Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wet clinic in Chuchipaca

Today when we left Chichi, I grabbed my sunglasses but before long realized they would not be needed. It was cold and wet all morning. I will really emphasis cold. Even Gaspar and Juan kept talking about how cold it was.

Lisa saw 14 patients for consult. After each patient was seen, Juan would give the patient medicine and then we would talk with the patient about their diet or their diagnosis. We are really emphasising basic health issues, hygine and continuing the medicine until it is finished. If we can improve basic hygine than many of the chronic illness can be improved. Usually, most people have questions about their diet but not today. Maybe they were too cold to think?

I had lunch with Lisa and Kemmel at one of the restaurants here in town. The coffee with cream was extra good!

Tomorrow, I will head to the lake. I am ready to skip town for a few days. I have not been to the lake since February so I am over due. I will be staying at a different place than usual so maybe I will have some good pics to share :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Clinic in Mactzul II

It has been a long time since I have been to Mactzul II. I drove the Suk up to Santa Cruz and met Josefina. We drove to Mactzul and Tomas met us there.

Josefina asked me if I had heard about the bad accident last Friday. She told me what she knew about it. It was while she was telling me that I remembered there were people in that area the day that Manuel and Martina picked me up for the clinic in La Estancia.

An ambulance was there and many people were looking over the cliff while they they were securing ropes to the trees. Apparently, the driver was intoxicated and did not make the sharp turn but went over the cliff. It was late in evening and there was no one on the road to help them. The next morning they found the truck. Josefina's dad heard about the accident and went to see it. While they were searching, they found a baby that had been stuck in the branches of a tree! Amazing! It was still alive! Unfortunately, two people did die.

There were no patients waiting when we arrived and Josefina said that this is very unusual. We eventually had 8 patients for the day. Tomas did not have any dental cleanings :( So, we used the time to go over the new educational material. We talked about the importance of the patients understanding their medicines and how to change habits to assure better health in general.

This is the area the members of the church pray with each patient. I was told that they always have this up to talk with or pray with each patient..........and they did.

One baby was brought in by her parents. Josefina told them that they really needed to go to the hospital. The baby was close to being 2 months old but very small. The mother did not want to go but Josefina was very patient with her and explained many times the importance of going and why. We told them that they could ride with us and we would take them to the hospital. They finally agreed and we were to meet after lunch and then we would go to hospital.

After we packed up, we went to the house so they could ride with us. The husband came out and said they had changed their minds. They now were going to go to a private doctor. I sure hope this is the truth because that baby may have problems and they might not have a way to the hospital.

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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Clinic in Chichicastenango

Today, Josefina, Tomas, Manuel and I went to Chichi for a new clinic that will be held every 15 days. Today we saw 17 patients and Tomas had 2 dental cleanings.

I saw two children from the orphanage in Chichi. One of the ladies from the church brought them to see how their health is. The lady is a very respected member in the congregation but sometimes her manerisms are a little humerous. We were talking about the youngest child and she leans over and whispers in my ear, "This boy eats his fingernails and I think he has some know, mental and emotional problems." When she pointed to her head to emphasize her comment, I snickered a little inside.

After lunch we had a few more patients come in. Between patients I heard some commotion in the street. I went out to see what was happening and a funeral was passing by. Everyone had stopped and my fear was that they had dropped the casket. For some reason, there was a lot of chatting going on, they relifted the casket and continued their walk to the Catholic Church.

My camera is recharging so hopefully, I will get some photos tomorroow. I will be going to Mactzul II with Josefina and Tomas.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mactzul VI

We were back in Mactzul VI today. It was just a few short weeks ago that we were here with large group so maybe that is why today was, as it was.................

Gaspar told Lisa and I that there had been some deaths in Xepocol. For that reason, yesterday was slow. Unfortunately, one of them was a very small child. Only God can give comfort and peace to a family when they are suffering a loss as this.

