Friday, October 28, 2011

ABC Nutrition Class in Mactzul II

This afternoon, Tomas and I went to Mactzul II to do a nutrition class. We did these classes last year for the ABC Communities but since that time have added two more communities. We are now catching them up.

Today, we talked about basic nutrition and how to increase protein in the diet. As in many areas, people are continuing to eat a lot of carbohydrates. Many carbohydrates do not have vitamins or are very healthy so we are focusing on a better diet.

The first part of the class, we study what food groups are. For the second part of the class, the children are given photos and then they classify the group that their food belongs to. It is a lot of fun but we also see how much they learn in a short amount of time.

This was a very quiet group and I had to work hard to get them to participate but eventually, they loosened up a little. There are 24 ABC children in this community. Everyone was there but one family.

Tomas helping some of the children classify their photo. This young girl had a photo of black beans.

The next young lady had a photo of cauliflower but I missed what she said. Apparently, it was funny and it is good to see the promoters enjoy the classes.

The mothers listening to their children during the class.

We had 30 people for the class and it was good.

Tomorrow, the guys and I will head to Mactzul V for clinic.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Diabetes and Hygiene classes in Lemoa

Today, we had the second diabetic class scheduled and we had a good class. There were 17 students and the participation was good. Our time together lasted almost 2.5 hours. Most everyone said that they will be able to return for the third class in November.

Tomas translated today and he did a wonderful job. He is very patient when he explains things and he also encourages questions. Although the class is over diabetes, a physical problem, we also talked about spiritual illness as well. We encouraged people to return with more questions next month.

A group from Las Cuevas was in the clinic this morning and Kemmel asked if we would do a hygiene class for the group. No problem........let's go for it!! The problem came when I forgot that we had already been in this community in early August. So, Maury and I did a spontaneous class and we think it was received well.

We discussed hygiene again but also used the dental model we have in the clinic. The children enjoyed the huge toothbrush and laughed at Maury as she demonstrated. They did remember some of the previous material and this is always an encouragement.

When we were in Las Cuevas, we did not have any water to demonstrate good hand washing technique so we went to the pila behind the clinic and practiced. I wanted the parents to look at their children's hands to see if they thought they were clean. A big problem for me would be if I thought a child's hands were dirty but the parent thought they were clean. I was not ready for that :)

This young man was the first to demonstrate for us. When he was finished, his mom was not happy and sent him back for another washing. Go mom!!

Some of the children had long nails. We offered the parents clippers to help clip their children's nails and talked about why this is important.

These twin girls wanted their photo taken. This was their pose. I did not ask to see their hands. They were very pleased with how clean they were and wanted to show the camera.

This young lady scrubbed and scrubbed her hands. She has beautiful white teeth and I am sure that she brushes them equally, as well.

This toddler was unable to reach the pila so we put the basin on the ground for her. Her father jumped right in there to help her.

After about 1.5 hours, it was time for the long ride home. Everyone jumped up in the back of the truck and it was standing room only! Can you imagine standing for about a two-hour ride home on the Guatemalan roads??? The poor guy in the very back is standing on the bumper.

It was a full day but it was a good day.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Classes in Sepela

Today, Maury, Juan and I went to Sepela to teach another hygiene class. I think this will be the last one since the schools are getting ready to close for the year. I have enjoyed doing them and it has been fun taking different people to each school. All of the promoters have added something different. I think the students have learned a lot from the classes and I also think the guys have enjoyed participating.

We had six classes today. This was the first class we visited and it was the youngest class.

Juan volunteered to be "Dirty Juan" today. He did a much better job than I did. I have tried but I, I just can't pull it off :(

Here, Maury is telling the class about Dirty Juan. He does not bath, brush his teeth and his personal hygiene leaves a lot to be desired.

This was the last class of the day. As you can see, there are always some class clowns that keep things interesting.

Before we left the school, we were invited to stay for mosh and Corn Flakes. It was one of those times that you smile and say, "Thank you." Then you just hope for the best as you eat it :)

We went to Clinic Caris to work on a few things before we were done for the day.

After we, finished the sun was out!! Wow! It has been almost three weeks since we have had any significant sun. When I got home, I opened the windows and washed clothes. I swept, mopped and waxed the floor.......and when it was drying, I sat in the sun and read. What a fun day!

