Saturday, October 30, 2010

Time in Panajachel

I left Chichi about 10 am and was looking forward to a different adventure for the weekend!

Since the road between Solola and Panajachel is closed, we needed to take a different route. In Solola, we took a bus to San Jorge. The bridge will be closed for 5 months.

This is San Jorge where we jumped in the back of pickups and we rode down to the lake.

After the trucks dropped us off, we walked down to the lake to hop in the boats. The guy kept telling us that the boat could hold more. I joked with him and said, "The boat can ALWAYS hold ONE more, right!?!" He took me very serious and told me that they were only taking 18 passengers at a time.

Taking off from the dock..........

This is Pana, as we were approaching by boat.

As I was walking through Pana, this is one of the large med slides that happened earlier this year.......probably during Agatha. It caused a lot of damage and maybe even some deaths.

This is the view of the lake as I was having dinner.

I am having a great weekend and I hope you are as well!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Clinic in Chuchuca

This morning Lisa, Manuel, Tomas and I headed to Chuchuca. We had a small clinic of about 10 patients but we were happy to see them come in one-by-one.

Lisa was able to talk to the father of a ABC Child who has a heart murmur. She is doing well but it is thought that she should have an ultrasound in Guatemala City. Hopefully, we can get that done during November or early in December.

It is the weekend and Lake Atitlan is calling my name. I wanted to go after our clinic but due to the road situation, I thought it would be better to wait until the morning...........I will keep you posted!

I hope that you have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clinic in Lemoa

Today, we had clinic in Lemoa. I think there were 13 patients in total. After Lisa saw the the patients and if they needed more education, I would do that.

One patient had a blood sugar of 563 and is a new diabetic. I will be looking forward to next week to see if his blood sugar is lower.

I forgot to post these photos of last Saturday in Chuchipaca. These are the early paintings of the mural inside the church building.

When it is finished, I will post new ones.

Tomorrow, Josefina, the guys and I head to Chuchuca. We have not had any rain so I do not think we will have problems in the road.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Clinic in Chuguexa and flying kites!

Today the guys and I headed for Chuguexa. I was hoping that we would have a busy clinic, as we did last month. We had patients waiting as we pulled up and that is unusual. We saw 15 patients and it was a good clinic.

One husband returned with his wife, who last month was extremely sick. Last month he had carried her to clinic since she was unable to walk. Today, they returned and she was able to wak to clinic. She even smiled a few times and those smiles are wonderful!

When I returned to Chichi, I asked Manul's children if they wanted to fly kites. They got all excited and then told me that they did not have a kite to fly. Hmmmmm........guess I had to buy a couple of kites.

We went behind the store to a small field. I wanted the kids to stay out of the street......yeah, right.

I think we spent more time rewinding the string and running after the kites than the kites were actually in the air.

It was fun but it was a challenge keeping 4 kids and 3 kites going

After two hours, the kids started to lose their interest and I was getting tired. I jumped on a bus and went to Quiche to get my hair cut.

Tomorrow we have clinic in Lemoa.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Clinic in Xejox

Our group left early this morning for Xejox to do a ABC clinic. The road has been improved since the last time we were in the area. We have not had any rain so that even makes the roads better.

We had patients waiting for us and the day went very smoothly.

Some of the patients waiting their turn.

Josefina with some of her patients.

We missed seeing a few students but hopefully they will come to another clinic. All of the children I saw had gained some weight. The range that I saw was 1-6 pounds.......but no one had lost weight.

Tomorrow, the guys and I will go to Chuguexa for clinic.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Back in Chichi

I arrived back in Chichi mid-morning without any problems.

When I was walking to my house, Manuel stopped me and asked if I would look at his son's foot. He had hurt it on the motorcycle last week. Now, this little boy is only 5 years old but his open area is huge and deep. I went up to Lemoa to get some cream and antibiotic and returned later in the evening to clean it.

I asked Manuel if his children like to fly kites. All of the stores are selling them now since we are close to November 1st and that is All Saints Day. On that day, most people will visit the cemeteries to have a picnic on the grave site of their family and many people will be flying kites.

Manuel said that his children like to fly kites but he does not have enough time to take them. I told him that I would return another day and we would fly kites.

My phone died this morning so I went to look for a new one. Yes, I wanted a Blackberry but my conscience kept telling me I should I did not :( I will survive. I got a Samsung that has an MP3 and internet access so I will be content with that.

Tomorrow Josefina, Tomas, Manuel and I will go to Xejox to do a ABC clinic. It will be a good day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday in Antigua

I love living in Chichi but sometimes it is good just to visit new places and have new thoughts.