When we arrived in Mactzul, Lisa was asked to visit a lady that lives down the road. She apparently has been very sick and in a lot of pain. Since there were not patients to be seen, we jumped in the truck with some medicine for the lady and headed down the road. When we asked where the house was, Lisa was told to stop in front of the two pilas. It seemed that everyone in the community was getting new pilas.

When we arrived, the patient was in the bed under many blankets. People gathered around the bed as we entered. Lisa examined her and found a significant urinary tract infection. Lisa explained the medicine and then everyone kneeled by the bed as Juan prayed.

When we returned to the clinic, there were still no patients to be seen. After lunch, six patients came for a consult.

Tomorrow, we will have clinics in Lemoa and Chichicastengo. The clinic in Chichi is a new one that Josefina will do every 15 days. I hope that we have many, many patients.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slow day............extra slow day.........

OK, today was an extra slow day.......did I say, extra slow? Juan and I went to Xepocol today. It is the community of Gaspar but he was buying clothes today for the ABC Children. Yes, it is that time of the year again!

We had one patient.......................only one. We hung around for a little after lunch just to make sure no one else would come and then we were home-ward bound.

I do not have any photos for the day, so I am stealing from Neva and Glen. These photos were taken when they were down a couple weeks ago.

This is Neva with some children and I think it was taken in Mactzul V. We had a good day of clinic in Mactzul V.

What pretty smiles these girls have.

Tomorrow, we go to Mactzul VI . Hopefully, we will have more patients.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday in Quiche and Chichi

I full intention of going to the lake and just chilling for two days but after the rain last night and the thunder we had during worship, I decided to just stay here.

For several weeks now, they keep announcing that we are to start at 9 AM,, on the dot, but the doors are not open and no one is there. I just take advantage of it and have a cup of coffee and watch some cartoons with the kids of the restaurant.

Well, my least favorite preacher was preaching today so on these days I usually read something or keep myself distracted. He was calmer today than he usually is and his message was about life, death and was a fairly good message.........................until the parade went by.

Now, most people would let the band pass and then pick up where you left off..... but not this man. The band irritated him.......the music irritated him.......he was irritated that he was not as loud as they were so he decided that he would show them........he CRANKED up the volume on the PA system and belted louder. As the band got louder, he got louder! He must have realized how ridiculous it was because I thought for a minute he was smiling. For me, it was very humorous.

After we closed, he reminded everyone that we are suppose to start at 9AM. The gentleman next to me spoke up and said, "Are you sure about that time? We have been here and the doors have been closed. Even today, they were not opened." The preacher thanked him for his input, knowing that he himself had not arrived before 9AM.

I stopped and saw Magda and she felt a little better today.

It was a good day.......caught up on laundry, cleanning and just hung around. It rained all afternoon so it was better that I did not go to the lake.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pap, coloposcopy, EKG and more!

Today we all went to Lemoa for a procedure day. We schedule patients on this day that need different procedures. It gives us more time to take care of these patients.

Lisa asked me to do the EKG's while she did the paps and then we could do the coloposcopys together. In the mean time we snuck in a wart-burning procedure.

It was a busy day. The clinic got a good cleaning and sweeping and trash was carried off to the dump area. We finished about 5pm this afternoon and everyone was ready to being their weekend.

I wanted to post some photos that my dad took a few Sundays ago when they were here. These are my ABC Children..........they are bright, beautiful and close to being perfect :):):)

Sandra, Emillo and Estaban......................

This is Estaban and Emillo with their true mom and dad :)

We had a great time eating ice cream together this day...................

OK, it is the weekend and I am ready for some relaxation.............who knows what might be in store???? I will keep you posted :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Clinic in La Estancia

Today I went with Manuel and Tomas to their clinic in La Estancia. It is a clinic that I use to go to a couple of years ago but not any more. Since it is not one of my regular clinic, I was hesitant to take out my camera until I was behind the house.

