Friday, August 31, 2012

Ready for The City

Sandra and I are ready for The City.  When she finishes her clinic today, we will drive to Guatemala City and spend the night with her family.  This is the Suk that we will be taking.........we will have fun travels.

In the morning, we will do the first Diabetic Class.  She thinks there will be about 15 people there and that is a good number.  If the classes get too large, it is difficult for a lot of questions and discussion.

After the class, I will go to Antigua and spend the night.  Early Sunday morning, I will do go Montellano for worship, visit with everyone and then return to Chichi. It will be a good weekend with a lot of adventures!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rainy days..........

Well, our rains local weather- reporter, Lisa, told me that we have had 4 inches more than normal of rain this month.  The winds have blown and the corn is falling.

When we drove to clinic this morning, we saw evidence of the fallen corn.  How sad it is.

We had 22 medical patients in the clinic today.  We saw a wide range of patients.....diabetics, pregnant ladies, post trauma, allergies........and a few other issues.

One diabetic gentleman lost his mother in December and today he told me that his wife died last month.  We talked for a few minutes and then he began sobbing.  It is the most I have ever seen a Guatemalan man cry and it was very sad.  I felt so bad for him but all I could do was listen.   I told him that I would continue to pray for him and his family.  Sometimes, all we can do is pray for each other. 

Kemmel was very kind and brought us our lunch.  We had chicken and tortillas.

In the afternoon the rain fell hard and the wind blew.  This is the corn field behind the clinic during the rain.

Some of the small trees behind the clinic.

The rain was coming off the roof so hard, the water was being pushed out.

Tomorrow, after clinic, Sandra and I will head to The City.  On Saturday morning, we will do the diabetic clinic.  I am looking forward to our time together and time with her family. 

On Sunday, I will go to Montellano and worship with the surgical team that arrives on Saturday with Rick.  It will be good to see people that I know.  Please pray that they have safe travels.  The team will help with the physical needs of the patients and also help in any way possible spiritually.   

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Past few days..........

The last few days I have spent in Antigua.  It is about time for my passport to be stamped and I want a plan.  It is something that all of us need to do every 90 days.  Yes, it is a pain but we want to adhere to the Guatemalan laws.

Mary, a friend of mine, who use to live in Antigua has helped me for the last five years.  She became ill and had to return to the states.  This is very sad for me and I miss her a lot when I am there.  Even though I did not see her every visit, I did see her several times during the year.   We would have soup at one her favorite restaurants, sometimes eat Sarita's ice cream or have coffee at Fernando's.  She knew I enjoyed iced coffee, so sometimes she would make caramel iced coffee when I visited. 

I found the office that I needed when I was there.  I had never met Jose before before but he was nice. I returned to Chichi on Tuesday morning.

Now, it is time to prepare for the rest of the week..........laundry, clinic, going to the city with Sandra on Friday and Montellano on Sunday.  It will be a busy week but a wonderful one!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Clinic in Lemoa.......and something smells......

Today, we had a good day day in Lemoa with 22 medical patients.  We had many diabetics and I only saw one that had a good blood sugar.  What a disappointment!  A couple of the patients had turned to "natural medicines" while some others had just not returned to clinic.

After clinic, Kemmel decided it was time to clean out the sewer.  Ya know, sometimes the up-keep of the clinic is not easy. The water pressure in the clinic is not strong enough to keep "things" moving so the water becomes stagnant.

We decided to create our own water pressure.  Kemmel carrying a pail of water to flush the sewer out.  One thing for Kemmel, he is NEVER afraid of hard work!

So, with the stinkin' hard work is easier to do things when you are sharing the  work together.......well, we could not convince Maury of this.

Gaspar and I took turns stirin' it up.........we just need some Bob Marley tunes!!

Josue and Lisa filling more buckets of water.  Josue is having more fun than Maury is.

We finally got the water much cleaner.  When we finished, Kemmel poured some bleach in the tank......then Lisa declared it worthy to drink!    ha ha ha   Just joking!!

Almost another week down......the weeks go so fast...........................

