Monday, December 16, 2013


I made it back to NC, without any problems.  Sally picked me up at the airport and drove me to Morganton to be with my parents.

Today is Dad's Birthday.  Happy Birthday, Dad!  I hope that you have a great year!

Tomorrow night, we will have a dinner at South Fork Church of Christ.  It will be good to see everyone and enjoy an evening together.

Friday, December 13, 2013

More ABC Photos

I found some more photos from yesterday at the ABC Celebration.  This is Sandra, one of my ABC Children.  She arrived with a scarf over her head and just grinned.  Then, she took the scarf off and I realized that she had just cut her hair.  She is beautiful........but she always has been!  She cut it because in the skit, she plays the role of Lisa.

Then Sandra's sister wanted a photo of us.

Then I took a photo of the whole family. Here Sandra is with her three sisters and her dad.

I will print copies of these photos for Sandra and her family when I return after Christmas vacation.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

ABC Celebration

We have had two full days of ABC Celebration!! It has been a wonderful time catching up with ABC Children and their families.  It is a time of celebration and thankfulness for everyone. It is exciting to see the children progress to the next level in school and to see how the program benefits the whole family.

The different congregations had skits through the day.

It was obvious that a lot of thought, time and preparation went into the skits.

Many skits were based on stories or parables from the Bible.

Our dental team did a skit on dental care and how brushing and flossing created happier and healthier teeth.

Awards were handed out for the ABC Children whose dental check-ups had improved.

One group did an impression of Lisa and Kemmel.  It was done well and demonstrates how much the communities and churches appreciate the work that Lisa and Kemmel do.  They work non-stop and are always available when there is a need.

One group of children receive awards for their achievements.  It is based on school grades, dental and physical check-ups and participation in the ABC Program.

One community gave Lisa a beautiful corte/ skirt and she wore it for the afternoon activities.

It was a great two days. When I drove the cooks back to Quiche, I asked them how many meals they had prepared.  They responded with 1,2000 meals for the two days and then all four of them fell asleep as I drove.  It was a very quite ride to Quiche.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday in Quiche

This morning, I went to worship in Quiche.  It was a great morning and the weather was nice. 

In the afternoon, I went to visit my friend Magda.  She has not been feeling good so I just stayed a few minutes.  These are some animals that she has had hanging on her wall since I have known her.

She has a large poinsettia tree in her courtyard that is always very pretty.

She has always taken very good care of her flowers and courtyard.

After our visit, I returned to Chichi................the next couple of days will be really busy but will be a lot of fun!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Drive Back to Quiche

Then I left this morning, I had mixed emotions.  Everyone has been so welcoming and appreciative. It has been a great three days of clinic. It is hard to imagine living here and this being all that you know in life. 

We stopped in La Parroqia for breakfast. Our usual restaurant was not serving breakfast so Sally found another spot .  We had fried eggs, black beans, a piece of fried chicken, coffee and tortillas.  It was very good. 

I learned about the movie Nemo.  So, that is now on my list of things to do.

We laughed and sang as we drove along.  We stopped and bought COLD drinks and they were great!

When we returned to Quiche, Erv offered to drive Deysi and I home.

When I arrived, Nikki welcomed me.  Tomasita has him decorated for Christmas!

Thank you, Sally for inviting me to Zona Reyna again.  I enjoyed it as much, maybe even more than I did two years ago.  I hope I will be able to return again.  Thank you for all of the extra things you did to make us more comfortable.

The time passed quickly and now it is time to rest a little before next week.  It will be a busting week and then, I am North Carolina bound!!

Day Three in Zona Reyna

This morning was another great view, as stepped out of the tents.  And to think, we will be back in civilization tomorrow.

We walked up to the house for breakfast.  We enjoyed black beans, scrambled eggs with hotdogs tortillas and coffee.  Yes, I did say hotdogs........that was not a typo.  It is something that is common here in Guatemala..........

Patients arriving at the clinic.

Since the group will leave at 2 pm, we only gave out 60 patient numbers.

Word has spread!!  The talk on the roads is that there is an ultrasound machine and the ladies came from all over.  Sally barely made it outside of the curtain today.  I kept asking her if she needed anything but she hung strong!  Go, Sally, go!!