Please be praying for Kemmel and Lisa as they travel to Guatemala City this weekend. Kemmel slid and hurt his arm. They will be going to get an MRI on his arm. Please pray for healing and good results on the MRI. Thank you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Clinic in Lemoa

I do not think I have mentioned it this week but Paxot II is having a seminar on I and II Timothy. The classes are being taught by Goyo, who is also from Winston Salem, NC. I was able to have dinner with him the other night and it was good to see him. I have heard good things about the seminar and that the men have enjoyed it. It is exciting to have Goyo here and to be part of the work.

We had 31 patients in Lemoa today.

This little girl was the highlight of the day. Her parents brought her last week because she has not been eating well. I gave her some medicine, one of them being a "worm pill." Let's just say that the parents SAW positive results from the medicine and a few of her "little friends" decided to give up their living space :) I am sure that she will start eating better.

After clinic tonight, we had dinner again with Goyo and he told us how the day went. I think that the guys have enjoyed the class and that he has left them with many things to think about.

Goyo will fly home tomorrow afternoon. We pray that he will have safe travels, find his family well and that he will be able to visit with us again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Clinic in Mactzul VI

It continues to rain and be cold. I almost froze in Mactzul VI today, but I survived :)

We were almost to clinic when Lisa went around a curve........and there, mid-road, sunk in mud was a truck! We sat for a minute to see what he was going to do but he just sat there. We put on our rain jackets and walked down the road to the truck. A young boy, about 13 years old, jumped out from the driver's seat. He knew he was literally sunk! He was in the process of driving his brothers and sisters to school when the truck got stuck.

We stood in the rain and talked with some people about how bad the roads are. What else is there to do in the rain? When two other guys arrived, we were able to rock the truck out of the mud. These guys were nice enough to tell us about another road to use to get to, off we all went.

The clinic was small but we had a few patients. The best part of the day was when Juan walked to the store and brought back hot coffee for us. Thank you, Juan.

The up-side of the rain is the pretty flowers that we are able to enjoy now.

The hot shower and electric blanket could not happen fast enough tonight. Finally, warmth!

Tomorrow, we will have clinic in Lemoa.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Clinic in Xepocol

I will begin by telling you how cold it was in Xepocol today. It was cold in Xepocol! Juan kept telling me how cold he was and that made me even colder! Then when they asked us if we wanted a Coke or coffee, I voted for coffee. So anyway, just so you was cold in Xepocol.

Gaspar's son was at clinic today and he told us that we would have some sun tomorrow. I sure hope that he is correct in his forecast! There was no sun today and we could see the clouds and rain coming across the mountains.

This multi-legged friend was also trying to find some sun to bask in. He will also have to wait until tomorrow.
We had a clinic with 19 patients. The last two patients were the babies of the group. This little guy is only one month old and has pneumonia. His mom had taken him to the health department and was not improving. Lisa changed his antibiotics. Hopefully, he will now start to sound better.

This little guy was only 15 days old and he was the last patient of the day.

The members of the congregation gave us a lunch today of black beans, boiled egg, tortillas and a hot orange drink. It was good.......especially the chili.

Tomorrow, we will go to Mactzul VI and we will hope for patients.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lemoa Clinic.......

Today we had clinic in Lemoa. It was a small clinic of 13 patients but considering the weather, we were fortunate to have that many. There has only been a few minutes of sun in the last week. The rains have slowed some but it is still cold and damp.

Allison was in clinic today. We had a slow morning but were able to see some patients. Here, one little boy is giving us the "Guatemalan look."

Of the patients that we saw today, one young man has struggled with depression for several years. His first wife left him for another man and it was a tragic experience for him. He waited for her to return for three years and then he said it was time to move on and, "to find another wife." He may have moved on but I do not think he has completely healed.

Depression is not a new emotion in our lifetime. There are many examples of people in Bible times that suffered through periods of depression. Sadness in a normal emotion but we have to find a way to prevent it from overwhelming us. Sometimes that is easier said than accomplished.

When depressed or sad, sometimes we do not feel like praying. We may feel guilty for our sadness. Maybe we do not have the energy, do not know what to say to God or feel inadequate. We have to remember that for Christians, the Holy Spirit will help us through these times.