We had 14 patients for consult, 15 for dental and 4 dental cleanings.

One of the lady's came in for a headache. I asked her how often it hurts and she told me that it is primarily when her husband hits her in the head. Domestic violence seems more common the longer I am here.

Another family brought in their 65 year old mother. She has had a hernia for about 2 years. She has been to see two different doctors but her family can not pay to have surgery. Hopefully, they will take her to Chichi and see Dr. Tom. I hope that he will be able to help them.

When we had a break, I went outside to get a few photos. La Estancia is in an area that is flat and very pretty.

I remember this pig having babies the last time I was here. I did not see them today so I am wondering what happened to them???

When I took this photo, the thunder was rolling in the distance.

When I got home later this afternoon, I was answering some emails and heard a loud noise outside. Somehow, some dogs were able to get in the yard and were harassing Nakko. Before he got hurt, he would have been able to handle himself but he can't now. When I went out inside, he ran out though a gate that had been left open so out I went looking for him. I know his weak spot.........bread. I returned home in 5 minutes with Nakko at my heels.

Tomorrow, Lisa and I have a pap clinic in Lemoa. She also mentioned that a lady will come for an EKG. It will be a good day.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another day full of adventure...........

Sorry, no photos today..........just the story.

My internet was in and out most of the day..........mostly out. I was trying to book a flight to Florida and honestly, it took over 2 hours.

Kemmel let me take the Suk to Quiche to do some things I needed to do. I visited Josefina's mom and returned some books that she let me use. She asked me how the ladies Bible class went and I told her that I thought it went well. The ladies want some more classes but the problem is with our schedule.......just not easy to fit them in.

I left there and went to visit Magda. As soon as she opened the door, I could tell that she was not well. She had fallen in the street earlier in the week and was taken to the hospital. I sat and had a cup of coffee with her and we talked. While we were talking, she asked me what our soul is.

The question surprised me since she is very strong Catholic even though she makes it clear she does not believe in saints. Anyway, I gave it my best shot in Spanish. She seemed to understand me and from time to time would make a comment. I wanted to talk to her more about people in the New Testament but was not sure about the Spanish names.........don't ya hate this language barrier??? I told her that I would bring my Bible the next time I visit.

She talked about her son dying when he was in his early twenties.........I listened. I had heard pieces of the story before. I always enjoy spending time with her. She does not think that she will live much longer and that is sad. She said that she will go worship with me on Sunday if it is not raining............we will see. She has been 2-3 times with me and seems to enjoy it.

Tomorrow I go to clinic with Manuel and Tomas. We will have clinic in a place called La Estancia. Hopefully, we will have a good clinic with several patients.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No, I do not have any fruit.........or do I ??

The guys and I went to Xepol today for a clinic. We had a small clinic today but things should not always be measured in numbers..........there are always opportunities.

We had a 14 year old boy that seems to be having seizures. His mom took him to a physician and was told it is his "nerves" that are causing him problems. He was not given any medicine or treatment. He has these events 2-3 times a week and at times is very combative. His mom told us that he beats on his dad and the children in the school so they had to remove him from classes.

He was shy and withdrawn but his mom always talked for him. I wanted to get him to talk to me. Once I started examining him, he opened up a little more. He told Gaspar and I that he would like to go go to school but his mom won't let him. We talked about his hitting people and being so aggressive. We will see him in two weeks and hopefully, we will get a good report.

If you were able to read yesterdays blog about why I enjoy living in Guatemala, this is a perfect example. Here, I am able to talk about God and the church. We are able to pray with the family and the patient. We invited them to worship with the church there in Xepol. When the brother from the local church heard us talking with the mother, he came over and offered a special invitation.

Who knows what may happen from this today? Maybe I am overly optimistic or maybe not. Maybe he will eventually get to go to school problem with dreaming big, right??

On the way home the guys were hungry so we stopped to get something to eat. I grabbed a Coke and found some plums that looked really good. I bought a pound of them and attached them to the outside of my backpack.

