Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Xepol and another adventure!

The guys and I headed to Xepol today. It is one of our smaller clinics but I enjoy it for a couple of reasons. I think it is one of our poorer communities and Tomas is always there to help us. He helps translate and when I mention different things about the church, he translates and then adds to it. It is wonderful when the church members are active and participate in the clinics. It lets the members of the community know who they can go to when they have problems.

My little buddy, Victor, was there today and he was wearing the UNC cap. His mom tells me that he still is getting along well with his brothers and other boys. He is also helping his dad and this is good. He had one big seizure this month so he is still doing better. People in the community do not understand seizures and give his mom a hard time. They tell her that she should put him in a hospital or seek out a professes. Sometimes it is also difficult for her. But overall, I think the family is doing better and in time, can even improve more.

One lady was pregnant and she simply was not healthy. We talked about her eating, since she does not like to eat and also seeing her mid-wife more often. This family, as Tomas', are not Christians. This is will be their 7th child so we also talked about responsibilities that parents have when they have children. Yes, we teach them different things in life that are important but more important is teaching them about Christ. We invited them back to clinic and to the worship service in Xepol. We will see what happens.

When the guys and I returned to the truck, we had a flat tire. It is the first one I have had here in Guatemala. We were dirty when we finished but we were glad that we changed it with minimal problems.

Our drive home was uneventful.......the new tire did not fall off the truck! Every day is an adventure and it prevents us from being bored :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Clinic in Chutuzob

Today, we had a wonderful clinic in Chutzurob. The brothers and sisters there are always prepared for clinic and that is an encouragement to us. Does this little boy look like he is ready for his consult? These two ladies helped us with clinic today by taking vital signs and checking different labs that were needed. They are a big help to us.

It was a busy clinic and that is good. We had 20 medical patients, 7 dental patients and 5 patients for dental cleaning.

One lady has been coming to the clinic for several months and had not been able to get her blood sugar under control. Sometimes when she comes her mouth is so dry it is difficult for her to talk. Last month it was 467 and today it 147! She told me that she thinks now she understands the diet. The promoter that was translating for me today said to her, "And today you are even smiling!"

So, tomorrow the guys and I will head to Xepol for another clinic. Hopefully, we will find some patients that also have a happy story.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday in Chichi

This mornning I went to my K'iche' class. I told the teachers that we need to slow the pace a little. I do not fully understand everything that they say to me in K'iche and it is very frustrating. I know all teachers have a different style but after only 5 classes we are already studying different tenses and I have not built a basic vocabulary yet.

The UNC vs KU was today and congrats to the KU team and fans! I thought I had a place to watch it and then when it was not on, I was disappointed. Anyways, they played a great game and I hope they go all the way!

We all know that there has been much devastation and sadness in the world and I do not think that it is going to get much better. I am not a negative person but it is the reality in which we live.

There are some Christians in India and Ghana that read the blog and have asked that I ask you for your prayers. They are really struggling and believe that with God's grace, they will make it.

Each country had different struggles and problems. At times it is difficult for us to comprehend the struggles that someone else has. While one student may be struggling to have the money to sit for his final exams, another student is struggling to have the top-line car at graduation. While one man is struggling for coats for his family, another man may be struggling to take his family on their dream vacation. Struggles are struggles.........all cause discomfort.

Maybe we can spend more time praying for each other............maybe one day we will be the one asking for prayers.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chuchipaca Clinic and Diabetic Class

Today, was our clinic in Chuchipaca and first Diabetic Class. I was excited, as I think we all were. We started a series of three Diabetic Classes and plan on rotating them. There may even be more classes because when we start doing the diet plan, I think the class will go very slowly.

When we started setting things up, we were told that everyone might not fit in the classroom.........isn't that a terrible problem to have??? I think not!

Kemmel took the names of the patients as Gaspar took their vital signs. We prayed and then started the clinic. There were 22 patients that wanted to sit in the class. I do not think all of them were diabetics but that is OK. During the class, the promoter would call out the name of next patient for Lisa to see and we would continue with the class. After class, I helped with seeing patients.

I think the day went very smoothly. There was a lot of participation and a lot of questions. Gaspar translated for me and he is always a big help. There were 25 patients for the day and that is a good clinic. What a great day.......and all for the glory of God.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just another day............and it was good!

Today was a day to get many things done.

First, I want to tell you about a new restaurant that has opened in Antigua and I think it will be a great restaurant. The name is Oris and they are already preparing for Semana Santa. They have a wide range menu. It is in a huge house that has been totally remodeled. I was in it a couple of years ago and did not recognize it on Monday when I visited. The managers are very nice people and I am sure that you will enjoy it.

