Monday, September 30, 2013

Clinic in Mactzul I

This morning, we all met in front of the office and went to Mactzul I.  I stayed in Mactzul with Ceci, Manuel, Sandra and Maria.  Tomas and Enrique continued on to Mactzul III to deliver some more water filters and to do some dental checks.

As we tried to get to our destinations, we had some challenges.  We had to wait for about 20 minutes before the traffic cleared.  Since the main highway has collapsed, the buses and semis have used the back roads to get to Quiche.  The back roads were not made for these heavy vehicles.  Their use of the roads has caused several problems. 

This is one the ABC children that was at the clinic in Mactzul II.

We had 9 medical patients, 1 dental cleaning and about 40 ABC Children.

This is Manuel working with one of the ABC Children.  They are using the food color to show where the child has not brushed well.  Here, Manuel is showing the child where he can make some improvements.

Martina is working with a mother of an ABC Child.  The parents are also taught better brushing and flossing techniques to they can help their children.

It was a wonderful day and I enjoyed staying busy with the patients and the families.

The leaders of the church asked me to return on October 24th, to teach a ladies class on good emotional health.  I am really excited about this topic and hope I can present something that will be helpful. 

Tomorrow, some of us will go to San Jorge tomorrow morning.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Some road action!!

This morning I went to Quiche for worship and there was FINALLY some road action going on!  There were 5, huge pieces of machinery working and it seemed good.  Maybe there is an end in site!

This is the new road that they are putting in behind the storage building.

I hope that we see this road open before long.  The heavy traffic on the back roads is really taking a toll.  In the near future, we will see more problems if this road does not open soon.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Clinic and dental checks in Xepocol

Today, several of us went to Xepocol for clinic and also a dental follow-up with the ABC Children. 

This is one of the young girls who came for a follow-up. 

It was not one of our busiest clinics but it was good to spend time with the ABC Children.  Some of  them had improved but some still need to improve more. We will continue to work on education and see what we can do...........

We gave out some more of the Bible Story books to some of the children.  This is Esteban and he was excited about his book.......

This is his brother, Emillo.........and he also was pleased.

This is Sandra and she is doing well.  We talked to each of the children about reading their book 3-4 times a week to their family.  This way, it helps with their reading skills, they are learning more about the Bible and usually there are other members of the family that are unable to read.  It helps in a few different areas.

Tomorrow, we will go to Xepol and see some patients!

Monday, September 23, 2013

More highway excitement!!

Well, the exciting news the other day was that the Guatemalan President had visited the area to evaluate the highway problems.  We had a couple of dry days which were nice but last night it rained hard again.

I walked up to the highway to see what was happening.

I had joked with Lisa a few days ago about not needing to cook.  She would be able to go out to their gate and buy chuchitos, fruit and icecream............well, things have changed. 

When I approached the road, I smelled grilling steak and onion!!  They have set up 4-5 grills, with tables and chairs.  The buses continue to be lined up with the drivers and their helpers washing them and doing maintenance.

As I went down farther, there were small crowds of people gathered and watching over the cliff!!  Apparently, there are problems with the water line and they were going to repair it!  Here, they have a board to stand on below and they have tied some "safety" ropes.

This guy slowly, I will repeat slowly, inched his way out on the water pipe!  He had a couple of ropes tied to him.

I could not tell exactly what he was doing with the pipe......but I had seen enough.  The guys on the side watching him, from time to time would jerk up and down on the line to scare him and then they say, "With friends like that................" 

There was no work being done on the new part of the road.  It is still full of mud and we continue to wait to see what will happen.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Guatemalan president visits Chichi

This afternoon, I went to Mactzul 6 to meet with a ladies committee about doing some classes with them.

On the way to Lisa and Kemmel's house, six helicopters flew over.  When I drove out of Chichi, the field was full of military people.  A little later, I heard that the President of Guatemala had visited.  A neighbor of Lisa and Kemmel said he had been walking around their yard, evaluating the highway and the damage that has been done.

It is not a good situation.  The mini-vans, buses and tuk-tuks are all competing for space on the highway.  People are forced to walk in the dangerous areas.  The drivers are now washing and do maintenance on their buses and vans in the highway.

The meeting in Mactzul 6 went well.  There were about 25 women and 12 young ladies.  we talked about different classes that could be offered and what they are interested in learning more about.  We will see if anything develops from it.