When we started down the road toward Chichi and then we entered the fruit inspection area. The guys and I always joke and ask each other if we have fruit and the answer is always I answered the same out of habit, "No, I do not have any fruit."

Well, the inspectors asked if they could open the door and I answered, "Sure!" There went my plumbs, which I honestly had forgotten about. If I was trying to smuggle them, I would have placed them inside my backpack.

As we drove away, Juan asked us what we thought they did with the fruit. Gaspar and I just laughed as we both said, "They are eating the plumbs right now!"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Do you really like living in Guatemala?

I have had people ask me in the last few weeks if I really enjoy living here in Guatemala. It is a common question and yes, I really do enjoy living in Guatemala.

Yes, there are different challenges here but there are challanges no matter where you live. No matter what you are doing there are always hurdles to jump and accomplishments to be made.

Today, I went to the bank and deposited a check. About 2 hours later, the man from the bank called me and said that they needed me to sign two more papers. He offered to come to my house for the signature but I told him that I would return to the bank. I appreciated his offer but thought it better to return to the bank.

The computer guy came to the house today to hook up my new computer since my old Dell died. He comes to my house almost every month to collect the monthly fee. When I have problems with my internet, he usually is here in about an hour......always ready to help.

On the way to town, I was almost tackled in the street by a patient. His enthusiam startled me but when I realized who he was and it was because he was feeling better, it was nice. He is a diabetic patient from one of our clinics and had lowered his blood sugar quite a lot.

I talked to the family in Paxot that I lived with for a few weeks. They enjoy it when I call just to see how they are doing. Martina told me that one of the cats died and the children miss me. They asked me if we could go and get icecream again. I told them that we will do it sometime but I am not sure when it will be.

Yes, I do enjoy living here in Guatemala. I know I will return to The States someday and that is ok........but today is all I have, so today I will be content here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

whew.........a time to chill.......

I returned to Chichi today after the Donnelson group left the hotel. It will be a few days to chill and regroup. It has been quite a busy few weeks with MET winding down, the ladies Bible class, the large group here and then the Donnelson group. Whew.........................but it has been good!!

Most of our groups focus on medical care so the Donnelson group was a little different. They were a group of ten people and they primary were here for construction work. They started building the bathrooms for the Mactzul III church and almost have it completed. I have not seen it yet so I do not have any photos.

I worked 2 days with Dr. Tomas and enjoyed that. I appreciated the way he greeted introduced himself to each patient. He was very kind with patients and they also appreciate it.

Our nightly devotionals were led by Dan. I want to let you know that one of his favorite books is Ecclesiastes, which I will never forget. He would place The Bible in the middle of the circle and people were encouraged to read their favorite verses. It took a few minutes for people to warm up to it but once people were comfortable, The Bible was being passed from hand-to-hand. It is a good reminder to always carry your glasses with you or you will have to recite your favorite passage :)

I have a few photos from 2 weeks ago that I did not mom and dad.............

My mom and I playing with my other family in Paxot II.........and Jenny on Rick's lap.

Mom and dad with Noe, their ABC Child. Dad's new hat is a gift from the parents of Noe.

My parents with Rick and Sarah.............I think Paige was pulling teeth when we took this. Maybe she has applied for dental school :):):)

OK, that is all for is good to be home. I went to the used bookstore before I left Antigua. and bought Volume I of the Sherlock Holmes stories. I started reading it and so good.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Completed ABC Clinic in Mactzul V

We went back out to Mactzul V to finish up the ABC Clinic today. We saw 35 patients, of which most were ABC Children.

Setting up before the clinic started.

Sebastian and his family, after we prayed with everyone.

After we had seen all of the patients, the guys went to get our lunch for us. We had a good lunch and then packed the trucks when we saw that no more patients were going to arrive.