Address: 1st Avenida Norte, Building #12

So, today I worked on the Diabetes Class I that we will be offering on Saturday in Chuchipaca. It will be the first class of three that we will rotate. In the afternoon, I went up to the office and had Maury look over it. Tomorrow, I will make a few changes and then we will be ready!

When I was walking home, I stopped and talked to Tomasita's son and he asked me what I had been doing. When I told him, he got really excited. He said there is a community near by that has a lot of diabetics and wanted to know if we could offer the class there. I told him that I would get back with him but I think it is a great opportunity. So, we will see.........

This evening, I sat on the porch and had a ice-cold DDP........thanks to Dr. Jim.

It was a good day and I think tomorrow will be the same.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dicussing the digestive system

Today we had class in Lemoa and Lisa talked about the digestive system. It was very interesting and people participated.

One group doing their project on the hood of the truck.

We had about 23 people in class. Many of tried to sit in the sun as this morning was very cool.

Lisa explaining the anatomy of the digestive system.

When the guys heard how many feet the colon has in it, Tomas jumped up and ran for a measuring tape. I think the class was in shock when they realized the length.

The big news of the day is that President Colom and his wife, Sandra, are divorcing. She wants to be elected as the next president but someone can not run if their spouse is the current president. So, there you have it! You can draw your own conclusions on that.

Class was good and I think everyone learned a lot.

Tomorrow, I will finish a diabetic class and then spend the afternoon reviewing it with Maury. It will be another good day..................

Friday, March 18, 2011

Teams going to Antigua

We left ealy this morning for Antigua. We stopped along the way for breakfast.

Trish letting us know that she is Guatemalan now!!

When we arrived in Antigua, we placed our things in a storage room and hit the streets. Kemmel returned to Chichi. We met the students from David Lipscomb, who have been working down on the coast with Marie and Julie.

It was a good week having Rick here. Kemmel and Lisa kept us organized. Tomorrow I will head back to clean, do laundry and prepare for my K'iche' class on Sunday.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Harding PAs and Trish invade Panajxit

This group of students went with us to Panajaxit today. It was a very educational and emotional day for us............but that gives us opportunities to learn.

Trish with the students before we started.

Now, where is that temporal pulse??

Some days it is just hard to make friends.

Dr. Jim and Trish with the children.

Can you find a better working crew than this??? Hmmmmm......but where is the work??

Mallory in the Guatemalan beauty salon! She was a satisfied customer!

We had several patients today with unusual problems but I will share two with you.

One lady came to the clinic and told us that she had worms in her head. We talked and talked with her before she shared with us that she had a CT Scan done. She did bring it to clinic but did not feel it was important to share it with us as we talked. She also brought a report with her, that she forgot she had. Anyway, she does have worms so that was a new experience for many.

One lady came because she is very sad and does not have energy. Her first husband died of cirrhosis and then her second husband left her a few months ago. She has eight children and the baby is only 4 months old. That is a heavy load to bear. We talked for quite a while so hopefully something was said that gave her some hope. More important than anything is her faith in God. Life is very difficult at times. We talked with the church members and hopefully she will also have some support from them.

It was a good day and the week has almost come to an end. We will head for Antigua tomorrow morning. Please pray that we have safe travels and the students have safe flights home.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Clinic in Chuguexa with Amy and ACU

You know the routine...........breakfast, division into groups and then we hit the roads to different clinics.

My group went to Chuguexa today and the size of the clinic varies. Now, I normally tell you that if we have a small clinic it is due to heavy rain, a wedding, a funeral, a baptism.........whatever! But, today..........are you ready???? It was dog vaccination day! People were herding their dogs around on ropes, taking them to the community health places for their vaccination. ok...........

Gaspar went with us to Chuguexa and we had eight patients. Of those patients, last month, had a gluclose of 253 and today it was 97.........I was very pleased with him.

Amy and Meagan place a sticker on one of the visitors today.

Amy is working this week with the local hospital and was able to go with us today. She comes to Guatemala from time to time and also does a lot of work in Africa. It is exciting to hear about different work that is being done and to also hear of the similarities.

Everyone returned safely from their clinics today and we are always thankful for that. God takes care of us and that is something that we do not want to forget.

Tomorrow will be the last clinic for the students and Trish. They have done great this week and tomorrow will be another busy day...................another adventure!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Clean water, clinics and students in Mactzul I

As usual, we had breakfast this morning and went in our different directions.

Many readers have asked about Trish and YES, she is officially here! I told her to say hello to her husband and here is is saying, "Good morning, honey!"

We set up clinic in Mactzul I and watched it get started. Once we knew that it was going well, some of us headed out to do water filters. It was a busy day and also a good day.

This was the first house that we went to before we split into two groups. This is the home of Rosa Macario Ajanel and she was in school.