On the way home, I ran into some problems in the road,  They had shut the road to do some work and told us it would be shut for three hours!! Oh my.........what to do??

I saw some people walking back down the road and asked them where they were trying to go.  They said to Chichi and that they knew of another road that would take about 30 minutes, is all!  Well, that is a no-brainer for me!  They asked if they could ride with me and I told them sure.

So, as we turned around, we had a motorcycle begin to follow us.........then more trucks started following. We ended up with about seven vehicles...............we were just trying to make the best of the situation.

We made it back to Chichi in about 40 minutes and I was very thankful!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Clinic in Lemoa and class in Chichi

This morning I went to pick up Lisa so we could go to Lemoa for clinic.  As I stood by their door, I heard some banging going on.  This man was hanging metal sheets so there was no passage on the side of their house.  Ever since the highway has fallen in, the whole neighborhood has not been the same.  This poor dog will also have to find a way around!

We arrived at the clinic and started getting ready to see patients.  Then everyone arrived and we were ready to get started.

Gaspar had some great news today.  He went and tried to get his driving license and he passed!  I am so excited for him.  It has been a challenge for him but he hung in there..........way to go Gaspar!

When I came back to Chichi, there was even more of an uproar!!  The tuk-tuks are not allowed in our area anymore. The buses have totally blocked the roads.  People are selling food and have even put up metal sheets, with tables and chairs for people to eat at.

We sure hope that this gets settled quickly but can't see it happening.

The ladies class was great this afternoon.  Cesi did a great job translating and was very helpful.  I hope that we see a large number of ladies come to the clinic in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Clinic in Chicua

We all drove to Chicua and set up for clinic.  I was hoping that there would be a line of patients waiting for us but I will continue to hope.

Manuel was waiting for us as we arrived.  He and our Manuel, took the truck and announced about the clinic in the community.

As we waited for patients, everyone pitched in and helped Sandra and Maria with a project.  They have some holders for their dental instruments that they want to put a border on.  So, we all tried our hand and helping out.

Manuel offers his arms as Maria prepares the thread.  It can get easily tangled but if tension is applied, it is much easier to work with.

Ceci, Sandra and Lisa sewing their hearts out.  It was fun it helped us past time between our patients.

We did have five medical patients and one or two dental patients.

We have one young man that is going to return next month to have a small bump removed from his back.

We had one man return today that said he is feeling better.

Tomorrow, we will have clinic in Lemoa.  I will go to Lemoa for the morning and then Ceci and I will have a class in the afternoon together.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Clinic in Chutzurob

Manuel, Cesi and I made our way to Chutzurob.  We had a good drive, without any problems in the road.  With the highway still closed, getting to Santa Cruz is a problem but this side of Chichi is ok.

We had 14 medical patients and Manuel had 4 dental cleaning.

We had a wide variety of patients. 

One situation that was very sad was a young baby, infected with scabies. When I asked the mother if anyone else in the family had it, she said yes.  There were 10 people in the family that had it.  One of the other children were with her but she did not want a consult for that child.  I explained that if we did not treat everyone with the medicine, it would not help. She finally agreed but was not excited about having to wash all of their clothing, towels and sheets in very hot water with soap.  It is a very hard process for the mothers. I hope that she will return next month because the children are very sick. 

Tomorrow, we will head to Chicua for clinic.  I hope that we have several patients!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Road update

I have been studying all morning so I decided to step out, look at the road and buy some minutes for my phone.

Yesterday, they completed digging the ditch, laid plastic in it and now are doing the cement work.  I am not sure how this will work.  Notice that it is not very far from where the road fell!  Kemmel was correct in saying that more has fallen..............2-3 meters more.

I have teased Lisa and Kemmel that soon they will not have to cook.............people started selling icecream and candy right after this happened. Today, there were two stands of people selling full lunches!  I can hear it now, "Chuchitoooossssssss, chuchitooooossssssss!!!!!"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday..........road update

This morning, I wanted to see how hard it would be to get to Santa Cruz.  I wanted to go there this morning because usually in the evenings, it has been raining so hard.

The message was a very good one.  He asked us what is important to us in our life.  He talked mainly about how technology has become so very important to people.  That as people are watching television, they barely notice when someone comes in the room and starts speaking.  He talked about how people constantly look at their phones and text, again not realizing when people are around.