I walked this morning to where the church meets. I remembered the first time I went here in 2006 and it was the hardest place to find. I can not tell you how many times I set out looking for it after language class and would return back to my room frustrated........ unable to find it. Finally, Lisa and Kemmel emailed me and said they would come and go with me. I was so excited to see them that Sunday morning since I knew I was semi-lost.

The congregation has really grown in Antigua. The place was packed. I always go for class before so I can get a seat. They are very friendly and are kind. They asked about Lisa and Kemmel.......and I forgot to tell you so when you read this, you will know! ha ha. How is this for delivering a message.

I met Mary in the park and we had lunch in one of my favorite restaurants. It is called The Travelers Menu. They have a great pasta dish that is loaded with vegetables! Yes, it is wonderful.

The rest of the day was spend chillin' and clickin' that remote control :)

I will return to Chichi in the morning and it has been a good weekend................but they all are!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Clinic in Chuchipaca and the start of the weekend

First, I want to thank people who have left comments on the blog. It is nice to know people are reading and thinking about the work that is taking place.

Penny, thank you for writing about the difficulty of losing a child. Everyone has struggles and they are painful. As you said, life is a vapor but if we are ready, we can rejoice at the end of this life.

Alice, you are right, every day is a different adventure. Today at clinic, we talked about different classes we would be having in the communities and I think it is exciting.

We had about 19 patients today in Chuchipaca.

After clinic, I jumped on a van to go to Antigua. I did not have any problem with the travel and all went well.

I will visit with a friend of mine, Mary, that will be returning to The States for a few months. She will be helping some people open a coffee shop for a coffee ministry. I hope that she has safe travels and the ministry is a success!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Clinic in Lemoa

Today we had clinic in Lemoa. It was a small clinic with only 12 patients.

We have heard about some demonstrations that will be taking place tomorrow so we discussed if we should cancel clinics or go as planned. Marcos said that all of the stores and banks in Quiche will be closed and he also read that 30-32 main roads will be blocked. Blocked roads are one condition, patients not coming to clinic is another and then the possibility of violence also needs to be weighed in.

So, clinics are canceled for tomorrow. It will work well since Kemmel will owe the guys days after our big jornada here in November. I will work at home tomorrow and hopefully show Lisa on Saturday the gastritis presentation, close to being finished.

Lisa had a wide range of patients today. The majority of them were diabetics.

She also saw a little girl, who has a small growth on her leg. The mother will return to clinic after they have some x-rays done. Lisa gave me a crash course on bone tumors.

The last patient of the day had a small cyst in his leg. Lisa removed the cyst and the guy went on his way, needing only three stitches.

I walked up to town to pay my whopping electricity bill of $7.00 for the month. I arrived at 1645 but he would not let me in. The door states they are open until 1700 but they stop taking money at 1630...............bummer!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Now, that is some butter!

Whenever Kemmel and Lisa make a run to Guatemala City, they always ask if I want anything. I really appreciate their offer and they bring me things like bagged lettuce, cheese and butter. Yes, Guatemalan butter lacks many things and it is hard to find butter.

So, this is what they returned with and I never have seen such a large container. I am sooooo excited. It is five pounds and will last me a few years!

They have started digging up our neighborhood to put down a blocked street. I think it will be nice, if it is ever completed. I just hope the guys have used this type of machinery before! I may end up without water, electricity or even part of the house! I think it is even making Nakko nervous.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Prayers for Jessica's family and Madgna

This morning, Gaspar called and told me that Jessica had died early in the morning. I am so very sad for the family but excited for Jessica.

This young child is now at home with Jesus, no longer suffering. She would not want to lie in bed living as she had been the last few weeks. It was a very difficult situation but now, she is at peace.

I know the parents are hurting but when Jessica was alive, they were also hurting. As I said, it was a difficult situation.

I went to visit Madgna and she had planned to attend worship with me. When she opened the door, I knew something was wrong. She told me her brother died on October 6th, while I was in Florida. She cried and was very upset. She told me that she has lost 2 brothers in 40 days. She had a visitor in her kitchen so I told her that I would return another time to visit.

No matter our age, social status or educational level, eventually we will meet our Lord. Some die when they are children, some die as adults and some will never die but meet the Lord when He returns.

Another fact is that some day, every knee will bow and we will confess. Isaiah first penned it and then Paul in
Romans 14:11-12-- As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me, every tongue will confess to God. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

The question is, "Will we be ready?" We are not guaranteed when it will happen. It may be as a child, or an adult or we may live until He returns.

