Saturday, March 31, 2012

Clinic in Chuchipaca

The guys and I went to Chuchipaca today for clinic. Manuel picked me up and then we met Josue as we left Chichi.

We had a good clinic but it was a sad one. The first two patients were a very elderly couple and have been sick a long time. He is rather tall for a Guatemalan, so his 85 pounds was very disturbing. He was seen in clinic 15 days ago and has lost 23 pounds since then.

It was one of those situations that you know there is nothing you can do. They live alone, have no children and have no one to help them. If he went to the hospital, she would be left alone and he did not want that. The hospital probably could not do anything for him and that is also sad. We prayed with them, gave them some medicine to help with pain and then they went home.

I went to Quiche this afternoon to check on Magda. She has been falling and thinks her blood pressure is high again. I was thankful that her blood pressure is controlled on the medicine that she is taking and I also took her a new cane. Her old one is looking rough from so much use.

I heard from Kemmel and Lisa and they are doing well. Kemmel's arm surgery sent well and he is home. We are very thankful for that!!

My dad is continuing to struggle with pain and is having a difficult time. Please remember him and my mom in your prayers.

It is time for the weekend..............

Friday, March 30, 2012

Clinic in Choacaman and Gaspar

Today, Gaspar, Josue, Manuel and I went to Choacaman IV for clinic. It has been a while since I had been in Choacaman so it was good to return.

One of our first patients, Gaspar, was staggering across the field as we arrived. I have not seen him in several months and now he is having to walk with a cane. The odd thing was I was just thinking of him two days ago.

Gaspar was the second patient to be seen and I knew it was going to be a difficult consult. He is a diabetic and has been coming to clinic for about four years. His diabetes was controlled when he was coming to clinic every month but then he started missing clinics and he went out of control. He has lost about 40 pounds and looks very bad.

Gaspar and I sat with Gaspar for quite awhile. With both of them having the same name, it can get a little confusing. He is down to 82 pounds, walks with a cane, is very weak, his blood pressure is low and his heart is beating too fast. I told him that I am afraid he is going to die and that I wanted him to go to the hospital with us. Of course, he started telling us all of the reasons he could not go.

We listened, while giving him time to process how really sick he is. He admits that he is very sick but he is concerned because Semana Santa is next week and his wife is also sick. I do understand this but yet, Gaspar is in real danger.

Gaspar began to talk to him about God again. He reminded us that he believes in God and prays. We acknowledged that this is good but there is more to being a Christian than this. We talked to him about Cornelius. Cornelius was a good man, he believed in God, he prayed and he gave money to the poor.........and yet he was not a Christian until Peter went to visit him.

Cornelius heard the teachings and was baptized. At his baptism, he had access to the blood of Christ and forgiveness of his sins. Until that time, he was not a Christian. If being a good person is all that matters and baptism is not important, then Peter would not have gone to him to teach him.

I only hope that Gaspar will not change his mind before Monday. I will be at clinic early and wait for him. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Clinic in Lemoa

Yesterday, Kemmel and Lisa traveled to The States. Kemmel will be having surgery on his arm on Friday. They will be spending time with family and resting for a couple of weeks. We pray that everything goes well for them and they enjoy time with their families.

We had clinic today in Lemoa with 19 medical patients. There were a few really sick patients, diabetics with sugars out of control and some with very sad situations.

I spoke to a patient for a long time today but did not know about his history. He has been in clinic a few times and is feeling better after the medicine. We have always talked about his relationship with God and how important our faith is.

After clinic today, Gaspar told me that he also has talked with this gentleman and for different reasons he had quit attending worship. Now, he is thinking about renewing his relationship with God and returning to church. Gaspar and one of the brothers of the community has been invited to visit this patient and his family in their home..........I was so excited to hear this news!

I did find a better photo of Julia and Carlos from the wedding. Now, they look a little happier.

This is Sandra, her sister. She is studying in Quiche to be a teacher.

Tomorrow, the guys and I will go to Choacaman for clinic. It will be another adventure!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Class in Xepocol

This morning we formed a caravan to Xepocol for a day with all of the volunteers and health promoters of the clinics. I had been looking forward to this day and I was not disappointed.