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Clinic in Xepol

This morning, Josue and I went to Xepol for clinic.  When we arrived, there were no patients but we set up everything and waited.  Tomas was there and he had some good news for us.  He told us that Victor and his family were in worship on Sunday.  He said that the mother is really thinking of also attending the congregation in Xepol. There is nothing more exciting than this!!

We had 10 patients for the day. 

One diabetic patient has not been to the clinic since January.  He said he has been going to a place that uses natural medicine.  Now he is feeling worse and not able to see.  His blood sugar was really high and he has developed a cataract in his left eye.  I am going to see if I can get him into a clinic near where he lives, Camanchaj.  Hopefully, he can get surgery done in October.

We also had another patient with several problems.  His legs had bad circulation.  When I lifted his pant leg, I found a wound from a fall, that happened two months ago.  It was a terrible, draining wound.  I injected him with an antibiotic, taught him how to clean it and also gave him some cream.  He has not been cleaning it with anything.  I checked his blood sugar.  I expected to find it high but it was not.  We will see how he looks next month.

This was a family that came to see us today with general aches and pains.  The husband kept telling me how weak his wife is.  That she has no energy.  Well, they have 7 children and they all live at home.  She cooks, cleans, washes all of the clothing and cares for the children.  I do not think she is weak, she is just tired.  When I asked her how many tortillas she made a day............she said she had no idea and just laughed.

Their son also laughed and played during the whole consult.  He has just learned how to blow bubbles and make noises.........he was entertaining himself!!

Josue drove us back to the highway.  He is doing a good job and I think the more he drives, he understands the responsibility and how he needs to be ready for anything!!

Tomorrow, we will all be in the will be another good day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Clinic in Chutzurob

This morning, we all headed to Chutzurob for clinic.  Sandra and I got the truck, we met Josue and then we headed to Chichi for Manuel and Maria.  We had a good drive.

As we were driving to the clinic we saw a few parties forming in the community.  This is never a good sign but we did alright in clinic.  We had 11 medical patients, 8 dental and 1 cleaning.

This is Chepe and Sebastian.  Sebastian always helps us in the clinics and this is his best friend of 25 years!!  I found this very exciting and enjoyed talking to him and his wife. 

One patient needed glasses today but did not care for any that we had.  He really liked mine so I just traded with him.  He took mine and I took some purple wire frames..............Sandra and Maria told me they look good, so I guess I can be seen in public with them :)

After we were finished seeing all of the patients, Sebastian asked me if we could visit someone in their home that can not walk. When I asked more questions, I for sure wanted to go! 

This patient was only 24 years old and has not been able to walk for two months.  No history of a fall or accident......just became weak and can not walk without a cane. He admits to smoking, drinking and marijuana use, but stopped two years ago.  He has fevers and weight loss but does not know how much.  Considering everything, I really want him to go to the hospital to be seen.  I think his case is very complicated and we will not be back in Chutzurob for a month.  I do not want him to wait another month.  We prayed at his bedside and left the rest to him, his family and God.

He reminded me of a young man that we saw in Chuchipaca a couple of months ago. He had weight loss, memory loss and difficulty walking.  Lisa told me a couple of days ago that he has died.  So sad. 

Tomorrow, we will go to Xepol.........................and see what we can see!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday in Quiche

This morning I went to Quiche for worship service. As we passed a certain place in the road, they were looking for some people over the cliff.  There were fireman and policemen, throwing ropes and cables.  Later I heard that last night a motorcycle went over the cliff. Always something sad happening.

I had avoided Quiche during the last week during their festivals and parties.  Too many people for me and at times, not a safe place to be.

This morning, I did walk up to the Catholic Church.  As you can see, people were crowded around watching some entertainment.  There were some dancers and people playing music.

This guy was grinding ice and adding flavors to it.  Many, many wasps and bees sat on his syrup bottle until he moved it. After he finished with it, they would settle back down on it.

Anyone need a watch? What color would you like??

This guy was selling some things that move with the breeze.

I saw Ruben this morning.  He has returned from El Salvador, where he went to get his VISA renewed.

I had lunch in Quiche and then had an ice cream cone of rainbow sherbert.  It was really good. I returned to Chichi, without any problem.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Visit in Xepol

Today, Gaspar and I went to Xepol.  We met Tomas and Manuel from the church there and then we walked to Victor's house.