This is one of the patients and his t-shirt.  He had his back to me so I just HAD to seize the moment. 
Sarah wanted this shirt really bad but I told her it was jut not appropriate to take the shirt off of his back :)

This was one of my favorite patients of the day.  He was wide awake and just a content little guy.

Sally wanted to give him a little kiss and he loved it!

At lunch, we had spaghetti and tortillas!  Now that is a carbohydrate lunch.  And guess what else was cooked with the spaghetti???????   Yep, more hotdogs!!

This chicken was just roosting away...........

Sally with one of the last patients.

After lunch the rest of the group started packing up their things to head to Quiche.  Again, our group opted to remain one more night, basically for safety reasons.

As the guys loaded the truck, it got full very quickly!  We were gifted bananas, oranges and plantains, which took up a lot of room.

The group left close to the time they planned on.  When they left, it was finally time to relax a little.  The owner of the house went to get a hammock for Sally.  She kicked off her mud boots and relaxed in the shade.

While Sally relaxed, the rest of us drained the reservoir of water a little more.  She would have her chance a little later.

We really wanted something cold to drink, so we set out in the truck, in hopes of finding refrigerator. Our travel proved to be in vain but we had a good time.

The view from above was also very pretty.

When we returned, the moon was coming out.  It was just a sliver of moon but it was fantastic.

We sat in the school and talked for awhile.  It has been a great three days of clinic.

Everyone worked hard and made it successful.  Erv, was always cranking up the truck so Sally could do an ultrasound. Erv, has a heart of gold.  He jumps when there is anything that he can do.  Sarah, helped in many ways.  She helped with getting meds, keeping the line organized and anticipated things we would need......such a big help.  Deysi, gave all of the injections, helped with crowd control, translated a little into K'iche'.......such as asset she is.

We prayed that the group would make it back to Quiche, without any problem.  It was a great three days and I hope to return again.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Day Two in Zona Reyna

The sunrise was beautiful today!  We had the advantage of seeing both the sunrise and also the sunset.......double beauty. Sally mentioned a few times, how much sky we are able to enjoy.  At night, since there are no lights, the stars are brilliant!

Up at it early again.  The patients will be arriving before we know it!

We enjoyed a breakfast of mosh and bread.  There was some chocolate frosted flakes that people were putting that in their cereal.  I had never tried it before but it was pretty good.  I ended up with chocolate oatmeal. The coffee is also very good on these cool mornings.

These little chicks had to have their breakfast too.  The mother is coming in on the right side of the photo.  When people got too chose to her babies or tried to pick them up, she would nip and nip at their legs.

The house has a lot of pretty flowers.

One of the boys was riding his donkey in front of the house.

The colors are just gorgeous here!

Patients gathering below getting ready for their consults.

 When it was lunch time, we walked up to the house and enjoyed a chicken soup with tortillas.

In the afternoon, the guys got in a volleyball game.  Our medical clinic continued until we had seen all of the patients.

We saw a wide range of patients today.  I saw three families with scabies.  I had two patients with severe kidney infections.  We also had a few very sick babies. 

We gave out 70 numbers for patients.  We conservatively estimated, 250 patients for the day. 

Again, Sally saw all of the pregnant ladies and did ultra sounds on them to make sure everything was good.

In the evening, we raided the water reservoir so we could bath.  The water had been collected from the roof, so basically, it was clean.......or we like to think so, anyways.  It is not one of those times that you are real picky with the water.

Erv had put some water in a solar bag and it heated during the day.  Sally was kind and shared some of her warm water with me.  Even though the mornings and nights are cool, the afternoons were pretty warm where we did consults.

Before dinner, we watched the sunset.............another beautiful day...........

The group that we came with, brought a bicycle for this young girl.  Here she is sitting on her new bike, with her mom, grandpa and grandma.  Her mom is Leda and she has been an awesome translator for me yesterday and today.

The time is passing quickly!  The team will do just a half day tomorrow and will return on Wednesday night.  Our group: Erv, Sally, Sarah, Deysi and I have opted to drive back on Thursday.  The idea of being on the road at night and not arriving in Quiche until midnight or 2am does not appeal to us. We will get another good night of rest and leave on Thursday morning.

Another great day..........and we are so thankful for it!!  Gracias a Dios!

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Clinic in Zona Reyna

Wow!!!  Since we arrived after dark last night, we had no idea what the view was!!  When we stepped out of our tents, it was unbelievable!! Unbelievable!!  Yes, I had to say it again.  We were above most of the clouds and it was so cool and fresh!  The sun had already come up but I will get up a little earlier one morning to watch it.

