients. I was sad. We mounted the speakers and encouraged people to attend the clinic.

The first two patients that finally arrived were Cristofer and Ismeal. They are four month old twins! One has a bracelet around his wrist so they can tell who is who!

We had 6 medical patents and 6 dental patients.

This little guy was being toted around all morning and all he wanted to do was to be left alone so he could enjoy his thumb........but no, his family would not let him!!

These children came to entertain me when we did not have any more patients.

That was it for the day. We enjoyed lunch....waited for a few more patients but none arrived.

Tomorrow, the guys and I will go to Chuguexa. After clinic, we will head to the coast for 2 days.

Friday, November 19, 2010

ABC Nutrition Class in Mactzul V and exciting news.....

I left for Mactzul V this morning and as I got close to where the class was going to be, I stopped to give people a ride.

When we arrived, Tomas was the only one waiting for us. The crowd was slow to congregate but that is ok. We started off with a few songs and then someone lead us in prayer.

We had a small crowd than expected but that is ok. Tomas told me that tomorrow, there are going to be 15 baptisms! That is no typo, yes, 15 baptisms! Several people that would have been at the class today are away preparing for the activities of tomorrow. I do think the class is important but I think preparing for baptisms is more important!!

So, we had about 70-80 people at the class and that is great. This is a photo of all the students.

The class lasted for about 2.5 hours. They did not have as many questions as the other groups had but that is OK.

After class, I was invited to eat lunch with some of the guys and it was very good. They talked mostly about the construction of the building and measurements. Then they asked me if I had some photos of the old building before they tore it down. I am sure I can find some of those photos for them.

Tomorrow, the guys and I will head out to Chuchipaca to see what we can see!! (as Lisa would say)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Clinic in Lemoa

Today was a hopping clinic in Lemoa and it was a good one. It seems that many things always happen during the day and I never can remember all of them to tell you......but this was a funny moment.

I was talking to a patient and he was chewing gum. I guess that he decided that he had chewed it long enough so he stood up, took it out of his mouth and aimed for the trash can. Well, it did not hit the trash can and he realized that it had fallen inside my backpack! We spent a few minutes trying to fish it out but the key is, we found it!

OK, back to the important stuff..........we had 27 medical patients in clinic today. We had several diabetics and a few of them had brought their blood sugar from over 500 to less than 200. I think that is exciting. I saw the first patient I have seen here that has Parkinson's Disease.

We had another baby come to the clinic today that hopes to have his lip repaired in February. His name is Abner and here he is 4 months old. He is already weighing at 12 pounds so we will see what his labs are.

Abner was smiling when he first arrived but he thought I was taking too long to complete the paper work so he got fussy. Here, mom tries to comfort him with the "famous head rub."

We have had some rain the last few days and even tonight. It is odd but then again, there is another storm going over Guatemala and Belize.

Tomorrow, we have a ABC Nutrition Class in Mactzul V. We are expecting a large group of children and parents!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ABC Nutritional Class in Mactzul I

We are continuing to take the ABC Nutritional Class from community to community. Today it was Mactzul I's turn. As Juan and I got closer to the church building we picked up people in the road that were walking. Later, I talked to Lisa and she said this morning she saw several families walking to the class and they looked excited!

I have enjoyed working with each of the promoters that have helped with the class. Today, Juan did a fantastic job. Unfortunately, my K'iche' is pretty pathetic so for each class one of the promoters help me. But this is good..........because in the future, they will be the ones to give the class.

Mactzul I participated today and really showed an interest in the material They had a lot of questions and also encouraged the children to participate. There are 44 children in the program. I was told that over 105 attended the class. Some people, who do not have children in the program, attended the classes because they wanted to hear the information. It was a fun day!

These are the students in the ABC Program in Mactzul I.

After class, Juan and I were invited to have lunch with some of the members of the congregation. We had soup, tortillas and coke.

I want to give an update on three other blogs I have done.