Victor is a young man that started coming to the clinic about 2 years ago and was having seizures every day. He was not able to go to school because of them and he was always in a fight.  His mom told me that his dad was a heavy drinker and did not work a lot.

This is a photo of Victor last year when I gave him a NC cap, after he went two months without a fight.

Today, we were invited to visit Victor and his family in their home. Victor's dad has been rethinking his life and has been talking with Tomas from the church.  I had never met Victor's dad, Tomas, so I was really looking forward to today. When we arrived, they had placed pine needles over the floor.  This is a show of appreciation on their part.

The visit went great!  Gaspar asked me to start, so I thanked them for allowing us to visit.  I told them how pleased I was with Victor's progress.  Then I talked a little about the clinic and how we like to visit with people and see if they had any questions about the Bible. 

Tomas started to tell us about his life, how he started drinking and how he wants to change. He has not had anything to drink for two months and enjoys visiting the church. He has enjoyed the visits from Tomas and other members of the church. We talked about his responsibility as a father, with his six children.

It was a wonderful time with the family. As we began to leave, Gaspar told me that Victor wanted to give me a small animal.  I asked what it was and he told me a chicken.  Man, I hate moments like this. I did not want Victor to think I did not appreciate his gift.  I had Gaspar explain how much I would like to take the gift but I could not because of Nakko.  I know Nakko will eat anything in the yard that moves.  Instead, they gave me a huge bag of apples.

OK, Lisa and Kemmel........if this ever happens again, should I take the chicken and we can raise it in your yard??

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bible Class in Mactzul VI

This afternoon, I went to Mactzul VI to do a Bible Class on Proverbs 31.  The ladies here wanted to focus on what is called "The Virtuous Woman."  I got there early enough to set things up and then we were ready to start.

There were about 35 ladies plus children.  I was surprised and happy with the number of ladies since today is the big fair in Quiche.

So, does the lady in Proverbs have a name?  Do we know where she lived or how old she is?  Home work for you.............
The class went well but we did not finish half of the material.  It takes a long time to translate everything into K'iche'.   The ladies did talk more this class but I really want to stimulate more conversation.

Tomorrow, Gaspar and I will visit a family in Xepol.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wonderful day...........thank you!

This morning, I was awakened by Tomasita, Jaime and Sandra singing at my window.  I recognized Jaime and his guitar but it took me a minute to realize why.  It was very nice.......then came the Happy Birthday song and then I was warned to stay away from the all of the fireworks and sparklers went off!!  You can still see the smoke in the photo.

Sandra, Maria, Tomas and I went to Panajxit for clinic today.  Enrique was already there when we arrived.  We did not think we would have many patients due to the celebrations in Quiche but we did all right.  We had 8 medical patients, 14 dental and 3 dental cleanings.

We waited until after 1:30pm to see if more patients would arrive, then we drove to Enrique's house for lunch.  Because of the rains, we parked about 10 minutes from the house and then finished on foot. Louisa, is a wonderful cook!  When we entered the house, I saw the pine needles and balloons and said, "Oh, they had a party here!"   I was very slow to realize that it was for me.....very slow.......

We were served a platter of pepian, a special Guatemalan chicken dish.  We had rice, tamalitos, steamed corn and lemonade.  We were talking about how stuffed we were and that we were going to "roll" to the car.........and then a cake was placed on the table!

Earlier in the day, Tomas borrowed the truck keys but I did not ask why.......and then they smuggled the cake to the house and I was oblivious to it all..........

Maria, Louisa, Enrique, Tomas and Enrique's children.  Sandra is the photographer.

Tomas needed to announce a clinic when we finished, so the others of us took a van from Santa Cruz to Chichi. 

It was a very special day.  Thank you to everyone!  When I arrived back in Chichi, Lisa called and asked about dinner.  I asked for a rain-check....sorry, Lisa and Kemmel. We will celebrate next week!

I know how lucky I am and I really appreciate it.  I am very well taken care of.  I could not have a better family.  Sally, Lisa, Kemmel, Sandra and are always there for me. I enjoy working for Health Talents and the work that we is all good!  Thank you.