So, do we spend more time talking on our phones, texting, watching television or using our computers more than we do other things? How much time a day do we spend time reading the Bible, praying or being concerned with issues of the church?  Something that I think we can all learn from.

When I came back home, I got some photos of the other side of the collapsed highway. 

They have dug a new drainage area, laid plastic inside and are getting ready to pour cement.

A view of the collapsed highway from the other side.

As I took this photo, I realize how things have changed since the road first collapsed.  People are just getting use to it.  There are no policemen, no firemen, no one watching out for further damage.  There are even young people sitting on the edge!  This could lead into another sermon................humans just become numb, unconcerned and complacent. 

We will see what the week has in store for us!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Parades and Celebration

This morning, I spent a couple hours studying and then decided it was time to walk to Chichi and see what was going on.  There were lots of people in the streets and a parade, since tomorrow is Independence Day for Guatemala.  

The parade was finishing at the soccer field and I went inside to get a few photos.  Since this is the end of the parade, everyone is loosing their enthusiasm.

The parade starts early in the morning and they finish about noon.  The masks that they wear, I am sure get a little stuffy.

 All parades need a tractor in it.

 This group was fun to watch.  They had just lit a smoke bomb and it lingered in the air for a long time.

 They joked around with the people on the side-lines.  I think seven of them came over to high-five me.

As I was leaving, I got this photo of shoes.  This is something that I have never understood but it seems to be important here.  Many of the girls in the parade, wore high-heels.  I can not imagine walking for seven hours in these shoes..................I can not imagine walking thirty minutes in these shoes.  But, this lady was determined that she could, and she did!!

As I continue to walk to Chichi, I saw Kemmel, Lisa and Manuel.  We chatted for a minute and then I did some shopping.  I returned home, just in time as it started to rain again............

I checked on the progress of the road and it has not come very far.  One guy said, "When we say it will be opened tomorrow, we really mean it will be opened in two years!"  I so agree with his statement. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tying to get to clinics

Lisa picked me up this morning and we set out for clinic.  We stopped to get Sandra, Martina, Ceci and and Maria.

We did not have too much trouble even though there was a lot of mud.  We could see several places in the road where vehicles had slid but we were lucky and did not have any trouble...........unlike Tomas.

Tomas was trying to get us us from Mactzul V but he had a lot of trouble.  He got behind some trucks and was not sure if he would be able to get around.  It was just too risky so we cancelled our clinic and returned home.  Later, we did find out that another truck had slide into Tomas, taking out a light and puncturing a small hole in the bed of the truck.  We are just thankful that everyone is safe as we try to get through this rainy season.

I went home and started studying again.  Lisa, Sara and I will be participating in a seminar in a couple of weeks.  Studying for it has been a challenge.  I am also taking a online class on Hebrews, that Goyo from Winston-Salem is teaching.  Both classes are in Spanish, so that makes the challenge even greater.

In the afternoon, Lisa and I walked over to see the bridge and road that had collapsed.  This road leads to the ASELSI clinic.  This truck was backing up so they could refill their water bottles and return to ASELSI.  They had quite a work-out, coming up the hill and then returning to the truck with their water.

We then went up to the highway.  We talked to some policemen and they said that there were plans to open one lane of the road. There were a few guys surveying the land.  He said that the road would be in the area that we walked through the other day.  It could not be a permanent fix but at least there could be some traffic flow.  He said that it would be done by tomorrow.........

We will see what the weekend and the weather have in store for us.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Road situation continues to erode............

For those of you following Facebook and blogs, you know that we have had trouble with the highway in front of our houses.

Many have asked how far down does that highway go.........well, I did not take this photo but copied it from a friend's Facebook.  If you look at my photos from yesterday, you will recognize the hanger in the center of the photo.  Lisa and Kemmel's house is very close to that and I live one block over to the left.

Several of us met at the Dunham's house and walked through the hanger to get to an area where we might get onto a bus to go to Lemoa. Lisa leads the way as we set out.

We want everyone to know that we are safe but it seems that we never have a boring day.  This is Lisa, Maria, Martina, Maury and Sandra.