First, in September, we saw a little girl here in Mactzul. Her name is Paulina and she had a severe infection in her hand. I was not sure how her hand would heal. I saw her today and her hand looks wonderful. The whole area of her palm is totally healed. I am so thankful!

Second, in October, I told the story about Jessica. She was the little girl that we thought had meningitis and died. Today, Lisa called me and said that her father has called Gaspar and wants Gaspar to come and talk to him about the gospel. It is a very tragic story for the family but maybe it is causing the parents to think about their relationship with God.

Third, when the last group was here we made a house-call to a lady who had fallen. Dr. Jim, Barbara, Kristin and I drove to a home near a school. The lady was in severe pain and unable to walk. We left her some medicine with the hope that it would help her feel better. I heard last night that she is feeling much better. She is still unable to walk but her grandson said she is not suffering as she was.

Tomorrow is another day and another adventure..........I will be in Lemoa with Lisa and the promoters and Kemmel will be trying to keep us all straight!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ABC Nutrition and Ladies Bible Class

Maury and I left Chichi this morning to go to Mactzul VI for an ABC Nutrition Class. Maury had not seen the material so we talked about it as we were driving. This photo is of the students in the ABC Program.

This is a photo of the parents and the children. Some of the parents are standing on a bench.......Guatemalans are not that tall!! There were some that did not want to be in the photo but there were 70-75 people in attendance.

Before we started the class, I asked if anyone could give me an example of a food that was a protein. I had a few responses but they were in another category of food. For me this is the exciting part.

After we have studied the three classes of food, the students get a photo of a food and they tell the parents what class it is. It is exciting to see the change and how they now can respond to questions.

The Church was very nice and provided lunch for Maury and I. As we ate, the leaders of the ABC program had a meeting with the parents.

After lunch, we went to Chichi to finish a Ladies Bible class that we started a few months ago. We were finished in about three hours and then it was time to head home.

It was a fun and exciting day. Tomorrow will be another adventure!! Juan and I will go to Mactzul I for another ABC Nutritional Class.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A study day at home....

Today I worked at home, making changes in the classes and preparing some new ones.

About 3 pm, I realized how cold I was so I walked to town to be in the sun. It felt very nice outside. I got some photos printed and went to our HUGE grocery store.

I had some photos sent to me and I wanted to share them. I did not have any photos of Debra and Mary, so I was glad to receive this one. This is on Sunday before going into the market.

This is a photo of the group in Xepocol and this little girl has a punctured ear drum.

Tomorrow will be a day in Lemoa with Lisa. We will probably have some procedures and maybe some babies will come that will have surgery in February. It will be a good day!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ABC Nutritional Class in Paxot II

This morning I headed out to Paxot II for their ABC Nutritional Class. There were about 70 people there and it was an exciting time. Manuel translated into K'iche' for me.

They wanted the class in the room that we usually use for dental so it was a little crowded but it worked. They seemed to be very interested and asked a lot of questions. Several people took notes and it worked to their advantage for the exercise after the class.

All of the children got in a line and had a photo of a different food. They had to tell the adults what class of food it was.

One of the gentleman wanted to give a synopsis of the class and it was very good. This let me know that the main concepts of the class were understood. We are really trying to increase protein in the diet and help people be more aware of a balanced diet.

These are the ABC Students in Paxot II.

These are the children with their parents.

The children took turns playing soccer on the roof before we went to lunch. The girls got to play for 15 minutes and then the boys had their turn. When the plastic ball was kicked off the roof, another one was waiting to be used.

So, how do you know if your students remember the material of the class???
1. When one student misses the soccer ball and the others yell at him saying, "Your diet lacks protein!!"
2. When you are eating soup that has pasta in it and the little boy next to you says, "Sheri, you are eating a carbohydrate!!"
3. When you are putting lime in your soup and the lady of the house says, "Sheri, lime is a fruit! Right??"

The classes are fun and eventually our health promoters will be giving the classes and teaching others to give them. It is a slow progress but it will work. The next class will be in Mactzul V and Tomas will be helping me that day.