Our group has grown over the last few months and it has been an encouragement. Enrique and Josue are our new promoters and they have been doing fantastic. Sandra is our new dentist and Maria is working with her. They are working well together and patients are happy with their care. Josefa, Martina's cousin, has also been helping us in the dental area and we are pleased to have her.

The ladies decided it was time for Sandra to dress in Chichicastenango attire. So, here we have Mauri, Sandra, Martina and Josefa.

The class for the day was primarily on the goal of Health Talents. The focus of Health Talents ins to be the ministry of the local church. The clinic is only an expansion the the church in each community. In the areas where the members of the church participate in clinics, pray with patients, visit in homes and do follow-up.........these congregations grow.

Gaspar read from Matthew 13, about the sower and the seed. Parables are stories that Christ used to teach those who heard them and they are still applicable today. If teaching falls on fertile soil, it will take root and grow. There are obstacles that prevent grow of the seed and brought on by many causes.

There was some discussion about the root and its significance for growth. If the root does not have a firm base, the offspring will not flourish. It may grow for a little, then wither, dry up and die. We need to help prepare the soil for teaching. We need to help that root get a good start. It is our responsibility to be there for new Christians. If we do not take the time to prepare the soil, protect that new root and nurture will die.

There were about 40-50 people in the class today and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The participation was good and many communities were represented.

As I mentioned, I was looking forward to the day and I think it went well. It was an encouragement to us. We are so blessed to have Kemmel and Lisa working with us in this area and we look forward to the events of the year.

Dad's surgery

Today, my dad had a hip replaced and is in the hospital for the first time in his life. What a new adventure for him!!

Someone posted this photo and I just love it!!

I think dad will be pleased with his surgery. He knows that physical therapy will be difficult but worth it. He should only be in the hospital for a few days and then return home. Thank you for all of your prayers on his behalf.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wedding of Julia and Carlos

Well, it is time for another romantic Guatemalan wedding. Today, Julia and Carlos were married and they called a few days ago to invite me. Julia is the sister of my ABC daughter, Sandra. It was good to see the family again.

Gaspar and another brother from the church were doing the ceremony. When I arrived, everyone was waiting outside. I was invited into the kitchen to talk with Julia's sister. Sandra was not at home since she had classes this morning and was not excused to stay at home. We gathered around the fire for bread and Coke.

Inside this room, the wedding activity took place. After about 2 hours, people started getting restless and wanted to know what was going on.

Behind the kitchen, ladies prepared the mid-morning snack that would be served. We had hot chocolate and some more bread.

The wedding usually starts in the home of the bride and then moves to the home of the groom, where, usually, the new couple will live. So we started in Saquilla and ended up in Chuguexa. The driving time between the two houses is almost two hours.

All of a sudden there was some activity on the patio and the sisters and told me I could enter the room. The photos I took through the day were a disappointment. This is about the best photo I have of Julia and Carlos. They talked very little to each other and as I mentioned, it was another romantic Guatemalan wedding.

Before they left the room, members of the family brought in gifts. They were presented to Julia and Carlos as they remained seated at the table.

Sandra was in Chuguexa when we arrived. I will post a photo of her later. We enjoyed a lunch together of soup and tortillas. After lunch, more presents were presented and that is when everyone started crying. I felt bad for Carlos as it felt we were at a funeral. He just stood there as the family hugged Julia and said their goodbyes.

I hope the new couple is happy and that the families adjust well. We have clinic in Chuguexa every month so I told Sandra that she is welcome to ride with us when we travel for the clinic. This way she can still spend some time with Julia. We will see what happens.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Trip to Antigua

The students from Lipscomb made their way back to Antigua today to prepare for their flight home tomorrow. I think they have had a good week although some of them are not feeling as well as when they first arrived :( It is just one of those things that happens with traveling and at times can not be avoided.

We dropped our luggage off at the hotel since the rooms were not ready yet. Mom, Trish, Ellie and I went to the famous Mono Loco Restaurant to taste their nachos. The four of us shared a plate of nachos and they were very good. I wanted them to get another taste of guacamole

We went to the market and visited the firemen. Trish and her husband had brought down some gear for the firemen and Trish wanted to drop in again to say hello. They were glad to see her and told her that they had already posted their photos on Facebook. Yes, the whole world is on Facebook!