This is the home of Josefa Nix Cuin, Maria Victoria and Jose Esteban. Michael and Bradley jumped right in and prepared this filter.

This home is belongs to Manuela Guisela, Vilma Cristina, Rosa Linda and Sylvia Maribel. This photo, we find later, begins a trend for the ABC children. Here the guys were holding the clothes line up so it would not be in the way of the photo.

This is the home of Tomasa Carmen. Bradley is helping by holding the clothes line up for the photo.

Then the walking began. The guys decided they wanted to conserve energy and carry the filters on their heads. It did not last long.

This is the home of Edgar Tomas and Manuel Enrique.

This is the home of Tomas Gabriel and Tomas Eliseo. Now, how confusing would that be to have two sons named Tomas? I would not be surprised if the father's name is also Tomas.

This was the first family of the day that had the ABC children at home. Manuela Angelica is on the left side of the filter in the orange shirt. The young girl with the green blouse is Erica Maribel. Their brother, Jose Anibel was in school.

Juana Sofia is in the front with the white and brown shirt. Her sister, Jessica Tomasa, was in school.

After this filters were delivered, we returned for lunch. We were offered a very good meal of beef, rice and tamalitos. Then it was time to hit the road again.

Our first delivery was to the home of Tomas, who had been working with us all morning. He has been a great help and we really appreciate him. When we delivered a filter to his home, he asked his son to raise his arm for the photo. Apparently, in the past photos he did not realize why the guys were raising their arms. His son is Jose Rogelio.

So, the trend continued that Tomas would ask the students to raise their arms. These students are Tomas and Norma Sente Calel.

This is the house of Jose Edwardo, in the green shirt. Claudia Juana is on the right side of the filter.

It was a great day and much was accomplished for the glory of God. Twenty-two filters were delivered, 43 dental patients were seen and 15 medical patients were attended to.

Before we left Mactzul I, I talked to Kemmel and they still had several patients to see before they would leave Xejox. We pray for their safe travels this evening.

Tomorrow is another day.......and yes.......another adventure! Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Harding and ACU meet Xepocol

After breakfast this morning, we went in two different directions. Some went to the clinic in Lemoa and some of us went to Xepocol. While many were taking care of the patient in the clinic, others of us went out into the community to deliver water filters.

Again, the filters are a continuation of the ABC Program and preventive medicine.

Kemmel begins the morning by teaching the guys from the community how to clean and maintain the filter. Then we divided into two groups to deliver the filters to 13 families.

The dental guys already are seeing patients.

New stickers that we are now applying to the filters.

This is the first house that we visited. The student, Daniel Xirum Saquic, was in school so we did not get to speak to him.

This is the family of Bernabe Reyes Tecun Chan. Again, she was in school so we did not get to speak to her.

This is the family of Emillo and Esteban. It is good going to the homes of the children but when they are in school, you miss talking to them.

This is the family of Christina Chan Mejia and Jose Alejandro.

After we finished out last delivery, we returned to the church building for lunch.....not that we were hungry. We had been given coffee, bread and two bottles of water. People are very kind and want to show their appreciation, especially when we are walking for a few hours in the sun.

After lunch, we returned to our deliveries.

This family has the children Tomas Chan Teleban, Juan Mauricio Chan Teleban, Everaldo Samuel Chan Teleban and Eric Alexander.

Then, we finally found some children at home! This is Syliva Manuela in the black shirt. She told us that her favorite subject is math!

This was the last filter of the day. Below are Tomas (striped shirt), Ana (the far left person), Manuel (far right person) and Ana (between her brothers).

When it was time to be done for the day, it was time to be done.

As we were getting ready to return home, the moon was smiling down on us.

The exciting part is that we get to do it again tomorrow. The students did a great job today. They jumped right in and did the work. They started learning some words in K'iche' and that was fun.

Rick talked to the people at the surgery clinic in Montellano and they are doing great. The surgeries have gone well and we are so thankful for that.

Please pray that we will have safe travels tomorrow...........we will jump in again and have more adventures!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday with Harding PA Students

One of the guys that we are working with this week, Manuel, offered to take us through the Catholic Church on Sunday. It is the one that is photographed the most in Chichicastenango. It was very interesting and then he offered to walk us up to Pascual Abaj.

The Harding group as we continued the hike to the top of Pascual Abaj.

The view was very pretty. This is the view of the Chichicastenango cemetery as we were continuing the climb.

When we reached the top, there was a family there offering a sacrifice. Many people still offer chickens here and other types of sacrifices as they pray to the Mayan gods.

Manuel has known this family for many years. He asked if it was ok that we stayed and watched and they did not mind at all. Their time here was to ask for special protection over a new store that they were opening. They prayed for many customers and for protection over their store. Their sacrifice consisted of things as sugar, cookies, eggs and pasta.