Tomorrow, we have clinics in Mactzul III and we have a ladies Bible Class in Mactzul VI. 
On Saturday, Gaspar and I will visit a family in Xepol.  I am really looking forward to this.

Please remember my neighbor in your prayers.  They came and got me on Tuesday afternoon because of her abdominal pain.  After a lot of visits and encouragement, they finally took her to the hospital in Quiche tonight. I am hoping that she will get good care.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sex Ed classes addressed

Today, may be a day that will be recorded in Health Talent History.  Several months ago, it was mentioned that there was a need for some sex education in the congregations of the ABC Program and possibly in other congregations, as well.  In the past, this has been a topic that has not been addressed for a few reasons.  Primarily, it is just not something that people feel comfortable discussing.

Lisa has been very busy preparing materials that are age specific. Three age groups would receive the classes.  The parents will have the opportunity to hear the material first and then the classes will be given for the boys and girls, at separate times.

We have recently added on to our Lemoa Clinic but it continues to "grow smaller."  We may have more room for clinical work but for classes and educational situations, we just need more space.  We had 34 people in attendance today.  We filled the whole side of the clinic and we were thankful that there was no rain.

Before class started.

Josue led us in a few songs.  Just a side-bar for Josue....................he called us tonight to let us know that he passed his entrance exam for medical school!  We are so excited for him!  We will see what his next step will be.  We know that he will do well and wish him the best.

Lisa began the class with discussing why there is a need for education.  She asked how many in the class had ever been talked to by their parents about sex or had been prepared for how their body would change as they got older.  There were only about three people who had parents that talked to them.  A few people agreed there was a need for this education.

Some people offered some suggestions but the majority really supported this idea.  We will see how things roll forward.

Recently, we were gifted a generator for the clinic in Lemoa so we could continue with clinic if we did not have any electricity.  Here, Tomas fires-up the generator.

It was a good day.  We all were a little nervous about how the class would be received but it went well.  A good day....................

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Update on Santos

A few months ago, Santos came to visit us in our Lemoa clinic.  Last year, he had been hit severely in the nose and his nose was completely to the side of his face.  This is no exaggeration. His nose looked like it totally gave way to a softball, thrown at extremely high speed.

He went down to Montellano last week, when a plastic team was there.  Neva sent me a photo of Santos and said that he is doing well.  I hope that he will return to see us again in a few weeks and I can give you and updated photo.

The team has returned to The States without any problem and we appreciate Rick, the team and all of their hard work.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Clinic in Lemoa

We had clinic in Lemoa today and it was a busy one.  I think that 37 patients checked in with Maury and Manuel.

I had two patients that stayed in my mind through the day.  The first was a lady who has a severe allergy to the sun.  She has just scratched and dug until she has open wounds.  She could not speak very much Spanish, so her sister-in-law came with her.  Her sister-in-law told me that her husband drinks a lot and that many nights the family has to go to sleep without any food, or if anything, drinks hot water.

So, we were almost finished with the consult and then she tells me that she has not menstruated in three months.  Her sister-in-law, looked at me, gasped and said, "I did not know this.  She had not told me!"  So with this new announcement, we confirmed that she is pregnant and changed her medicines.

Another patient told me that she has been a diabetic for many years but does not take any medicine nor has not been to a clinic. When I asked her how she knew, she told me that her urine and blood were sweet. Yes, you are probably guessing what she has done to determine this. Her blood sugar was very high so we started her on medicine and talked about dietary changes that need to take place.

There are not many boring days here in Guatemala.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Surgery updates

Just a quick update on different things.

We all went to Antigua on Sunday afternoon to take Goyo, Sarah, Gigi, Isabel and Valfre.  They have now safely returned to The States.  We are always thankful for safe travels.

This young man, Jonny, had surgery in Camanchaj, near where we have one of our clinics.  He had a hernia repair and I heard today that he is doing great.  Heather, who works for the clinic there, sent me this photo.

