Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Class and Culture...........

This morning Gaspar, Juan and I had class together in Lemoa. I have been working on a nutritional presentation for our ABC families. We will present it in different communities and I wanted them to see it first to get their opinion on it. It covers different sources of protein and how much you should have in a day. It also covers carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.

Diet is a popular topic here. Most patients eventually ask about their diet before they leave the consult. I think the information will be well received and the families will enjoy the class.

Today, Juan had a special "thank you" lunch in his house and Gaspar and I were invited. It was primarily for the elders of the church to express their gratitude during the birth of their child. Aury did have a C-section and she is doing well. I think today was the day they announced the name of the child because before today, we were told that they did not know. So when the elders asked his name, we found out that is Levi Lisandro Tomas Quino Salvador. I am so excited for them. Juan is very attentive to both Levi and Aury.

When we first arrived in the house, Gaspar and I were seated in the room we would have lunch. There were pine needles on the floor and the scent was wonderful. The room is full of photos so Gaspar and I reminisced as we looked at the photos that had been taken over the last few years.

As the elders of the church arrived, we were offered hot chocolate and bread. I have to admit, this afternoon I felt a little awkward and I am not sure why. Usually, I do not feel odd at all but today was different.

I knew that we would probably have a large lunch so I did not want both pieces of my bread. I asked Gaspar if he wanted one and he declined. I asked the gentleman to my left he would like one piece of bread and he said, "Thank you, sister!" as he placed it in his coat to take home and eat later.

When everyone arrived, Juan thanked each of us for being present. As Juan talked, I thought about the photos on the wall of Juan 2-3 years ago and how much he has changed. He has really matured and his focus is totally different, as it should he. Aury, Levi and Juan's parents were the last to enter the room. Each of the elders spoke for a few minutes. Each had something to say to Juan and Aury about being parents and their responsibilities. Much of it was in Kiche' and I did not understand it all. After the final prayer, I was left with the elders and we were served lunch.

What a large lunch it was! When the plate came out, I knew I would not be able to eat it all. We had a bowl of some type of thick orange sauce and another plate of meat and vegetables. We dipped the vegetables in the sauce and it was delicious. Of course there were 8 plates of tamalitos! Each of us were given almost a whole side of beef..........it was huge. So, when most people stopped eating their vegetables and a few tamalitos, they did not eat their meat.......then I understood why.

People started wrapping their meat to take it home. Juan's dad came in with some plastic bags while others came prepared and pulled out their "take home bag" from their coats. After they had placed the meat in the bag, they poured the remains of the sauce in the bag.

It was an afternoon that will remain with me for a long time. I am really appreciative that Juan invited us. It is events like this that are special. I did not get any photos of Levi. He was not really shown to people and was removed from the room so quickly.

Tomorrow we go to Zacualpa. We will leave Chichi at 0730 and pray for safe travels.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sheri -
The ABC family that I met when there did the same with the meat that was bought for them for lunch. I am continuously humbled by my experiences in Guatemala and your stories. Thank you for sharing.