Romans 8:26,27: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

So, even when we don't know what to pray for or the words are too difficult to articulate, the Spirit helps us. The most important part is that we do not give up on praying. That we don't stop meditating on The Word. God hears us in silence. He wants us to silent and to know that He is God.

I often think of Elijah in I Kings 19, where he is in the side of the mountain waiting for God. He expected God in the great and powerful wind, in the earthquake and in the fire. But after all of this, God was in the gentle whisper. God wants us to be at peace.

In our time of depression, we need to draw ourselves nearer to God and He will provide. This takes a lot of faith and sometimes is very difficult.

I hope that this man continues to heal from his past experiences. There are some things in life that only God can heal.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Classes and ABC Meeting....still rainy and cold

We are so thankful that last night we did not have as much rain as the last 2 nights. Guatemala is practically under water with 42,000 people affected by the rains, 1,500 people evacuated from their homes, 21 deaths and the search for others who are missing continues.

Yesterday, we were not able to have the hygiene classes in Sepela but today in Lemoa, there were some students. With about half of the students were present, we had seven sessions and they were received well by the students and the teachers.

For the first few sessions, Ruben became, "Succio Rubin" and he was a great example of what we do not want the children to do. Later, we changed roles so everyone was able to participate.

Here, Tomas is talking to one class about dental hygiene.

Tomas and Ruben with one of the classes.

After we finished the classes, we went to Clinica Caris to see how the ABC meeting was going. Also, we went because Kemmel was kind and invited us to lunch :)

Today, Kemmel met with all of the ABC coordinators of the communities.

Violeta and Alex from Guatemala City also came for the meeting.

It was a good day. We had minimal rain and were able to accomplish a few important things today.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

No school due to the rains and mudslides

This morning our Juan, another Juan from Paxot II and I went to Sepela to do a school program. We talked yesterday about school being cancelled today due to the rains but did not know for sure.

We all gathered at clinic this morning for a time of prayer. We are excited that Martina completed her classes and will continue to the next grade. Maury will have to wait a few more weeks and then she will know. My thought is that she also will do well on her exams.

We prayed for people who have loss their homes for family members due to the rains. It is very sad. The rains slowed through the night and this morning but have started again this evening

When we arrived at the school, there were no students but a few of the teachers were meeting. We rescheduled the hygiene class in hopes that the weather will improve. They had to cancel classes today because everyone is afraid that the hill behind the school will fall in. You can see the area of concern in the photo below, which was a previous mud slide.

Tomorrow, we will try another school and hope for the best. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Many areas are damaged, there has been loss of life, bridges have been washed away and if it continues the corn crops will suffer again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chutzurob and mud!

Juan, Gaspar, Allison and I went to Chutzurob today for clinic. Allison is a PA intern that will be with us for a few weeks. She was a MET Student a few years ago and decided that she wanted to come back for some more of Guatemala.

We were a little concerned with the road as we approached Chutzurob due to the rain. Sebastian met us early in the road and showed us where we could park the truck. It was a hike down to the church but not too bad at all.

We had 14 patients and a good clinic.

One lady had lost her baby 3 days ago. She said that he had not been sick but was afraid that her cough had killed her baby. Well, the last thing I would ever want to do is cause a mother, who is already grieving, to feel guilty over her baby's death. We talked for quite a while and her cough had nothing to do with what unfortuately had happened. I think that she may return to visit the congregation in Chutzurob. She was clarifiying their worship times so maybe she will do that. The members of the congregation will be able to offer her the support she needs at this time.

We saw one lady who has developed a small bump on her forehead. It is about the size of an egg and is right between her eyes. It is not the place you would want a bump to form. I hope that she will go to the hospital in Solola, due where it is and at the rate that it is growing.

I introduced you to Sebastian Elias last month. Here he is now, one month old with his mom and aunt. Gloria and Angelica are always at the clinic to help us, as well as their father, Sebastian.

We arrived home without any problems...............and we are always thankful for that.

It has been raining all day and looks as if it will continue into the night.

Tomorrow, Juan and I will go to Xepol for clinic.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Busy, busy clinic........