This is Trish and Ellie at dinner on Thursday evening.

Mom and I at dinner. The food was very good and the room was full of activity.....very full of activity!

It was good having Trish and Ellie here. They helped organize the students this week with taking vital signs before their consult. It is always good to have my mom here. I will miss her tomorrow when she returns to North Carolina.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

David Lipscob freshening up Clinica Caris

During this week, the Lipscomb students have taken turns helping out in Caris. The recent addition has been completed and now it is time to do the rine tuning. They painted, moved equipment, organized and what ever was asked of them.

This is the newest exam room.

This was the ladies clinic day but we also had two men come to the clinic for help. Checking in one of the first patients.

Mom counted medicine outside in the sun.

When it was time for lunch, we went to Chichi and brought back Chinese. It was mixed fried rice and wontons. I think everyone enjoyed it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

David Lipscomb meets Xejox

After breakfast this morning at the hotel, 4 trucks headed to Xejox. From Chichi, it is about 2.5 hr drive.......but it also depends on what is in the road :)

We arrived without any problems......and we are always thankful for that. The roads were dry, which causes a lot of dust and flares up the allergies.

We saw 21 ABC Children in the community.

Now, this is how you brush your teeth!

After the consult, the childen went to the pharmacy to get their medications.

Now, that is a happy ABC Child! She is able to study in school, participate in church activities and also receive dental and medical assistance.

The group entertains the students who have already been through their medical and dental consults.
After most of the patients were seen, we walked to a near-by house for lunch. We had wonderful grilled steak, rice and tortillas. When we finished, we walked back up to finish seeing a few patients.

Our drive back to Chichi was uneventful and we will be on the road again tomorrow morning!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

David Lipscomb meets Chuchuca

We met everyone at the hotel for breakfast this morning and then divided into two different clinic groups and one group went to do some construction work in Lemoa.

We left the hotel about 0820 for Chuchuca, which is about 2.5 hours drive from Chichi. The road was dusty, with about 6 inches of dust. The area has not had rain for quite a long time so everything is very dry.

When we arrived, everyone pitched in and unloaded the trucks. We set everything up for clinic and were getting ready to start when the congregation announced they had a snack for us. The had cut large slices of pineapple and strawberry cake for us and also had a papaya fruit drink. It was very good and we really appreciated it.

Getting ready to see the dental ABC children.

Gathering outside before the clinic started.

Collecting vital signs.

Getting height and weight.

The students gathered the ABC Children around in a circle and started playing Duck-Duck-Goose. The children had a great time, as well as the students. The parents even enjoyed watching.

Lisa checking out one of the students.

Now, that is one happy face!!

The children never get tired of playing!

We saw all of the ABC Children, which is about 23.

We returned in the evening for dinner at the hotel. We are very thankful that we found the children doing well. None that I saw were underweight and everyone's teeth looked great.

Tomorrow is a day for the students to enjoy the market and we will worship with the Chichi congregation in the evening.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Clinic in Mactzul II

This morning I went to clinic in Mactzul II with Sandra, Maria, Gaspar and Tomas.

Sandra and Maria getting ready to see their first patients.

Gaspar setting up the medical area for consult.

Tomas and Manuel, the volunteer from the community, setting up the vital sign area.

Gaspar playing with the children after seen in the consult.

More of the children.

Sandra with some of the children who helped her clean up after clinic.

We saw a total of 4 medical patients and 16 dental patients. We were also able to make one house visit. When I was telling Manuel how important I feel home visits are, he mentioned there was a lady in the community that is very sick. I suggested that we go and see her so we loaded the back pack and went on a short hike.

After we were finished with clinic, we went to Santo Tomas to help unload the equipment for the next four days of clinic. We will have students here from the Davis Lipscomb University and are looking forward to their visit with us.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Clinic in Panajxit

This morning I went to Quiche to meet Tomas. We rode out to Panajxit for clinic with Enrique.

When we were driving to Panajxit, we picked up a lady in the road that has been having trouble walking. Her story changed a few times but she was in the hospital in Guatemala City last year and needed some type of surgery. She does not know what type of surgery, what medicine she took, does not have any papers and never returned to the hospital. It is very sad to me that people no not have more information and education but maybe in time, we can help make a small change.