Just something to think about.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Back to clinics

Today we had clinic in Lemoa. Lisa picked me up this morning and Kemmel came to the clinic after he finished a few things.

This is usually our pap clinic day but it ended up being EKG day. We did 3 EKG's and all were normal.

Kemmel worked outside......mowing and trimming the grounds. It looked really good when he was finished.

After everything was done, we went to Chichi for lunch. Gaspar rode with me and we talked about Jessica. She is at home with her parents and is basically unresponsive. The family has had to sell a lot of things to maintain her care. We talked about how hard this is on the family.........both emotionally and financially. What a struggle the must be having.

We had lunch and it was good......especially the chili. I had not eaten in this restaurant since Josefina had found an unwanted visitor in her food :( I think that was about 2 years ago. We looked at the calendar and planned some classes.

Now, it is time to enjoy the weekend.

Friday, October 15, 2010 evening!

Today I worked at home on a gastritis teaching sheet and a class that we will eventually be presenting in the communities. Many people suffer from heartburn, esophagitis and gastric ulcers. People always ask about their diet so it is a good opportunity for us to share the material.

In the evening, Lisa called and told me that we were invited to dinner. Pat and a group from San Antonia are here and they have been doing some construction work. Pat brings groups down a couple times a year and it is always good to see him. He is fluent in K'iche' and even then Guatemalans will tell you that he speaks the language better than they do. What an accomplishment!

Josefina and her parents were also invited to dinner. Josefina and her mom.

James and Barbara also traveled with the group. It is always good to see them!

Voces Acappella performed for us tonight and it was wonderful!! As Kemmel said on the way home, "They improve all of the time!" Tonight, they had the CD that I have been waiting for! I know that they are tired of me asking when it will be finished.........and now it is! All of the songs are in K'iche' and I am sure there is no other CD like it. What talented family they are!

Below is Pat, Mary and the group. Mary has been coming down for the last few years to work with them. I am not sure who enjoys it more, Mary or the group :)

Pat shared with us the history of the song, Xinraq K'ak' K'aslemal and how he translated that song many years ago.

It was a fun evening and it was good to see friends and make some new ones.

OK, for those of you who know Voces Acappella and would like a copy of their NEW CD in K'iche', email me and I will get you a copy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back in Chichi.........yeah!!

OK, I am back! As I mentioned last night, it is time to switch mental gears.

The shuttle arrived at the hotel and it was a mini-bus for about 30-40 people. I have never seen it before so it must be new to the travel agency. It was less than half full but it was very comfortable.

When I arrived to Chichi, I called Kemmel to let them know I was here.

Then I called Gaspar to find out about Jessica. She is the little girl with meningitis and I wanted to go to Santa Cruz to visit her. Gaspar told me that she had been discharged and was now at home. The physicians told the family there was no more that they can do for her. She still can not speak or eat. How sad for the family.

Kemmel, Lisa and I had dinner tonight at San Juan................yes, another burger but a Guatemalan burger, unlike Mono Loco. We caught up on stuff. It has been about 6 weeks since we have really we talked about family, vacation, patients, events and just stuff. It was nice!

The suitcase looks good in the living room so I will let it sit there, unpacked until the proper time. Ha ha ha.

Good night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Returning to Guatemala

I returned to Guatemala on Wednesday afternoon. It was not the smoothest flight by far........but we finally landed!

My luggage arrived and then I found a van to take me to Antigua. For some reason I was exhausted. I seldom get this tired but all I wanted was to check in to the hotel and go to bed.

I knew I needed to take advantage of Antigua so I went to the market to find some new sunglasses. They claim they are Ray Ban but you know how that can be. I grabbed a couple, ran into Mono Loco for a burger and then headed to the hotel.

The vacation was great! Mom, Dad and I had a lot of fun and sun. I met some of their friends and they were very nice to me. Now, it is time to sleep and change mental gears.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vacation comes to and end................

There was not a lot of sun in the morning so we went to the pool in the afternoon.

We ate dinner on one of the channels and had lots of seafood!

When we got back to the condo the sun began to go down.

The sky was beautiful.

Mom and I washed laundry and watched the last of the sunset.

Tonight we watched the miners in Chile prepare to be rescued. It is an exciting time for them and their families. Since our clocks are set for 0500, we will have to watch more of it in the morning and tomorrow afternoon.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

A fun vacation continues......

Today was going to be a sunny day so we decided to rent a boat for the morning. We have been alternating going to the pool and the beach so today would be different. We found a place not to far from the condo.

Dad getting his last instructions at the dock.

Pulling out from the setting his GPS. Don't we all like toys??

This is the light house on Sanibel Island. We set anchor near here and walked the beach.