The week has gone quickly and it has also gone well. Tomorrow, we will go to Antigua for the night and then the team will fly back to The States on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Clinic in Zacualpa

We started out for Zacualpa early this morning with 2 trucks........Josefina, Tomas, Manuel, Gaspar, Jackie, Laura and I.

We had a good drive up without any problems.

We are beginning to see some of the same patients return to the clinic each month. Last month, one of our regular patients was at clinic. When I examined her eyes, immediately, I recognized they did not look as they had in the past. One pupil was much larger than the other and this is not a good sign. Josefina gave the lady directions to Solola, where there is a eye specialist. She went the next day and he told her she had developed glaucoma. He gave her 3 different eye drops to use, including steroids and now she is feeling much better without any pain.

Jackie watching as one of the girls is playing through the window on a ladder.

We eventually had 25 medical patients and one patient for dental cleaning.

We drove back to the hotel for dinner, our nightly devotional an then headed home for the night.

Tomorrow we will go to Mactzul V to finish an ABC Clinic there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pass that Pica Mass........

Today we headed to Xepocol for another ABC Clinic. It was cold and dreary but we survived!

Checking out the equipment that is available for dental. Paco is on the right side of the photo. This is his first time to the Highlands and he has been a big help with this group.

Still getting ready for clinic........discussing the game plan!

Checking out the temperature probe before we started seeing the children.

Some of the dental and medical crew......................

Today we had chow mein for lunch with tamalitos. It was a wonderful lunch and a huge carboburst! This group was introduced to Pica Mass yesterday at lunch and we had it again is a hit! It makes great gifts, it is very inexpensive and easy to transport back to The States. Friends and family, put your order in for Pica Mas!!

We had a patient today that was diagnosed with diabetes. His blood sugar was 350, he has been weak for a year and has lost about 40 pounds. The patient is costumbre, which is a great opportunity for us to teach him about Christ. We will see what happens. If he returns to clinic, lowers his blood sugar and feels better he might be open to hearing about the gospel.........this is what it is all about!

We saw 12 regular patients, 27 ABC Children and 32 dental patients today.

Tomorrrow we will head to Zacualpa!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Visiting the Mactzuls

We headed out to three different areas today.......Clinica Carris, Mactzul III and Mactzul I. The group that is with us this week is from the Donnelson Church of Christ in Tennessee.

Josefina and Marcos had their regular clinic in Lemoa.

One group went to Mactzul I to help with the construction. This is the newest photo I have of their building. It was a dreary morning but eventually the rain cleared so the guys could get the work done.

It was much larger than I imagined it was.

Right as we left to go to the other clinic, the guys started working.

The drive to Mactzul I is not far. The clouds were still hanging low in this area.

We set up clinic to see the ABC Children and we saw 35 children.

Everyone getting ready to check in the children.

Neva showing us the tricks that she knows :)

It was a good day and we were able to serve in different areas. We hope the rain holds off tomorrow so the guys can get more work done in Mactzul III. The medical crew will head off to Xepocol for another ABC Clinic.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The group returns to Guatemala City........

We met for breakfast and then began the day. Many people headed out to the market to find the best sales. The streets were not packed so it was a good day to wind through the streets.

Mom and Paige in the courtyard of the hotel.

We had an ice cream social with 5 of the ABC children. I did not get many photos so maybe some can be sent to me to be posted.

This is Dad and parents ABC Child. He and his parents traveled for 2 hours to come and see my parents.

Sarah and Rick met Paulina, their ABC Child.

There were 31 of us together and it was fun. Again, it is a great program that offers medical and dental care for children while promoting education and involvement with the local church. The program is continuing to grow ad if anyone is interested in helping, please email me.

It was hard seeing the group leave. I really enjoy it when people come to see what is happening and it is sad to see them go........especially when some of them are your family and close friends. It was a great week........but time to get focused on the next group that will be about 2 hours!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Clinic in Paxot II

As usual, we enjoyed a good breakfast and then went to different clinics. Today we had clinics in Chuchipaca and Paxot II. Everyone gathered outside and and got checked into the clinics. We saw medical patients, ABC Children, dental patients and offered dental cleanings.