I offered to take her to Santa Cruz with me. She is only 54 years old and he family has to carry her. At first she told me that she would go but when she went outside and talked more with her husband, she changed her mind.

One patient had open sores all over her arms and hands. She bathes with powder laundry soap. What makes the situation even worse is the water is so cold and their skin is so dry. I gave her some cream, talked about changing so another soap and gave her a Chapstick that my mom gave me to give to a patient.

Maria, a 19 year old came again today to clinic. She has chronic depression. She lives with both of her grandmothers, since her parents left her. We talked for quite awhile and then I invited her to meet me in Quiche next Sunday for worship. I think she would enjoy the church there so I hope that I will see her.

After we saw eleven patients, we drove to Enrique's house for lunch. We had chicken, pasta, tortillas, mango and pineapple drink.

It was a good clinic day.

When I got back to the house, mom and I went to market for a little. We had a good time walking around and we bought dad a small present........when dad gets his gift, we will post a photo. I do not want to blow his surprise!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mom visits La Palma and Noe

Today, mom and I went with Tomas and Enrique to La Palma for clinic.

My parents have sponsored Noe in the ABC Program for several years now so they visit when they have the opportunity. Mom and dad were here in July of 2010 and Noe has really grown since then.

Here mom is with Noe's mom.

Mom with Noe and his family. Agostin has helped us with the clinic here in La Palma since the clinic was started.

One more photo with mom and Noe.

The ABC Program is a wonderful program. Sponsors had the opportunity to meet the child they sponsor and their family. Next week we will be doing ABC Clinics in many of the communities.

We saw 10 patients today. It was a good clinic..............we returned to Chichi without any problem. It was a good day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mom and Panajachel

Mom and I had breakfast at Rancho Grando. If you follow the blog, you have seen me mention Rancho Grande and their pancakes. They are thick and almost like a biscuit. They are wonderful, especially with the fresh stawberry jam!

After breakfast, we walked around the grounds to see if the tampoline is still up. Yes, it is still up and mom was game for trying it out!

Mom wanting to be a statue. It is fun to travel with mom since she does not mind her photo being taken.

The grounds are kept very well.

I wanted to go over to Santa Cruz to check out a hotel that I had heard about. It is called The Lost Iguana. The website looks very interesting. They offer different rooms, many activities, SCUBA, massages and Spanish classes.

Mom and I took a tuk-tuk to the boat launch.

The boat ride was smooth and we arrived without any problems. The Lost Iguana is very simple and tranquil. We found the hammocks right away and took advantage of them.

The colors are bright and beautiful. I can easily see returning to only read and relax. The only downside seems to be that they do not had Diet Coke........ahhhhh, you can not have everything in life!!

This is the view from the front of the hotel.

We returned to Chichi without any problem. We went to the grocery store to pick up a few things and then headed in for the evening.

In the morning, I will meet with Kemmel to talk about the calendar. This should be exciting!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Happy Day!

Today, we got everyone to the airport without any problems! There was little traffic and everyone reached the airport in time.

A surgical group arrives today for a clinic down at the coast. I met Rick, who explain how all of the flights were arriving, It was really a task to make sure no one was left at the airport, with people arriving on so many flights!

My mom also arrived this afternoon with the group from Pfeiffer University. This is the university that I studied at for my master's degree. Trish and Ellen invited mom travel with them and Dana, the leader of the group, confirmed that there was space for my mom. Everyone arrived without problem and we are so thankful for that.

Mom and I drove back to Chichi and got settled for the evening.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Harding meets Paxot II

Today, Harding went with us to Paxot II. It was an ABC Clinic and we saw 46 ABC Children.

Soaking up the sun between patients.

Distributing meds after the dental and medical consults.

Taking a break before the crowd really arrived.

Maria and Josefina between the dental patients.

The ladies worked in the kitchen preparing our lunch for us. We had fried chicken and many said it was the best fried chicken that they had had so far. Kemmel and I really rated the chili high!

The dental crew working hard!

The main group of students arrived after lunch.

Weight, height pulses and temperatures are recorded on the children. This way we can be assured that the children are growing as they should be.

Manuel watching as we examine his son. "Take a deep breath, please!"

Tonight will be our last dinner in Santo Tomas. Tomorrow we will head to Antigua for a relaxing day!