We found a few places were the the dolphins were playing. I watched this big swirl, waiting to see what would happen.

This is what popped up!

It was a great day! The weather could not have been better.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday in Florida

Today was another pool day. We had wanted to rent a boat for the day but the wind was too strong. We hung out at the pool and then ventured out for the evening.

We found a place that served chilled shrimp, onion rings and fried mushrooms. This cat sat under dad's feet waiting for dad to share................

In the evening, we went to look for manatee near the boat docks but they did not want to come out and play with us.

This was the evening view near the condo.

Tomorrow we will go to Lover's Key again for the day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday in Florida

Tuesday was another day of adventure. These are mom's happy feet on the beach.

We went to Lover's Key Beach to kayak with the manatee in the mangroves. We kayaked for almost 4 hours and it was fantastic. The weather is wonderful............lots of sun and fun!

This is one of our new friends of the day.

Mom, dad and I went for ice cream in the evening. There is a place across the street that has Mackinaw Fudge ice cream. It is vanilla ice cream with carmel and chocolate covered pecans.

Tomorrow we will spend the day by the pool and have more excitement.

Monday, October 4, 2010

From Guatemala to Florida

Today I flew to Florida to spend a week with my parents as they vacation in Ft. Myers. I had been a little nervous due to the rains and mudslides but the roads were open enough to get to Antigua and then to the airport.

I met mom and dad in Miami without any problems. We stopped at a Fudrucker's for a great burger and then drove to Ft. Myers.

Mom and I walked on the beach and watched the sunset.

There were not any people on the beach.

Mom and I goofing around as she held my first DDP of the trip. Can you tell I have been up since 0300, when I left Antigua? I had my own private shuttle to the airport :)

It is good to be here without any problems. The flight was good and the weather here is warm. Tomorrow we are going kayaking with the manatees in the mangroves. I am sure it will be an adventure!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A dryer day and a day of thanks.......

This morning it slept a little later than usual and that seemed wonderful. The main goal for the day was to have coffee with Josefina, check on Paulina in Mactzul I and prepare for a short vacation.

The rain has really slowed down and I am very, very thankful. Tomorrow, I hope take a shuttle to Antigua and I am concerned if there are more mudslides, the shuttles will not run. I went to the travel agency today but he was closed. Oh yeah, the shuttle is because I am going to visit my parents in Florida.......and yes, I am extremely excited!!

I called Tomas in Mactzul I today to check on Paulina. She is the little girl with the infected hand that we saw on Tuesday. Tomas told me that Paulina's hand is much better and is not hurting her. I reinforced with him that she needs to go to Lemoa on Monday if there is more infection. When we got of the phone, I squealed and let out a, "Gracias a Dios!" I have been concerned about her hand because it was so infected. I know God answers prayer and this is just a reinforcement of that.

I called Josefina to see it she was still up for meeting. She said yes so I jumped on a bus and went to Santa Cruz. As I was waiting for the bus, there was a man also waiting and we started talking about HTI and our clinics. When we passed the clinic, I showed him where it is. Who know? We may see him or his family there.

Josefina and I enjoyed coffee and caught up on all many things that have happened this last month. There has been some sadness but also some things that give us joy. I know that she and her family are sad over the death of her grandmother but we talked about the hope that Christians have. For people who are not Christians, it is difficult for them to understand.

So, everyday we need to be thankful for what we have and each day what we are thankful for changes. I am thankful for the drier weather but people in NC are thankful they have had some rain. I remember the summer we had very little rain, here in Guatemala. We were thankful when we finally had some so the crops would grow. We need to be thankful for our health........and the improvement of our patients. The list goes on and on.....................friends, family and God's presence. I could continue but I have a shuttle to catch tomorrow!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy October!

As I paid my rent today, I wished Tomasita, "Happy October!!" I can not believe how fast the year has gone. I guess that is a sign of getting older or having a busier schedule.

This morning Juan called me as he was still trying to get to Chichi. They were working in the road, trying to get a lane open, but he was told it would be about 3 hours. Manuel and a few others had started out with Juan but when they knew they had gone as far as they could, they finished walking. Gaspar had walked from Xepocol to Clinica Caris.

Juan finally made it to Chichi and then on to the clinic. I stayed in Chichi, printing photos for some of our patients.

I called Josefina to see if they were ok but they were still waiting for Manuel to make it to Santa Cruz. She called me about 2 hours later and said they had arrived in Mactzul 5 but the roads had been very bad.

We are praying for some dry weather. It did rain some this afternoon but not like the last four days so maybe we will hit a dry spell.