Today we had clinic in Lemoa. The patients were lined up as we reached the clinic this morning. I did not think we would have many due to the heavy rains.........but I was wrong. As Gasper pointed out, we ran out of chairs and had to use the stools for the patients!

We had 34 patients signed in when we started clinic. We informed the patients that there was clinic in Chichi that they could be seen in that clinic without having to wait........ but they decided to stay with us :)

Juan had been sick for a few days but today he felt better. Gaspar has had a bad cold for a few days and still did not feel well. He had 3 patients for dental cleanings and hung in there.

This little girl, Silvia, was a patient today. She has not been eating and not feeling good. I hope that she soon feels better.

As I write it, it is storming bad with lots of thunder. I hope that we get some sun tomorrow to help dry up the fields.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Classes in Lemoa and dinner with friends

This morning, Gaspar and I went to the school in Lemoa to talk to about 200 students about hygiene. Until now, the classes have been received well by students as well as the teachers but today........for some reason, that was not our experience.

There were only two classes of students and two teachers that were interested. Two teachers just left the room and one would not talk at all with us. Gaspar and I took turns trying to find some way to grab their attention but we failed. In one class, the teacher just watched as two of the students continued to play until they fell out of their seats, knocking the desks totally over! At one time while Gaspar was talking, I could tell the teacher was approaching me. I thought she might be going to tell me that she did not approve or something..........but what she did was interrupt the class, wanting to discuss her own health issues!! As Lisa would say, "Good night, nurse!!"

So, the highlight of the day was when I was invited to dinner! I was able to see some friends that I had not seen for quite awhile and it was an enjoyable evening. This group is here in Chichi, interviewing students for possible scholarships.

I had a sandwich and some fruit and it was very good! A kind man from Israel offered to take our photo.

(L to R) Danny, me, Cynthia, Harriet, Lisa, Kemmel and Judy

Tomorrow, we will have clinic in Lemoa.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Class on the eyes in Lemoa

Today, we had class in Lemoa with all of the promoters. With everyone, we had 22 people in the class. Lisa prepared a class on the eyes and people showed an interest. We often see people in the clinics with multiple eye problems including allergies, cataracts and ptergions.

Lisa talked about basic anatomy of the eye. She emphasized that the eye, being so complicated could not have happened just by chance. That only God could have created something so amazing that functions so perfectly.

We divided into three groups and worked on different topics and then met together again. Because of the heavy rains, we repositioned the chairs so everyone could stay dry.

One group studied ptergions. One of the students explained this disease as one of the other girls and Manuel holds the information.

It was pointed out that for cataracts and ptergions, the only cure is a surgical process. Many people continue to want to take vitamins or buy creams sold in the park, believing that these will eliminate the problem.

Tomas, has a ptergion and he was kind enough to let the others examine his eye as Lisa explained.

The more education that we all have, we can better care for ourselves and for others. The classes continue to go well and the students enjoy them.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Did anyone lose their laundry?????

Sometimes, we see things here in Guatemala that causes us just to shake our heads.........they were just hung on the barb-wire.

On Sunday when went up to Quiche, I spotted some laundry that someone accidently left behind........and now someone's behind is bare!!

That is all I have to say on that......

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nutrition Class and Marleny

Last year we did nutrition classes in each of the ABC Communities. We talked about the differences between fruits/ vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins. Unfortunately, people do not know basic food groups so we started doing these classes. Malnutrition is a chronic problem here so we talk about ways to increase protein in the diet.

Now, two more areas have the ABC Program so we are catching these areas up on classes. Today, Juan, Gaspar and I visited Mactzul III. All of the 13 children attended the class with their parents.

Juan started the class with some songs and prayer. I could tell they were going to be a quiet group but the parents asked questions so that was great! Before the class, I asked for an example of a protein. There was not even a guess.

Juan took some photos as Gaspar translated into K'iche'.

After looking at all the photos and practicing, the students would come forward with a photo. They would tell the parents which class of food the photo was. They did a great job with 75-80% being correct.

I want to introduce you to Marleny. She is in the pink sweater and she is my ABC daughter. She is 7 years old and is in the second grade. The baby and girl are her brother and sister.

Now, it is time for the weekend................