I also heard today that another one of our patients today had surgery in Montellano.  This gentleman had fallen about a year ago and injured his nose, quite severely.  His name is Santos and I heard his surgery went well.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Classes continue in Paxot II

It was a full day of classes but everyone seemed to really enjoy it.  Sarah and Isabel gave ideas on how to facilitate learning in young children.  They shared many examples of ways to encourage learning and to engage the students.  Many congregations were represented, with about 60 people in attendance.

We divided into six groups and each group presented a class, using the techniques we learned.

Our dentist, Sandra,  role-playing in the story David and Goliath.

At the end of the day, Isabel and Sarah presented each congregation of bag of teaching materials.  It was an encouragement to everyone and I am sure they will enjoy using their new tools in their classes.

At the end of the day, Manuel thanked everyone for participating in the seminar. 

Everyone is hoping that we will continue to have these types of classes. 

The men enjoyed solid Bibical teaching from II Timothy.

There is such a big need for children's Bible classes, providing education at the level that they can understand. What a blessing these three days have been! 

Thank you Goyo, Sarah, Gigi, Isabel and Valfre!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Seminar in Paxot II

This morning we all went to Paxot II for the day of classes.  While the men were studying II Timothy, the ladies were in the kitchen preparing the meals.

Lisa and Manuel's mother cutting the beef for the soup.

Others of us peeled and cut potatoes, carrots and squash.  As always, the food is very good.

Goyo teaching II Timothy.

Isabel and Sarah during the afternoon break.  They taught a day and a half on how to teach a children's Bible class.

Everyone was really receptive and participated. 

Goyo, Sarah, Isabel and Valfre.  As I mentioned yesterday, they are from Winston Salem and attend the Brewer Road Church of Christ.

It was a good day.  Manuel told me that 58 attended the morning session and I think there were even more than that during the afternoon session.  Tomorrow, we will put into practice what we learned today.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Clinic and Men's Class in Paxot II

Kemmel and Lisa arrived last night with Goyo, Sarah, Gigi, Isabel and Valfre.  They live in Winstson Salem, NC and are part of my sponsoring congregation. It is always exciting to have people down and take part in the work but it is especially exciting since they are from The Brewer Road Church of Christ and The South Fork Church of Christ.

The guys went to Paxot II today for the class, while the ladies help clinic in Lemoa.  Lisa demonstrates on Sarah, how to take a blood pressure.  Isabel did a great job learning and she helped keep the patient flow going...................

I worked in the pharmacy, giving the medications and answering questions that the patient had.  Sarah prayed with patients before they left the clinic.

Gigi and Sarah also counted medicines that were needed.

Today and part of tomorrow, Goyo and Valfre will be doing the men's class in II Timothy. Tomorrow afternoon, the presentation will be on how to teach children in Bible classes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When is a "dead" chicken, really dead??

Today, we had a good clinic in Mactzul VI.  Gaspar, Josue and I traveled to Mactul for the clinic. 

I was gifted apples from one of the patients in Mactzul.  It is encouraging to have people bring what they grow at home.  It means a lot because I know how much work they put into their planting and maintaining.

After clinic, I went to Lisa and Kemmel's to park the truck.  When I parked it, a dog came running around the corner with something bobbing in it's mouth.  There were three dogs chasing the lead dog and it was apparent that they wanted what he had. 

Well, the dog dropped it in front of the driveway as they all watched from a distance.

I went to see what it was a huge chicken.  It was making a few gasps, it was covered in ...................well, I will spare you the details. Why could the dogs not have dropped it in another place?  Why, right where I have to walk?

I went to finish locking up the truck and then I saw some movement and I went to see what it was.  The chicken had recovered enough to stand and teeter away. It gave me one of those nasty shivers~~~

As soon as I closed the door to the truck, I knew I had not unlocked the back door.  "BUSTED!!" as Kemmel would say.  The keys were where they needed to be but I had not unlocked the back door to get them.

Later, I found that Kemmel had an extra set and I am thankful for that. 

Lisa and Kemmel will return to Chichi tonight with Goyo, Sarah, Gigi, Isabel and Valfre.  They will be doing a men's Bible Seminar and also one on how to teach children's Bible classes.  Paxot II and the surrounding congregations will be in for a big treat!