This is the dental area as they were getting started for the day. Maury and Paige assisting the dentist. Paige eventually pulled three teeth during the day and I think it was the highlight of her trip!

Rick worked with the children through the day.

Sarah painted finger nails for the little girls.

When it was time to break for lunch, we went to visit the family that I lived with during the MET program. It was exciting to return and see them and it was also exciting for them to meet my family.

There was a lot of excitment as we entered. They had placed pine needles on the floor for us and the kitchen smelled so good. We had a lunch of grilled steak, beans, salad and tamalitos.

Martina asked if we wanted to go into my room. Everything remained the same as when I left. Paige and my dad played jacks with Angelica on the floor.

We all gathered outside for a quick photo before we needed to return to clinic. From left to right........Rick, Sarah, Paige, Mom and Dad with Martina and her mom.

It was a busy day with 27 medical patients, 46 ABC Children, 56 dental patients and 5 dental cleanings.

We returned to Chichi and then walked around town before it was time for dinner.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Clinic in Mactul V

We enjoyed breakfast today and then loaded the bus and trucks for Mactzul II and Mactzul V.

Our group went to Mactzul V. This is the new church building they are building. I have not seen it since it was started and I was very surprised at how large it is. Some of the guys helped move the cinder blocks an helped out with some of the construction activities.

This is dad and Neva after we had lunch and were returning to work.

Mom, Dad and Paige worked in the dental area today. This is Jim and Barbara....they are my Diet Dr. Pepper suppliers!

Rick and Sarah were in the other Mactzul today. Sarah worked with the children's activities and Rick prayed with the patients after their consult.

Lisa, Lesca and I saw the medical patients today. There were 37 medical patients, 38 ABC Children, 66 dental patients and 8 patients for dental cleaning.

These were some of our happy patients today.

We arrived back at the hotel at 6:30, just in time to get ready for diner.

We had another good devotional and then it was time to head home.......................tomorrow another day, another adventure!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Clinic in Mactzul VI

We had three sets of clinics Lemoa, Panaxjit and Mactzul VI.

The clinic in Mactzul was a little slow getting started but once it was going, it went well! We saw adult patients, ABC children, dental patients and also had a work crew going.

The kids loved playing with the blown up globe.

Eventually, globe had more kicking than it could handle and had to be put to rest in the trash can. Susan, looking on as the globe went flying by.

Sarah blowing up balloons for the children.

Kemmel and Rick making some decisons about the day.

These ladies worked the pharmacy area and this is their first time down........Carol, Kristen and Cameron. Carol attends Auburn University and is a physical therapy major. Kristen is a pharmacy student at David Lipscomb. Cameron is also a pharmacy student and attends Harding University.

Mom and dad worked in the dental area cleaning the dental instruments.

Rick and Johnnie played in the cement all day...........they will be sore tomorrow!

It was very busy day but a good one. We finished the day with 24 medical patients, 30 ABC Children and 70 dental patients.

We enjoyed dinner at the hotel and then our evening devotional.

Tomorrow will be another day........................another adventure......................

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The group has arrived!

The group has arrived and all is well. It will be a full week, packed with a lot of different activities and it will be especially exciting for those who are here for the first time. I love having people come down and learn about the work. There are so many different is not just dental, medical and surgical.

This is the group from Morganton that is here. Rick, Sarah, my mom, Paige and my dad. I am sure that they will have a lot of fun stories to tell, if dinner was any hint of what the week will bring :)

Tomorrow, we will divide into three teams and run three different clinics.

We should see a lot of medical and dental patients, with also children from the ABC Program coming for their well check. We will also be having some painting being done and community projects.

Wish us luck! It is raining hard right now but maybe the weather will clear up in the morning.