On the walk back down the mountain, we stopped in a mask store that had a San Simon or Maximon. He is a religious Mayan saint that many people continue to pray to. People place before him alcohol, tobacco and money in hopes that they will receive blessings and favor.

When I climbed the volcano near Xela a few years ago, they were having a ceremony with San Simon and it was a very eerie situation. Everyone was very emotional, pouring alcohol over him, kissing him, and blessing their children with the staff that is in his right hand.

This evening we met with the local Church of Christ for worship. How much more comfortable it was to be with other Christians and to know we are worshiping the only God. Pagan worship is sad. It offers no hope or salvation.

Tomorrow, we will have two clinics, hopefully see a lot of patients and also deliver water filters. Please pray that we have safe travels.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Harding PA students meet Chuchipaca

This morning we met for breakfast before we headed out to Chuchipaca.

It is normally about a 45 minute ride but it turned out to be a little farther and a little longer than usual. Half way there, I got a call saying the road was blocked in an area that they are laying some pipe. Therefore, we would have to drive around. No problem. We can handle that. When we arrived to the area, there was a truck blocking the road. We turned off the trucks and waited. Once the truck finally cleared the road, they laid down planks for us to drive over. It was an adventure and some of the students made videos of it.

We quickly set up the clinic and began seeing the patients. This is the Harding Group, Josefina and some children that also wanted in on the photo action.

We saw 30 medical patients, 30 dental patients, 2 patients for dental cleaning and finished the day making a home visit on the drive back to Chichi.

This little girl was staying warm with her fashion hat.

The students would start with a patient by obtaining their blood pressure, temperature and weight. They would participate during the consult, pray with the patient and then go to the pharmacy with them. This allowed them to see the whole process of each patient. This also kept the patients moving.

These students are waiting to get their patients into consult.

The most interesting patient we saw today was a patient with some type of neurological disorder. He passes out for 8-9 hours at a time and he does not remember anything. He walks from Chuchipaca to Chichi without remembering the travel. People from the community validated his activities. He has 11 children and he is very worried about them and his wife. We talked about how dangerous this is and what would happen if he passed out into a fire or got hit by a bus as he is walking on the road.

I was very thankful that he realized how serious his situation is. He has these episodes about every 15 days. He said that he will go to the National Hospital in Solola on Tuesday for a consult. Please pray for Jose that he will get the help and treatment that he needs.

The students will enjoy the day in the market tomorrow morning. We will have lunch at the hotel and then join the church in Chichi for worship.

Kemmel and Lisa will return tomorrow with the group from Abilene University. We will have two groups for the week and be doing 2-4 clinics each day and also delivering water filters. Please pray for safe travels and that the patients will do well this week.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Clinica in Lemoa

I had not realized that I had not blogged for a few days. I will make up for it today.

We had clinic in Lemoa with 21 medical patients and 4 patients for dental cleanings. It was a wide range of patients so that keeps me from getting bored.

Now, there are some things that prevent me from getting one patient today that kept reaching in her blouse to get her teeth and each time she would try to put them in her mouth, they would fall back down in her blouse. Now, that kept me entertained for about thirty seconds :) If you are trying to imagine this, believe me, you just had to be here.

Two babies returned today after their surgery in the coast and they looked really good. I try to do the consult first, then pray with the family and then go for the photo. I think I will change my routine because by this time the baby gets fussy and is no longer amused with me.

So, this is Bartolo. His lip is looking great and will improve more.

Abner was all smiles and playing until he got bored with me. His lip is also looking good.

Now, this was the doll of the day. He was precious.

The patient that won the award for the day is a diabetic. When he was here last month, his blood sugar was 560! Today, drum roll please, it was 109! I really emphasis diet with the patients and that the diet does not mean you have to be hungry. It is all about education.

One lady came and told me that she thought she was pregnant. We chatted for awhile and then she returned with her result, that was negative. Then a few more minutes later, I get an, "oh by the way................" She tells me that she needs surgery for an abdominal mass that she has. So, might you have an ultra sound? Yes, it is outside so she runs to get it and inside the bag is a ton of lab work that she had done last year.

I really felt bad for one little lady. I saw her sitting in the door way in the morning but thought she was a dental patient. So, when it was time for her consult she was shaking.........and I mean shaking. Her temperature went from 98.4 to 101.2......we quickly gave her some Tylenol, did her consult and then Manuel drove her home. There is no way she could have made it by herself.

Yes, it was a good day.......................and the adventures will continue. Tomorrow, the guys and I will go to Choacaman IV.

Rick will arrive with a group from Harding University tomorrow. On Saturday, groups from Abilene University and Lipscomb University will arrive. Please pray for their safe travels.