This was the view to the west.

The photos just do not do it justice.

We walked up to the house for breakfast. 

When we arrived, the ladies were preparing the food.

These ladies worked so hard.  They provided three meals a day for us in this kitchen.  They had a smokeless stove and it was vented.  The tortillas are cooking above the fire.

Deysi asked Sarah if she wanted to try her hand at making a tortilla.  Sara did a great job!

This is the stone that they used to grind the corn for the tortillas.  It can also be used for coffee and different herbs.

This is Leda grinding the corn.  I did not know it but Leda would later be my translator.    Here, the language is not K'iche' but Q'eqchi'.  Many of the words are similar since they are Mayan languages but we needed translators for the clinics.

 We had a wonderful breakfast of eggs, beans, cheese, tortillas, atole and coffee.

This is Deysi.  She gave all of our injections, kept people moving and is really good at organizing.

This is Sarah, Sally and Erv.  Sara is playing around with these glasses that Sally brought for the patients.  I think I eventually ended up with this glasses!    Thank you, Sally!!

They gave out 70 numbers to patients.  Each patient had 3-5 family members so it MULTIPLIED our number of actual patients.

Sally had an ultrasound machine so she took all of the pregnant ladies.

It was a long day but a great day!!

I had a man who was seen about six months ago and was told he had an abdominal mass.  It was huge!  Sally talked with him and his family members about being seen in Santa Cruz at the national hospital.  I will really be surprised if they are able to do surgery.

There was one lady who did not know she was pregnant.  She seemed a little excited about it but not too much.  One patient had a hernia.  Sally did an ultrasound on a lady who is having a lot of pain and found five cysts on one of her ovaries.  One lady was only 34 years old and has seven children.  Many children had worms.

We estimated, conservatively, that we saw 200 patients today.  

After we finished for the day, we returned to our room and chatted a little over the events of the day.  We took towelettes to bath with and it felt good after the day.  Later when Erv came in for the night, he said he had found a reservoir of water that we could use.  Yes!!  Clean hair makes clinics go better!

Tomorrow...........another full day and I am sure it will be great!! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Let's go to Zona Reyna!!!

I was so excited when Sally and Erv invited me to return to Zona Reyna with them! Sometimes it is spelled Reyna and other places spell it Reina. It is considered part of the jungle and there is nothing there.........and I mean, NOTHING!!  This time, I was able to make a couple of phone calls, where last time I was here, I was not able to.  Where we were, there are no refrigerators, electricity, internet services or water.  The only water that we had was the water that had been collected in a reservoir until the next rain.  So, here is our adventure!!!

Erv has the truck prepared!!  He built the sides up so we could carry all of our gear.  Sally has collected medicine for two months and we had a lot of weight.  He improved the shocks, since last time I went with them, we broke them!  We left Quiche at was Erv, Sally, Sarah (their daughter), Deysi and I.

We met the rest of the group at a restaurant, where we ate a couple of years ago.  There are about 22-23 of us.  We will have medical clinics for three days.  It was good to see people that I remember from the last trip.  We enjoyed a breakfast of grilled steak, eggs, black beans and tortillas.

 As we left civilization, I bought my last cold Diet Coke for the road...........and away we went!!!

We crossed over a river.  I know it does not look deep but it had some current and depth to it.

As we began to climb, one of the trucks was having trouble.  The guys jumped out of the truck and found rocks to put behind the back tires.  As the truck crept up a little, they would move the rocks to prevent it from rolling back down the mountain........yes, they finally made it!

The drive took 12.5 hours.  During this drive, there were many times that we were hugging the side of the mountain.  Sally would say, "Erv, you can move the truck over a little."  It was a great drive and so thankful that we did not have any problems.

When we arrived, they showed us where we could put up the tents. We were very lucky to be given a school room.  This is Sarah and Deysi.  Sarah is the daughter of Erv and Sally.  Deysi, helps Sally in clinics and is very helpful as she speaks English, Spanish and K'iche'.

Erv setting up their tent.

We were loaded down heavy but we had all the comforts we could.  We were provided a tent and air mattress.  Sally sweeps out the room as we set up our new home for the next four nights!

What a great day we had!  We had safe travels and now we are ready for clinic in the morning.