Where we are walking, is not a road nor is a path.  This has just developed from the multitude of people trying to get where they need to go.  People tried to get through using bikes and motorcycles but believe me, they too can get stuck in the mud........and speed does not help :)

People arrived in tuk-tuks and mini-vans, then had to walk to the other side, while carrying their goods, in hope of catching another tuk-tuk or mini-van to Chichi.
With all of the rain, you can see how high the corn has grown. Before we left, people had started walking through the rows of corns because there is less mud there........believe it or not.

We soon found out that the road going to Lemoa was closed......there was no transportation on that side.  As Kemmel would say, "What a bummer!"  We gave it a good shot but could not make it there. 

We soon got word that the road on the other side of our houses is also falling in.  It is the road that goes to Clinic ASELS.

We will have to see what happens over night.  Lisa and I hope to make it to Patziibal in the morning with some of the promoters.  Kemmel has a plan of how we can do we are going to do it, as we pray for success and safety!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Clinic and closed road.......

This morning, Kemmel called and asked if I had felt the earth shake some more.  I had not and for that, I am thankful...........but other situations were shakin' beside earthquakes.

The heavy rains that we have had has continue to erode the highway until it no longer exists.  It is a very sad situation since three people have died and they are still trying to recover two of them.

In the first photo, you can see the large warehouse on the left.  Kemmel has wanted to put a pool in there since it is close to their house but the area may be used for a new road.

People are getting really close to the edge........a little too close for me.

As you can see, the highway just does not exist any longer.  It has fallen off the cliff.  Who knows how far under the highway the road has been eroded?

The people sitting with the firemen and policeman are family members of the people that are missing.  Very sad and traumatic...........

Later this afternoon, I met the sister of the lady that has died.  I feel so bad for the family.  There is just nothing you can say or nothing you can do.

We had clinic this morning in Chuguexa.  It was a small clinic of only 11 patients.

In May, I had taken a young man to Quiche, when his blood sugar was over 500.  He returned in two weeks and he was much better.  He was taking medicine, watching his diet and had gained some weight.  I was very encouraged because his blood sugar had dropped below 250.  In June, I had the opportunity to meet his dad and we talked about Tomas and how sick he was........but again, he was doing better.  Then, he never came back to clinic.  They told me today that he has died. 

Tomorrow, we will have clinic in Lemoa.  The buses, vans and tuc-tucs have threatened to go on strike and not provide service.   We will see what happens.......................

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day of Study

Today, I spent most of my day at home preparing a class and studying.  The ladies have asked for a class on paps so they will have a better understanding.  I hope that while presenting the material, they will realize the importance of it and attend a pap day at Clinic Carris.

This morning, Kemmel called and asked if I would go to Lemoa to see a young boy who has been sick.  "Sure!" I said. The young boy is in the ABC Program and has been sick for twelve days.  I gave him some medicine and hopefully within two days, he will see improvement.

Kemmel worked with the guys at the clinic today.  There is a problem with drainage and they are laying new pipe.  As you can see, the ditch has been dug and it is not a short one.

Manuel working hard.

This gives you an idea of how tall the corn is. During this time of year, you can not see the clinic due to being surrounded by corn fields.

Things are good and I am always thankful for that.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Clinic in Chicua I

This morning, several of us went to Chicua I to have a clinic.  A few months ago, in Chicua II, we made a contact with Manuel.  He then studied the Bible and was baptized.  Now, he has opened his community to us AND a small hospital!

Kemmel, Cesar, Manuel and Ceci getting ready to accept patients.

Lisa selected this room to see her patients..........she was able to scope out all of the medicine that the health department uses here.

I used another room...........many hospitals in Guatemala have picture of a real serious nurse with a nursing cap on and she is motioning for people to be quiet.  This was my lame attempt :)

Sandra and Maria getting ready to see patients.

Martina and Marcos are ready to go to work!!

This is Manuel, who has made today possible.  He really works hard for his community.

This was one of our patients that was happy when she found a pair of glasses that helps her vision.  She sews and has had some trouble getting her work done.

This lady is a happy patient that Lisa has seen before.  It is nice to be able to follow up and know that people feel better.  Way to go, Lisa!

We had a total of 15 medical patients, 1 dental patient and 2 dental cleanings.

We visited two patients in their homes............Maria and I went with the two Manuels.  They were good visits.

On the way back, we stopped and bought 15 instant soup bowls and fixed them for lunch.

We will return to Chicua in two weeks.  It will be good to follow up with the patients again and to see Manuel.